Republicans have spent the last month blocking the reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which helps companies access capital to help boost their exports to other countries, under the guise that it represents government intrusion into free markets. Despite conservative claims, the Ex-Im Bank isn’t financed by taxpayers (federal dollars are only used to guarantee its loans), but that hasn’t stopped the GOP from blocking Democratic efforts to reauthorize the bank for another four years while boosting its lending capacity from $100 billion to $140 billion.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) instead proposed a one-year, $113-billion reauthorization earlier this year — and today, Cantor and Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) are reportedly nearing a compromise that would reauthorize the bank, though details of the plan aren’t yet clear, The Hill reports:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) are close to striking a deal on reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, sources said Thursday.
Although the deal was not finalized as of Thursday, a House vote is considered likely next week.
Cantor has been among the GOP’s leaders in the fight against Ex-Im, pushing an agenda favored by Delta Airlines, with which he is a “close friend and supporter.” Reauthorization of Ex-Im has in the past been largely uncontroversial, and the Obama administration made lifting the loan limit a priority to help small businesses boost their exports and create jobs (Ex-Im also helps large businesses like Boeing, but it is especially crucial for small businesses that are trying to access financing in a tough economy). Cantor has also suggested reaching agreements with major trading partners to end export programs like Ex-Im, though as the Center for American Progress’ Sabina Dewan notes, that plan is hardly feasible.
Though details of the compromise aren’t yet clear, falling well short of the $140 billion target so Cantor can throw Delta another bone would, as Dewan has noted, jeopardizes Ex-Im’s expanded efforts to help America’s small businesses.