Graham, Cantwell Threaten Trade Deal Over Ex-Im Bank

Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:18pm

With the Export-Import Bank’s charter set to expire at the end of June, Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., made a last-minute push on the floor Tuesday to include a reauthorization vote as part of any “fast-track” trade agreement, threatening to derail a trade deal Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has carefully managed over the past two weeks.

“My colleagues and I who support the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization, which is the majority in both the House and the Senate, have lost their patience with the ability to get this Bank before the Senate and before the House before that June 30 deadline,” Cantwell said. “So I have no compulsion at this moment to say that I don’t support moving forward on the cloture motion until we get an understanding of how this bank is going to be reauthorized.”

McConnell, who earlier in the day said he planned to schedule floor debate and a vote on Ex-Im, just not as an amendment to Trade Promotion Authority legislation, filed cloture on “fast-track” measures, setting up a vote on the package Thursday morning.