Senate Resurrection of Export-Import Bank Stalled by Divided House

(New York Times, Washington, 25 & 29 July 2015) In a rare and fiery weekend session, the Senate voted on Sunday to resurrect the federal Export-Import Bank, handing the Republican Party’s most conservative wing a major defeat and setting up a showdown this week with House leaders divided over the moribund export credit agency. Congress recessed on Wednesday however without reauthorizing the 81-year-old agency, leaving its future more uncertain than ever before. Though conservatives were all but claiming a scalp in their crusade to shrink government, the Ex-Im Bank is not closed entirely. It must still manage a $107 billion portfolio of loans and loan guarantees, It cannot, however, enter new contracts and without reauthorization it will wind down over time. An alliance of exporters will continue to lobby to revive the agency, then, in part by alerting local and national media to examples of export deals and jobs that are threatened if foreign buyers turn to companies in China, Russia and other countries that provide credit assistance.