It looks like the Export-Import Bank will hitch a ride on the highway bill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the highway bill would be the "obvious place" for a vote to keep the bank alive. That'd be over the objections of one Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who ripped GOP leaders earlier Tuesday and demanded they commit to killing the bank . Ex-Im Bank May Be Attached to Highway Bill
There's been some dispute between Ex-Im supporters and Republican leadership over whether or not a deal had been struck on an reauthorization vote prior to the charter's expiration at month's end in exchange for a prior vote on TPA.
But Tuesday, McConnell said that senators were given the opportunity for a test vote earlier this month and then floated the highway plan.
"What I’ve said repeatedly going back to our initial discussion on TPA is we would get a vote on an amendable vehicle in June — we’ve had that,” McConnell said. "That gave the supporters of Ex-Im the opportunity to demonstrate that the votes were there and then the highway bill will be open for amendment. And it’s pretty obvious that that would be a place for this vote to occur. But in connection to TPA, we’ve had no further discussions beyond what I’ve said a month ago."
McConnell had previously stated he did not believe the trade package, which has precarious support, was the appropriate place for an Ex-Im vote.
Senators Unveil Bipartisan 6-Year Transportation Bill Ex-Im Bank Has Big Majority in Senate Vote Cruz: Kill Ex-Im Before Voting for Trade Promotion Authority See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call's new video site. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.