The fate of the Export-Import Bank could be tied to a long-term transportation bill.
The Senate included reviving the bank in its six-year $350 billion highway bill that will not be taken up by the House until September.
Congressman Adrian Smith says if the Export-Import Bank is to be revived, it should undergo change.
“Bare minimum: there needs to be significant reforms in Ex-Im,” according to Smith. “So far, I don’t have a lot of colleagues who resist that notion.”
The Export-Import Bank provides low-interest loans to help U.S. agriculture and companies to sell their goods and services overseas. Its charter expired at the end of June.
Smith says the future of the bank is uncertain.
“Yes, it has officially expired and yet there are some contracts still in place that will last some time, protecting us, some of the exporters as well. I would hope that we can find some solutions, though,” Smith says.
Sen. Deb Fischer voted for the Senate transportation package, but not for the amendment that added revival of the Export-Import Bank to it.
“I did not vote for that amendment that passed and was attached to the bill, but this is a case when you have two houses in Congress, it offers those opportunities that if the House doesn’t want it in the House won’t put it in,” Fischer says.
Highway funding has been extended for three months as the House and Senate negotiate differences in the transportation bill.