The Senate voted to advance a proposal to extend the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s charter as part of highway funding legislation, reports the National Journal.
In a 67-26 vote, the Senate voted to end debate on Sen. Mark Kirk's amendment reauthorizing the 81-year-old bank, which lost its charter to back new loans.
Failure to pass a highway bill before the end of the month would mean payments to states for road and bridge projects could soon be reduced and spread out, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.
The Export-Import Bank will likely be added to highway legislation, but faces an uncertain future in the House, where there's strong opposition from conservatives to the bank as well as to the underlying highway measure, according to the National Journal.
The Senate's version of the highway bill, which is on track to pass before July 31, sets policy and authorizes transportation programs for six years, but with funding for only three of those years. The House has passed a five-month extension of transportation programs without the Export-Import Bank included.