WASHINGTON (AP) - The federal Export-Import Bank is showing some signs of life, more than three months after it expired.

WASHINGTON (AP) The federal Export-Import Bank is showing some signs of life, more than three months after it expired.

House Democrats and Republican backers are uniting to revive the charter of the small federal agency. The bank helps U.S. companies sell their products overseas, by underwriting financing for foreign customers.

The coalition is teaming up to bypass opposition from the tea party and top GOP leaders, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the favorite to become the new speaker.

In a rarely used congressional maneuver, supporters are gathering signatures on a "discharge petition" that would allow them to force a House vote on legislation.

The bank's charter expired June 30. It' been unable to approve new applications or fulfill its mission of helping overseas buyers purchase U.S. products like airplanes and heavy equipment.