Efforts to Renew Ex-Im Bank ContinueOctober 22, 2015
On Oct. 23, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade will hold a hearing titled: Evaluating the Export-Import Bank in the Global Economy. According to Chairman Ted Poe (R-Texas), the hearing will be an opportunity for members to hear from experts on the issue and gain a better understanding of the ramifications of the Export-Import Bank ahead of the important vote on October 26.
Almost six months after its expiration, a bipartisan group of congressional leaders broke the stalemate and paved a path for the potential reauthorization of Ex-Im. With 218 signatures, champions in the House, led by Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), have successfully advanced legislation through a discharge petition bringing reauthorization of Ex-Im to the House floor where it will be given a vote before the end of October.
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. 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.
Meanwhile, on Oct. 19, the Senate started their own fast-track process, known as Rule 14, which will allow legislation from Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to avoid the committee process and go directly to the Senate floor where it could be schedule for a vote. However, this process does not guarantee a vote on the Senate floor, especially since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated that he will not move a stand-alone bill reauthorizing the Bank, which he does not support.
The legislation, S. 2183, is identical to a bill Senator Kirk introduced earlier this year that would reauthorize Ex-Im through Sept. 2019. The Senate has previously voted on this measure, approving it 64-29, by attaching it to a long-term highway bill. That legislation, however, was not considered by the House and is still in a conference committee.