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‘End Ex-Im’ Call Campaign Targets Bank’s Republican Supporters

Heritage Action, a conservative interest group, launched a phone call campaign on Wednesday intended to undermine political support for the Export-Import Bank.

In a press release, Heritage said the “End Ex-Im” campaign “will inform constituents in 31 Republican-held districts that their Representative supports reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, which is a slush fund for corporate welfare.” (RELATED: Is the Export-Import Bank Corporate Welfare?)

“Americans didn’t give Republicans a historic House majority to hand out favors to K Street lobbyists and well-connected special interests,” said Heritage CEO Michael Needham. “If lawmakers want to honor their mandate, they’ll allow the bank to expire and focus on advancing policies that create opportunity for all.”

Ex-Im was thrust into the spotlight last year, when a number of prominent Republicans, including Rep. Paul Ryan and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, led an effort to prevent Congress from reauthorizing the bank. (RELATED: Ex-Im Gives Billions to Boeing, Coal to Taxpayers)

They were ultimately forced to accept a compromise brokered by House Speaker John Boehner that keept Ex-Im open until June 30, though the bank’s opponents are hoping that the new Republican majorities in both houses of Congress will rally to prevent reauthorization.

Yet many Republicans continue to either support reauthorization or prefer reforming the bank to eliminating it outright, and could join with Democrats to force an extension through Congress. (RELATED: Is the Export-Import Bank Done?)

The lawmakers being targeted by the Heritage campaign, for instance, are all co-sponsors of a bill that would extend Ex-Im’s charter by a little more than three years, until Sep. 30, 2019.

Overall, the group is somewhat less conservative than the typical House Republican, receiving an average conservatism score of 54 percent from Heritage, compared to an average score of 61 percent for the whole caucus, which could potentially make them vulnerable to pressure from conservative constituents.

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