House votes to revive U.S. Export-Import Bank, dealing defeat to GOP hardliners

John Boehner and Paul Ryan disagree on the U.S. Export-Import Bank
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, the House voted, 313 to 118, to resuscitate the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an 81-year-old trade lending agency whose charter lapsed earlier this year. Free-market conservatives and most Republican leaders opposed reviving the bank, but Republican supporters and Democrats forced a vote by employing a little-used parliamentary maneuver to bring the bill out from the jurisdiction of the House Financial Services Committee, whose chairman had refused to allow a vote on it. In the end, a majority of Republicans and all but one Democrat voted in favor of the measure.

A large bipartisan majority of the Senate also approved renewing the Ex-Im Bank charter in July, overcoming a conservative filibuster, but that measure was attached to a transportation funding bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) opposes reviving the bank, but now that both chambers have backed it with large majorities, backers may prevail in getting the measure included in the final transportation bill.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) supports Ex-Im and wanted it approved before he steps down this month, but his presumptive replacement, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), noted his "strong disapproval" on Tuesday, saying he thinks "there are plenty other ways to expand opportunity in this country, and corporate welfare is not one of them." Supporters, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor groups, argue that extending loans to foreign customers buying U.S. goods creates (and preserves) jobs and boosts U.S. exports.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.