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Republicans back off on killing the Export-Import Bank

Alex Wong

The fight over the Export-Import Bank is a fight over a deadline: the Bank's charter expires at the end of September, and if Congress does nothing, the Bank will collapse.

But the Ex-Im Bank's opponents got some bad news tonight: Reuters reports that House Speaker John Boehner "will propose extending the U.S. Export-Import Bank's charter through June 30 next year". The vote could come as early as Thursday. Conservatives who opposed the Bank's reauthorization are furious:

The extension, assuming it passes, doesn't fully resolve the question of the Export-Import Bank's future, but it does suggest that conservative enthusiasm for killing the Bank has not quite taken over the Republican Party.

The movement against the Bank strengthened after the unexpected defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a race where Cantor's support for the Bank was an issue. Cantor successor as majority leader, Kevin McCarthy, quickly announced that he would oppose the Bank's reauthorization — an effort, in part, to show he was heeding the lesson's of Cantor's defeat. Reformist conservatives have elevated the fight over the Bank into a key ideological contest in the Republican Party. But the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers lobbied hard for the Bank, and it looks like the Republican leadership has listened, at least for now.

Though Democrats — including then-Senator Barack Obama — have at times opposedthe Export-Import Bank, they're currently in favor of its reauthorization. "I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that it doesn't go away," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters.

Read Vox's full guide to the Export-Import Bank here.

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