For the second time in a week, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has rejected the idea of passing a Senate long-term highway funding bill that would include a provision to revive the Export-Import Bank.
"My best advice to the Senate is to get our highway bill moving forward," McCarthy told reporters.
McCarthy said the House will adjourn in four days, on Thursday, and will not stick around to take up any highway spending measure sent from the Senate.
His decision essentially ends any hope of reviving the authorization of the Export-Import Bank, which expired on June 30. Many Republicans and almost every Democrat wants to keep the bank alive, but a significant number of conservative lawmakers call the bank a form of corporate welfare.
When the House adjourns this week, it does not return until early September, by which time the bank will be more than two months without a reauthorization.
An overwhelming majority of Senate lawmakers voted Sunday in favor of attaching an amendment to revive the bank to the Senate highway funding bill. They believe the bank supports more than 100,000 American jobs that would be lost without its survival.
"Seems like the Senate had a large vote," McCarthy acknowledged. "I don't think you would see that same vote in the House."
McCarthy, R-Calif., has repeatedly called for the GOP-led Senate to instead take up a House-passed measure that authorizes highway funding until Dec. 18. He also seemed to chastise the Senate for its plan to try to pass their highway bill and send it quickly to the House for consideration.
The Senate bill is more than 1,000 pages long and would authorize highway funding for six years but only pay for three years of projects.
"We are set to depart on Thursday," McCarthy said. "We are not sending the Senate a thousand-page bill on Wednesday, for them to take up."
McCarthy added that the House passed a short-term highway funding bill weeks ago, in plenty of time for the Senate to take it up. "We've been very clear," McCarthy said.
Ex-Im opponents celebrated McCarthy's reiteration that the House won't consider the Senate highway funding bill.
"Proponents have spent tens of millions of dollars to save this slush fund for corporate welfare," said Dan Holler, spokesman for the conservative Heritage Action. "Majority Leader McCarthy did the right thing."