Conservatives have succeeded in shutting down new business at the Export-Import Bank for more than four months now, but their victory will be short lived.
As soon as next week, talks will begin on a compromise House-Senate bill authorizing highway funding for the next six years. Included in the bills from both chambers are identical provisions to reauthorize the bank, essentially bringing it back to life.
The bank was supposed to be a major sticking point between the House and Senate highway bills. Senate Republicans included it as an amendment in their legislation in exchange for winning Democratic votes for a free trade bill. House Republicans appeared poised to fight to keep it out of their own highway bill.
Opponents included Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. But last week, House Republican leaders allowed the Export-Import Bank reauthorization to become part of the House-passed transportation bill through an oddly constructed rule governing debate.