Now, the Speaker may be able to defend his decision to push the highway bill because it expires on October 29th (but even then, a fix doesn’t require a big bill since a simple extension would be enough to maintain the status quo). But no deadline exists that can be used to justify siding with the Democrats to reauthorize Ex-Im. Action on Ex-Im would be especially bold and telling considering that everyone else in the GOP leadership is against it, and Kevin McCarthy, likely the next speaker, has made it clear that he wants Ex-Im to stay dead. We will be watching.
But we may not have to wait too long to know whether Boehner takes the Democrats’ side. According to rumors, he met with Nancy Pelosi on the House floor to talk about Ex-Im. That seems to have encouraged Representative Stephen Fincher of Tennessee to make his move. According to The Hill’s Kevin Cirilli, Fincherwill try to revive Ex-Im with the help of Democrats by using ”a rarely used legislative maneuver” to bring a bill to the floor without the consent of the committee of jurisdiction (in this case, Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s committee). And in case anyone is confused about his loyalties: Fincher is using all the talking points from his friends on K Street to justify his actions. Speaker Boehner does have to accept the discharge petition to begin the process, but we can speculate that he already has.