Republicans Joined Democrats to Reject Trump's Nominee To Head Export-Import Bank

Scott Garrett

The panel voted 13-10 not to support Mr. Garrett, a New Jersey Republican who served seven terms in the House before retiring in 2017.

Failing to convince the Senate committee weighing his confirmation that his views on maintaining the Export-Import Bank had changed, Scott Garrett was rejected as President Trump's choice to lead the Export-Import Bank.

"So while I wish him no ill, I do believe that he was not the right person to be the chairman".

"I think that strong desire on his part to see [the bank] abolished as an example of crony capitalism would not have worked in the operation of the bank", Rounds said.

White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short said in a statement they will "work with the committee on a path forward".

"If there was ever somebody who didn't belong at the helm of the Ex-Im bank, it was Scott Garrett", said Democratic minority leader Sen. "Given Mr. Garrett's long history opposing the Ex-Im Bank, I believe it would be hard for him to accomplish both of those goals". Without a full quorum, Ex-Im can only authorize loans under $10 million, which make up only around 15 percent of the Bank's total business.

If President Trump is serious about revitalizing US manufacturing, he should restore the Ex-Im Bank to effective operational status immediately, which means appointing a full quorum of directors deeply and genuinely committed to supporting the important role the bank plays.

The agency supports US exports by backing loans to foreign buyers and providing credit insurance.

Despite pledges by Garrett to keep the agency "fully functioning" should he be confirmed by the Senate, lawmakers - including some Republicans - remained unconvinced.

He told the committee during his nomination process, however, that he had since changed his mind. He said he would support reauthorization of Ex-Im when it comes up in 2019.

Garrett insisted his opinion of the bank had changed simply because a new president had taken office. "The White House should now withdraw Mr. Garrett's nomination and quickly nominate a chair that will actually fulfill the mission of the Ex-Im bank, and in the meantime, Leader McConnell should move quickly to confirm the other five pending nominees at the bank and restore a quorum so that the bank can once again operate at full capacity".

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