House Includes Short-Term Ex-Im Extension In Government Funding Bill

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Peter Fricke Contributor
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After much speculation, the House measure to fund the federal government into December will include an extension of the Export-Import Bank’s charter.

Although Republican leaders denied rumors that they were working on a short-term re-authorization of Ex-Im last week, they apparently reached some sort of agreement, because the c0ntinuing resolution would extend the bank’s charter until June 30, 2015. (RELATED: Conservatives Renew Attacks as Ex-Im Deadline Approaches)

If the CR passes, Congress will be forced to re-examine the Ex-Im issue after the next Congress is seated. The next debate over government funding, however, would take place during the lame duck session.

Prior to last week, House Speaker John Boehner had said he would allow Ex-Im re-authorization to go through the normal process, meaning any bill would have to move through the House Financial Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, an outspoken opponent of the bank. (RELATED: Republicans Clash over Export-Import Bank)

Heritage Action and Club for Growth, two conservative organizations that have supported the fight against Ex-Im, both oppose the CR, and said that they will include it as a key vote in their legislative scorecards.

According to a press release on Wednesday from Heritage Action, Ex-Im supporters ignore “the harm done to domestic companies” by Ex-Im subsidies, as also the fact that “export subsidies do not actually create jobs.”

While some Ex-Im opponents might fear that “President Obama and Senate Democrats will consider an extension of the bank as a prerequisite to fund the federal government,” Heritage Action contends that inclusion of Ex-Im in the CR actually “continues to feed the partisan brinksmanship narrative,” because it prevents Congress from considering the two issues separately. (RELATED: Democrats Rally Support for Export-Import Bank)

Dan Holler, a spokesman for Heritage Action, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that it would be a bad idea for opponents to accept even a short-term extension of Ex-Im, because it is unclear “how a short term extension makes it more likely the bank will go away than refusing to re-authorize it now.” (RELATED: Conservatives Urge Kevin McCarthy to ‘Stand Strong’ Against Ex-Im)

On the other hand, Roll Call reports that some Ex-Im opponents “said they understood the strategy of eventually decoupling Ex-Im from a spending bill,” which the House CR would accomplish by setting the expiration dates for Ex-Im and government funding several months apart.

Andy Roth, VP of government affairs at Club for Growth, seemed optimistic that Ex-Im would not be re-authorized again in June, saying his organization “hopes that Republican leadership eventually follows through on ending the Bank,” and stands ready “to work with members in the House and Senate to make that happen in the swiftest way possible.”

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