Using a rare measure to sidestep leadership,Â 62Republicans teamed up withÂ 142 Democrats Mondayto force a vote on the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank inthe House.
The discharge petition, spearheaded by Tennessee Republican StephenFincher , set up a vote Tuesday to revive the federal agency— which provides low-interest, taxpayer-backed financing toforeign companies purchasing American goods—Â whose charter expired in July.
Proponents of the Ex-Im Bank say itâ€™s neededto promote trade and remain globally competitive, while critics sayit’s a form of crony capitalism and feel private-sector banksare capable of filling the void.
The measureÂ doesn’t allow for amendments orrequire a rule to bring itÂ to aÂ vote.
Several Republicans spoke out against using the unprecedentedmethod, includingÂ Financial Services Committee ChairmanJeb Hensarling of Texas, saying it gives the minority power andundermines the party during a timeÂ of chaos.
â€œI respect my colleagues whobelieveÂ Ex–ImÂ is essential economic development, justas I respect those who believeÂ Ex–ImÂ isunfair and harmful corporate welfare,”HensarlingÂ said in a statement earlier this month.“But I hope all Republicans, regardless of their stand onthis one issue, will recognize that signing a discharge petitionsets a very serious, very dangerous precedent for our Republicanmajority that goes far beyondÂ Ex–Im.”
Fincher argued thatÂ allowing the bank’s charterto expire cost the country jobs.
“The House Financial Services Committee’s refusal tonegotiate this bill for more than a year has been heartbreaking.American job creators deserve an up or down vote on the Ex-ImBank,” Fincher said in a statement.Â “Thoseopposed to the discharge process claim that this tool is designedto be used exclusively by the minority. That’s simply nottrue.Â This is a Republican-led discharge petition thatfollows regular order and gives individual Members a path forwardwhen a committee fails to act.”
It is unclear whether the bill will be brought to the floor inthe upper chamber if it passes the House tomorrow.