Republicans move to revive government bank loathed by conservatives

The Export-Import Bank has become a flashpoint between GOP leadership and the activist right.

By Jake Sherman and Lauren French

Supporters of the Export-Import Bank have secured enough Republican support to bring an extension of the agency's charter to the House floor later this month, according to sources involved in the whipping.

More than 30 Republicans have signed on to a discharge petition, which would force a vote on reauthorizing the government-backed credit agency. Republicans expect upwards of a dozen more supporters. The vast majority of Democrats are expected to sign the petition.

If the numbers hold, there is nothing the GOP leadership could do to stop a vote on an extension.

A renewal of the bank's charter would likely come to the floor after Oct. 21, when the discharge petition ripens. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), a longtime supporter of the bank, is leading the effort. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), who is a key figure in the whipping effort, said he believes the bill will "pass soon."


There has not been a successful discharge petition since the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation passed in 2002.