The Senate is likely to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) after Democrats caved yesterday to Republican demands for votes on five amendments.
While no vote was held on the legislation at large yesterday, an agreement was reached between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) allowing a set of GOP amendments to be considered. Each amendment would require a 60-vote majority to be included in the final bill.
Given the controversial nature of the five amendments, which are geared toward handcuffing Ex-Im's operations in some way, their inclusion in the final version of the reauthorization bill is unlikely. Simply allowing them to come up for a vote, however, has quieted Republican objections. While the full legislation will also require 60 votes to proceed to the President's desk for enactment, that goal is more easily reached since the bank enjoys bipartisan support, whereas the amendments belong to one side of the aisle.
The bill, H.R. 2072, was approved by the House of Representatives last week by an overwhelming 330-93 margin. Under its terms, Ex-Im's charter, which is set to expire at the end of this month, would be extended for another three years. The bank's lending limit would also be increased from its current $100 billion to $140 billion.
Jacob Barron, CICP, NACM staff writer