House Votes to Reauthorize U.S. Export-Import Bank

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Strong bipartisan support increases odds that embattled agency will be revived.

The House Tuesday approved the reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, with a majority of Republicans joining almost all Democrats to demonstrate a broad bipartisan coalition to revive the export-finance agency.

The measure passed 313-118.

More than half of the House’s 247 Republicans—127 in all—voted to renew the bank’s charter. Three years ago, 147 out of 242 backed it.

Passage had already been assured after Republicans had joined most Democrats on Monday in calling up a so-called discharge petition, a rarely effective procedural tool that allows a majority of lawmakers to dislodge legislation that has been held back by party leaders.

But Tuesday’s vote showed that an aggressive campaign by conservative critics to close the bank had done little over the last three years to turn GOP lawmakers away from supporting the bank. The vote marked a big victory for business groups that had fought to secure its revival.

The bank was unable to process new business this summer after its charter expired. GOP leaders bottled up legislation that would have reauthorized the agency’s charter with some changes.

The House bill copied language in a Senate amendment that passed with 64 votes in July. The House hasn’t acted on the underlying transportation bill to which it was attached, and Senate leaders have said they are unlikely to consider a stand-alone reauthorization measure.

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