Discharge Petition Brings Ex-Im Closer to RenewalOctober 14, 2015
The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (Ex-Im) is one step closer to being reauthorized, after Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) filed a discharge petition to bring a vote on legislation to renew the embattled Bank’s charter for five years, after it lapsed on June 30.
The move to save Ex-Im represents the first successful discharge petition in nearly a decade, as it is a rare legislative procedural maneuver that bypasses the usual process of moving legislation through a committee to the House floor. Last week, approximately 42 Republicans joined nearly every Democrats to reach the necessary signatures needed to force a vote—expected on Oct. 26—to renew Ex-Im’s charter. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, became the 218th signature on the Ex-Im discharge petition, setting the bill up for a full House vote likely later this month.
This past summer, Congress managed to shut down Ex-Im for the first time in its 81-year history. The Bank provides critical financing assistance – at no cost to taxpayers – to small, medium, and large-sized U.S. businesses that helps businesses to create jobs in the U.S. and sell their products overseas. In just three short months since the Bank shut down on June 30, companies across the country are already feeling negative impacts on their ability to compete in the global marketplace.
After the House votes on the Ex-Im Bank bill, the Senate will still have to approve the measure. While the House bill mimics the language in a Senate amendment that passed with 64 votes in July, the House hasn’t acted on the underlying transportation bill to which it was attached. Despite widespread support for Ex-Im in the Senate, reauthorization will still face some hurdles. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who opposes the Bank, has said he will not bring up a standalone bill, leaving Senate procedure on moving to reauthorize Ex-Im uncertain at this time.
Click here to read the full list of signatures on the petition.