On October 27, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a move that would extend the bank’s authorization through 2019. Ex-Im reauthorization now moves to the Senate, where there is strong support for the bank. However, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is not likely to bring a stand-alone bill reauthorizing the Ex-Im to the Senate floor for a vote. This makes inclusion with a must-pass bill, such as long-term highway funding legislation, as the most likely vehicle for Ex-Im reauthorization. The House approved the proposal on a 313-118 vote, to both extend the life of the bank, and also add in key reforms designed to strengthen the bank’s risk management and transparency. Special thanks to the following members of the Orange County delegation who voted in support of Ex-Im reauthorization: Darrell Issa, Alan Lowenthall, Linda Sanchez, Loretta Sanchez, and Mimi Walters.
The proposal includes the creation of a chief risk officer and chief ethics officer, and would also require the Inspector General to regularly audit the bank’s risk management procedures. This action came as a result of a rarely utilized parliamentary procedure known as a Discharge Petition, whereby a floor vote can be forced if a majority of members sign the petition. This was necessary because the Chairman of the committee with jurisdiction, House Financial Services, refused to release the bill; citing that he would only do so if a majority of the Republican Conference supported the bill. The final vote tally proved that despite Chairman Henserling’s claim to the contrary, a majority of Republican’s did support the reauthorization of ExIm bank 127-117. For more information, contact Matt Petteruto, Vice President, Economic Development and Bryan Starr, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs.
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