The Corner

Economy & Business

Re: There Is No ‘Deal’ to Reauthorize Ex-Im

In response to Not a Sign of Confidence, Methinks

Iain’s claim that “the Senate returned to regular order under Senator McConnell’s leadership” is a bit odd in the context of discussing fast-track trade authority. The New York Times had this to say on May 21:

Three senators — Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington; Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat of North Dakota; and Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina – refused to vote to consider the Pacific trade legislation until they got a commitment from Mr. McConnell for a vote to extend Ex-Im’s life.

In an extended huddle, supporters of the bank negotiated with Republican leaders. Ms. Cantwell even took a call from President Obama during the protracted vote.

Finally, when Mr. McConnell relented, the group turned en masse to vote to end the filibuster, providing the winning margin.

There is nothing regular about that, and Graham helpfully confirmed the deal-making via Twitter: “Most important aspect of agreement is we will also have the opportunity to vote on #ExIm reauth attached to the Highway Trust Fund reauth.”

Even if you dismiss that as simply allowing senators to “exert their rights under the rules of the Senate and offer an amendment on an amendable vehicle” as Iain does, it is undeniable that senators have been denied that right multiple times this year.

Most notable was McConnell’s successful effort to block senators Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio from receiving a vote on a critical amendment on Israel during the debate over Iran. As Cruz mentioned in his op-ed, he and Senator Jeff Sessions were also denied a vote on amendments to fast-track authority in May. Those were not decisions made by chance. As Senate majority whip John Cornyn explained earlier this year, “The only person who makes the decision is the leader.”

We have not returned to Reid-like management, but it is quite clear how the Senate is being run this year. McConnell has asserted his prerogative on numerous occasions. He is also opposed to the Export-Import Bank. As such, it is perfectly reasonable for him to treat a rogue amendment to resurrect the Ex-Im Bank (which will be expired and winding down its operations as required by law) the same way he treated the Rubio, Cotton, Cruz and Sessions amendments. 

Most Popular


‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’

It was just one more segment to fill out the hour, and thereby fill the long 24 hours of Saturday’s cable news on November 2. Or so it seemed. Navy SEAL Mike Ritland was on the Fox News program Watters World to talk to Jesse Watters about trained German shepherds like the one used in the raid that found ... Read More
Politics & Policy

ABC Chief Political Analyst: GOP Rep. Stefanik a ‘Perfect Example’ of the Failures of Electing Someone ‘Because They Are a Woman’

Matthew Dowd, chief political analyst for ABC News, suggested that Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) was elected due to her gender after taking issue with Stefanik's line of questioning during the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday. “Elise Stefanik is a perfect example of why just electing ... Read More
Film & TV

The Manly Appeal of Ford v Ferrari

There used to be a lot of overlap between what we think of as a Hollywood studio picture (designed to earn money) and an awards movie (designed to fill the trophy case, usually with an accompanying loss of money). Ford v Ferrari is a glorious throwback to the era when big stars did quality movies about actual ... Read More
White House

Impeachment and the Broken Truce

The contradiction at the center of American politics in Anno Domini 2019 is this: The ruling class does not rule. The impeachment dog-and-pony show in Washington this week is not about how Donald Trump has comported himself as president (grotesquely) any more than early convulsions were about refreshed ... Read More

What Happened to California Republicans?

From 1967 to 2019, Republicans controlled the California governorship for 31 of 52 years. So why is there currently not a single statewide Republican officeholder? California also has a Democratic governor and Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the state legislature. Only seven of California’s 53 ... Read More

China’s Holocaust of Children

Using the aggressively bland term “one-child policy” is a bit like saying that 1942 Germany had restrictions on Jews. You may never have thought much about how a huge nation enforces a limit of one baby per family, but the horrifying details of China's Holocaust of children emerge in a powerful documentary ... Read More