Last Friday, 218 Members of the House (including 42 Republicans) made a sudden and uncommon move called a discharge petition to bring a re-authorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank out of committee without a vote. Although GOP leadership in the Senate have indicated that they are unlikely to pass this specific bill, the tactic demonstrated that the House has the strength to revive the expired corporate welfare bank if the Senate were to reauthorize it in a separate bill.
You can see the official list of signers of the petition HERE.
In this discharge petition – a procedure that has not been used successfully since 2002 – the signers are giving the bird to House conservatives, and House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling in particular. Hensarling has led a commendable principled stand against reauthorizing what he has correctly called a "sweetheart deal" for politically-connected banks and companies, effectively freezing the bill to reauthorize Ex-Im in his committee throughout this Congress and the last. It was thanks in part to Hensarling’s leadership – and a massive conservative grassroots outcry – that the Export-Import Bank’s authorization was allowed to expire this June.
It is noteworthy, then, that the sponsor of the petition was Congressman Stephen Fincher, a member of Hensarling’s committee. Using a motion to go around one’s chairman in the House like this is considered a grave disrespect, and would normally bring condemnation upon the perpetrator by his colleagues. But such is the special interest power behind the bank that the petition drew little fire from most senior Republicans, even other committee chairmen who stand to lose power by this precedent.
Consistent with our commitment to keeping the Ex-Im Bank expired for good, FreedomWorks has included the discharge petition among our Key Votes for Congress in 2015. Members who signed the petition will have their score reduced as a result. You can check out whether your representative signed the petition HERE!