Last week, followers and supporters of Export Import Bank (EXIMBANK) were gratified to see EXIMBANK reauthorization secure a solid winning vote in the House of Representatives. Recognizing majority support and feeling the heat from traditional Republican contributors, resigning House Speaker John Boehner (R) circumvented obstructionist House Finance Committee Chairman Jim Hensarling (R) — who himself had been circumventing his committee’s support for EXIMBANK — and permitted a reauthorization vote to reach the House floor.
Yet come October’s end EXIMBANK remains closed.
The Senate passed their highway financing bill with EXIMBANK in it. The House passed a highway bill that does not include EXIMBANK. The House passed a standalone EXIMBANK reauthorization bill. Now the Senate — lead by a Mitch McConnell beholden to EXIMBANK antagonist Rand Paul – has blocked a standalone EXIMBANK reauthorization bill as recently as wee hours of Thursday night.
If this sounds confusing, it’s because it is. Credit Eureka’s friends in Congress update that EXIMBANK’s best chance remains as part of the highway financing bill. The Senate and House leadership have not indicated how they will handle the highway financing bill differences. Option 1 is a “message between houses” to resolve differences and eliminate the need for a joint conference committee (cte.). Or, Option #2, a traditional joint conference cte. where the members of Transportation, EPW, Commerce and Finance committees from both the Senate and House participate. The latter potentially is a messier process that may again include EXIMBANK opponents. New Speaker Paul Ryan will make the final joint committee membership decisions for the House.
“By year end” is not a comforting rallying cry to small and mid-size businesses who have been without EXIMBANK since end of June.
Until it is reauthorized.
Credit Eureka is again advising its Clients and Lending partners that if they have a pressing item, to proceed with commercial credit insurance market. As followers of our blog know, we have developed interim EXIMBANK credit alternative at a cost below the $10K per annum cited as the market minimum. Contact us to learn about the options available for you or your borrower.
Is there anything supporters of EXIMBANK can do to influence the outcome? Yes. Contact us.