House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy does not make any mention of Congress extending the controversial Export-Import Bank's charter in a memo Friday to House Republicans titled "Initial September outlook."
Rather, McCarthy focuses on three other items which, he says, members might "wish to factor into your district events" over this summer recess — including a package that deals with the Keystone XL pipeline and other energy matters.
McCarthy does write that he plans to provide more details of the House's September agenda later this month — and the list of three items in his memo Friday certainly does not appear to be a complete rundown of what the House will do. For example, Speaker John Boehner has already said the House will take up a continuing resolution when it gets back to keep government funded beyond the Oct. 1 start of the new fiscal year.
But McCarthy's omission of the Ex-Im Bank is sure to add to the speculation over whether he plans to stick to his claim in June that he intends to let its charter expire this fall. Such a move would appease many House conservatives — including Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas — who are demanding that the bank not be reauthorized.
But others in the Republican conference are calling for its reauthorization. The Financial Services panel continues to discuss and hold hearings on the Ex-Im Bank's future.
The Ex-Im bank makes taxpayer-backed loans to help overseas entities buy U.S. products, authorizing roughly $27 billion in fiscal 2013 to back about $37 billion in export sales. Its charter comes due for renewal on Sept. 30.
The three items McCarthy writes that the House will take up and send to the Senate after the return to session, beginning on Sept. 8, are:
- A consolidated energy package "that will, among other things, open federal lands, support the Keystone XL pipeline, and prevent environmental regulations that are killing American-made energy";
- A "single package of our jobs bills," designed, says McCarthy, to increase pressure on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to finally put American workers and economic growth first; and
- A bill already reported out of the Energy and Commerce Committee that would, according to the memo, allow those who purchase health care on the group market to keep the plans they had, "just as the president promised." The memo says last year millions of Americans in the individual insurance market found that wasn't true, and lost access to the plans they had.
There was no immediate comment from McCarthy's office beyond the memo.