Ex-Im, PBOR 2 Backers Must Return To Drawing Board

 - August 3, 2015, 9:20 AM

U.S. House and Senate approval of a three-month extension of the highway reauthorization bill late last week dimmed hopes for renewal of the Export-Import Bank’s charter before its funding runs out on September 30. At the same time, backers of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 (PBOR 2) must look for a new means to get their bill through after the Senate failed to act on a PBOR 2 amendment that also had been intended for the highway bill.

The Senate earlier last week had agreed to amend its version of long-term highway reauthorization legislation with a measure to renew Ex-Im. But House leaders, highly critical of the Senate long-term highway reauthorization bill, refused to consider it. Instead the House approved a simple three-month extension of highway funding. With time running out on highway authorization – Congress had until the end of July to act – the Senate agreed to the three-month extension. The Senate also approved the longer-term bill, but opted against considering other amendments given the gap between the House and Senate that already existed on the legislation. As a result, scores of potential amendments, including PBOR 2, did not come up for consideration

Ex-Im's authorization expired at the end of June, preventing the agency from guaranteeing new loans. But the agency is funded through September 30. A three-month extension of the highway bill makes it unlikely that Congress would act on it before September 30, forcing Ex-Im backers also to look for another means for renewal.