jack Torry in our Washington Bureau is reporting that Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers of central Ohio predicted Thursday that the U.S. House will soon defy a handful of arch conservatives and re-authorize a federal agency which provides credit to foreign companies buying U.S. goods.
Stivers, a suburban Columbus lawmaker who is politically close to outgoing House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester Twp., has helped gain the signatures of more than 30 House Republicans to a petition which would force House leaders to bring a bill to the floor renewing the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
The combination of roughly 45 Republicans and most House Democrats will supply the 218 votes needed to bring the bank measure to the floor.
“I hope that doesn’t have to happen, but that provision is in our rules for circumstances just like this,” Stivers said. Declaring that the bank “is important for jobs and generates a profit for government,” Stivers said he believes a bill renewing the bank “will pass soon.”
Although the Senate overwhelmingly agreed to re-authorize the bank earlier this year, Republican Jim Jordan of Urbana and a small number of conservative Republicans prevented the full House from voting on a similar measure.
The House’s failure to renew the bank has appalled large and small U.S. companies who contend they rely on the bank’s credit and insurance to help them sell their goods abroad. GE Aviation in suburban Cincinnati has been particularly critical of Jordan and Gov. John Kasich for opposing renewal of the bank.
Jordan and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, have argued the bank is a handout to foreign customers of large U.S. companies that do not need the money to export abroad.
Between 2007 and 2014, more than 360 Ohio companies relied on credit guarantees provided by the bank to export $3 billion worth of products.