The Senate could vote as early as Tuesday on a jobs bill that includes an amendment reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank of the United States, John Hardy Jr., president of the Coalition of Employment Through Exports, said on Friday.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., chose to attach the reauthorization to the the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act that passed the House by an overwhelming margin on March 8, Hardy said.
The bank’s charter expired last September, and an extension expires on May 31. Hardy said the bigger concern is the Ex-Im Bank is expected to reach its $100 billion cap for loan underwriting by about May 1, forcing the bank to scale back on support of exporters.
Reauthorization would give the bank a four-year charter, and raise the cap to $140 billion, a level requested by the Obama administration. Hardy said another charter extension wouldn’t be enough because it did not address the lending cap issue.
The Ex-Im Bank’s reauthorization still faces stiff resistance from conservative Republicans, and there is a pending federal lawsuit in which Delta Air Lines and other carriers allege the Ex-Im Bank discriminated U.S. businesses by underwriting a $3.4 billion sale of Boeing aircraft to Air India.
Reuters reported Thursday that House Republicans last week offered a bill that would reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank for one year and increase the cap to $113 billion.