WASHINGTON—Dozens of Republicans joined Democrats Friday to force a House vote to revive the US Export-Import Bank, a move that would be a blow to conservatives who let the bank lapse months ago.
The 81-year-old Ex-Im Bank provides favorable financing to US firms seeking to sell their products abroad and protects them against foreign buyer defaults. Large American firms and their subsidiaries and suppliers have used the bank for decades.
But many Republicans pushing for a smaller government refused to authorize it and the bank's charter expired on June 30. Ex-Im supporters said the closure cost thousands of American manufacturing jobs.
On Friday, a majority of 218 lawmakers in the 435-seat House of Representatives signed on to a discharge petition, an exceedingly rare procedure to get the reauthorization legislation onto the floor.
A vote is set for October 26, Democrat Steny Hoyer said.
"We have broken through the wall of obstruction in the Congress again to get the job done in a bipartisan way," House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters.
Some 42 Republicans signed the petition.
"This cannot wait any longer. If we do not get this done for the American people, the only thing our country will be exporting is jobs," said Representative Stephen Fincher.
Last month, General Electric said it was moving about 500 jobs outside the United States, most of them to France, blaming the congressional shuttering of Ex-Im for the shift.
The Senate passed a bank reauthorization in July by a vote of 64 to 29, but it was in the form of an amendment to a bill that stalled in the chamber.
Should the measure pass the House as expected this month, it would go back to the Senate for passage before heading to President Barack Obama for his signature.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015