Matt Fuller, Roll Call:
It was a smaller room than usual for the monthly “Conversations with Conservatives” event Wednesday. There were fewer attendees than normal, too, both among members and the audience. But among the many topics conservatives delved into — over plates of their customary Chick-fil-A — members seemed united, even hopeful, on one item: the Export-Import Bank.
It’s no surprise conservatives want to kill the bank, which has a charter that expires on June 30. But it was surprising just how confident members sounded that they would actually end the 81-year-old agency. Conservatives said they think the bank’s looming expiration is one deadline GOP leaders won’t cave on.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan began the hour-long discussion by noting that the Republican committee chairmen with jurisdiction over Ex-Im have all come out against the export credit agency, which finances and insures foreign purchases of U.S. goods. Jordan noted that Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy had both stated opposition to reauthorization, and that GOP presidential candidates have also said the bank’s charter should expire. He even pointed out that, to end the bank, Congress just has to do nothing — “something Congress is usually pretty good at,” he said
“When are the stars going to line up better for that position than now?” Jordan asked.