House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) have struck a deal on legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, agreeing to extend the bank’s charter for three years and to increase its lending authority to $140 billion.
According to a summary, the bill would require the Treasury Secretary to initiate multilateral negotiations with the purpose of phasing out aircraft subsidies. The bill would also require the bank to solicit public comment on any transaction more than $100 million.
Previous draft versions of the bill required a similar public comment procedures for loans that would go to purchase large aircraft. Cantor had pushed for provisions to address aircraft, something that Delta Air Lines lobbied for heavily.
The issue has split Republicans, with some conservatives fighting against reauthorizing the bank at all, and has roiled the $57 million airline industry lobby for which the bank is of the utmost importance.
Cantor sought a deal with Hoyer to overcome an estimated 50 to 70 Republican “no” votes that GOP leaders will need to leapfrog in order to pass the bill, but that decision has angered some conservatives.
“The agreement reached today to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank ends the uncertainty so many of our businesses have faced as the deadline for Congress to act approaches. I am glad that Democrats and Republicans were able to come together to provide the Export-Import Bank with the tools it needs to assist American exporters and help them compete in the global marketplace,” Hoyer said in a statement.
“While this bill is a bipartisan agreement, Republicans were able to include significant new reforms to the bank which will protect taxpayers and require the administration to engage in multilateral negotiations to bring about an end to government export subsidies,” an aide to the Republican leadership said.