Senate panel rejects Trump nominee Scott Garrett to head Ex-Im Bank

MARY 8 2014 FILE

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

The administration had nominated Scott Garrett, a Republican former congressman from New Jersey, who has been a longtime opponent of the bank that helps USA exporting firms compete overseas, once saying it "embodies the corruption of the free enterprise system".

"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".

After his nomination he pledged to keep the bank "fully open" but struggled to persuade senators that he now believed in the bank's core mission of providing taxpayer-backed loans and guarantees for USA export transactions.

Boeing and General Electric are two biggest beneficiaries of financing from the bank.

During years of controversy over the export credit agency's future, some Republicans including Garrett sought to close its operations completely.

The Trump pick was shelved by the panel
The Trump pick was shelved by the panel

The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday rejected Scott Garrett, President Trump's choice to lead the Export-Import Bank, an agency that provides financing for American exports.

Mike Rounds (S.D.) and Tim Scott (S.C.) - joining with Democrats on the committee to reject the nomination, a rare break from Trump for Republicans.

Garrett had a contentious confirmation hearing before the banking panel in November.

Democratic senators at the hearing were unconvinced of Garrett's change of heart, and remained so when the nomination came up for a vote. Those like Rounds say that the bank helps corporations and companies finance their business in the foreign market.

In 2014, the bank's last fully operational year, it backed $27.5 billion in exports and sent $674 million in profits to the U.S. Treasury.

United States lawmakers, led by conservative Republicans pushing for smaller government, including Garrett, let the bank lapse in 2015. Garrett, a former New Jersey congressman, has been getting help throughout the nomination process from Dan Murphy, a lobbyist for a high-powered Washington firm that counts Airbus among its clients, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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