House Passes Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization Bill

October 29, 2015

The House of Representatives on October 27 passed legislation reauthorizing and reforming the Export-Import Bank of the United States by the comfortable vote margin of 313 to 118. Almost all House Democrats voted in favor of the legislation (186 yeas to 1 nay) while Republicans were split with 127 in favor and 117 against (52% to 48%).

The lopsided vote total on final passage of the bill (H.R. 597) belies the difficulty that Ex-Im proponents had in getting the legislation to the floor in the first place. Since the chairman of the committee of jurisdiction (Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Financial Services) and most House GOP leaders were opposed to the bill, it could not come to the floor through the “regular order.” So proponents had to resort to a rarely-used “discharge” procedure, led by Stephen Fincher (R-TN), to bring the bill to the floor without the committee’s consent.

After debate on the discharge motion on Monday, the House then voted, 246 to 177, to agree to the discharge motion.

H.R. 597 has now been transmitted to the Senate, where it will go straight to the calendar in the rule XIV process. But since there is determined opposition, passing H.R. 597 through the Senate that way would take at least a full week during which the Senate could conduct no other business, and Ex-Im proponents are more likely to leave identical Ex-Im reauthorization in the highway bill and get it to the President’s desk that way.


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