Discharge Petition In The House Forces Vote On Ex-Im Bank

Using a rare measure to sidestep leadership, 62Republicans teamed up with 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— whose charter expired in July.

Proponents of the Ex-Im Bank say it’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 measure doesn’t allow for amendments orrequire a rule to bring it to a vote.

Several Republicans spoke out against using the unprecedentedmethod, including Financial Services Committee ChairmanJeb Hensarling of Texas, saying it gives the minority power andundermines the party during a time of chaos.

“I respect my colleagues whobelieve Ex–Im is essential economic development, justas I respect those who believe Ex–Im isunfair and harmful corporate welfare,”Hensarling 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 beyond Ex–Im.”

Fincher argued that 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. “Thoseopposed to the discharge process claim that this tool is designedto be used exclusively by the minority. That’s simply nottrue. 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.

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