By Laura Litvan and Brian Wingfield
House Speaker John Boehner is getting pressure to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank from a lobby that’s hard to ignore: manufacturers in and around his southwestern Ohio district that rely on the bank to finance overseas sales. About 200 Ohio companies have been urged to contact Boehner, and a General Electric Co. (GE) aviation subsidiary with 1,000 employees living in his district is lobbying him, all pushing him to oppose members of his party who want to shut the bank when its charter expires Sept. 30.“We think it’s an issue that deserves to be voted on, and the efforts to block it are very disturbing to us,” said Thomas Norwalk, vice chairman of the Southern Ohio District Export Council in Dayton, which is coordinating a last-ditch letter-writing campaign to Boehner from small exporters.
The Congress has 17 scheduled work days before the bank’s lending ability runs out. The Republican speaker has supported the bank in the past and hasn’t committed either way this year, even as other top Republicans including Majority Leader-elect Kevin McCarthy of California have joined the effort to end it. If a compromise is struck to save the bank, Boehner’s support will be necessary to guide it through the chamber.