In a rare and contentious Sunday session, the Senate voted, 67 to 26, to revive the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which helps foreign customers purchase goods from U.S. companies. The vote overcame a filibuster by a conservative faction of Republicans, allowing supporters to attach funding for the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) to a transportation bill that is expected to pass in the Senate this week.
The bank's financing expired at the end of June, preventing the agency from issuing new loans. Its future in the House is uncertain, The New York Times notes. A clear majority of House members support funding Ex-Im, but the GOP group that opposes the measure includes the House majority leader, majority whip, and the chairmen of the Ways and Means Committee and Financial Services committees. Opposition to the bank is a key issue of the Club for Growth and brothers Charles and David Koch — all GOP presidential candidates but Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) support letting it wither away — while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers are lobbying for its resuscitation.
On Friday, the intra-GOP fight went public, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) moved to advance the Ex-Im measure. One of the 2016 presidential candidates, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), took to the Senate floor and called McConnell a liar, earning a rebuke from fellow Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). "Squabbling and sanctimony may be tolerated on the campaign trail, but not in here," Hatch said on the Senate floor. "We are not here on some frolic or to pursue personal ambitions."
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