The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — A U.S. House of Representatives petition to revive the shuttered U.S. Export-Import Bank drew enough support on Friday to force a vote as soon as Oct. 26 but the effort to renew the trade bank’s charter faced obstacles in the Senate.

The 218 representatives, including 42 Republicans, who signed the so-called “discharge petition” — a procedural maneuver that has been successful only a handful of times in the past century — effectively overrules House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling.

Hensarling has declined to move legislation on the bank’s charter, which expired on June 30, and said the petition sets a “very dangerous precedent” for the Republican Party, which is embroiled in a divisive leadership struggle in the House.

“At a time when our Republican conference is divided, this will divide it even further,” Hensarling said in a statement.

EXIM backers hailed the move as a breakthrough to reopen the bank, which offers loans, loan guarantees and trade insurance that helps foreign customers buy U.S.-produced goods and services.

Some Republicans and outside political groups have targeted the bank as an example of “corporate welfare” for large, wealthy companies such as Boeing , Caterpillar and General Electric . Supporters say it allows U.S. companies to compete overseas, and produced $675 million in revenue for federal coffers last year.

The bank has been unable to write new business for more than three months, and several companies have announced the loss of export contracts due to lack of EXIM financing. GE has agreed to move manufacturing jobs to France, Canada, Britain, Hungary and China to gain access to those countries’ export finance support.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is among those who oppose renewing the trade bank, and has already dismissed the idea of taking up the renewal bill expected to pass on Oct 26.

“The Senate is not going to spend a week on a bill that the leader doesn’t support,” McConnell’s spokesman, Don Stewart, said on Friday.

However, the House EXIM bill would match word-for-word a measure passed by the Senate in July as an amendment to a long-term transportation bill. That bill was never taken up by the House, but the 65 Senate votes it collected indicates that the EXIM provision could likely be attached to another transportation spending bill needed by the end of October.

(Reporting By David Lawder and Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Grant McCool)

Photo: The U.S. Capitol is lit in Washington February 11, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Dave Reilly

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Most of us are old enough to remember when Republicans eager to court the evangelical Christian vote would recoil in (not entirely genuine) horror at any hint of antisemitism in any political candidate, particularly on a GOP slate. But for the new post-insurrection Trumpian Republican Party, it seems not only to be no problem, it's practically an asset.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Reprinted with permission from PressRun

Leaning into the doomsday narrative that President Joe Biden's agenda and presidency is slipping away as Democrats work to pass both a huge infrastructure bill and even bigger social spending bill, dubbed Build Back Better, the Beltway press continues to do a great job ignoring the contents of the historic effort.
Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}