- Rush Limbaugh: ‘There is no journalism anymore’
- Scott Brown struggles for political traction in New Hampshire Senate race
- California’s Jerry Brown cites God, ‘religious call’ to embrace illegals
- Hamid Karzai’s cousin killed by suicide bomber at Eid al-Fitr party
- Obama thanks Muslims for ‘building the very fabric of our nation’
- Israel flattens home of top Hamas leader, takes out power plant
- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
House OKs bill to reauthorize Ex-Im bank
Question of the Day
Shrugging off a revolt from fiscally conservative Republican backbenchers, the House on Wednesday pushed through a last-minute bill to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which supports American companies that do business in foreign countries. The bank’s current charter expires May 31.
Some congressional Republicans, backed by outside groups such as the Club for Growth, have opposed efforts to reauthorize the bank, threatening the existence of the 77-year-old independent federal agency. Major business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had lobbied heavily to keep the Ex-Im Bank in business.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, on Friday struck a last-minute deal with Democrats to raise the bank’s lending cap through Sept. 30, 2014, to $140 billion, from $100 billion currently, adding new language to address concerns about potential defaults.
“This is about making sure we can sell American all over the globe,” said Rep. Robert J. Dold, Illinois Republican. “It’s something that I think is vital, something that I think all of our colleagues should be supporting.”
“We can either stand in the way of America’s ongoing recovery,” added Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, New York Democrat, “or speed it up.”
But Rep. Tom McClintock, California Republican, said past Ex-Im Bank beneficiaries included bankrupt, scandal-plagued companies such as solar-panel maker Solyndra and energy company Enron.
“Legitimate companies have plenty of access to private capital,” he added. “They don’t need these subsidies.”
The House passed the measure with vote of 330-93, with all 93 “no” votes coming from Republicans. The measure was considered under an expedited House procedure that required supporters to win a two-thirds majority to pass.
The Senate is expected to approve the reauthorization in the next few days. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada promised earlier this week that his chamber would vote on the bill soon after the House approves it. It has wide support from Democrats.
Senate Republicans blocked an earlier vote on a similar measure, but now seem more receptive to it and have recently eased their opposition to the bank’s reauthorization.
The Obama administration, which has a goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2014, has voiced support for the bill, and the president is expected to sign it soon after the Senate approves it.
The bank’s primary mission is to provide financing for U.S. exporters, in particular to markets where private bank loans are not available at competitive rates. Borrowers range from small businesses to giant corporations such as airplane manufacturer Boeing.
Under the House bill, the Treasury Department will be directed to hold multilateral negotiations with foreign countries that have similar banks to reduce or end all export subsidies. The Ex-Im Bank will also be required to maintain a default rate below 2 percent or risk losing future funding.
Supporters of the bill say this won’t be a problem because the bank already is below that rate. In fact, the bank generally turns a profit. In 2011, the bank generated $700 million in revenues from fees charged for its loan guarantees. It brought in a total of $3.4 billion between 2006 and 2010.
The Ex-Im Bank sparked an internal battle among Republicans, some of whom have supported reauthorization while others opposed it.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tim Devaney is a national reporter who covers business and international trade for The Washington Times. Previously, he worked for the Detroit News, Grand Rapids Press, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News. Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Dysfunction, disarray at Homeland Security management cited in IG's report
- GM's Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- Treasury sells last shares in 'Government Motors'
- U.S. businesses reach out quickly to partners in Iran
- General Motors ending Chevrolet sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- EPSTEIN: All IRS roads lead to the archivist
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- PRUDEN: When the hangman botches the job
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia's gay marriage ban
- KEENE: Thinking outside nanny-state box with Paul Ryan
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq