The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday voted against confirming President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Export-Import Bank, as two Republicans joined Democrats in rejecting the former congressman.
"Mr. Garrett was a leader of the effort to slam shut the doors of America's export financing bank, and he can't hide his contempt for Ex-Im", said Senator Sherrod Brown of OH, the top Democrat on the Banking Committee.
The panel voted 13-10 to not advance the nomination of Scott Garrett, who represented New Jersey's 5th House district before he was defeated in last year's general election.
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.
The agency provides guarantees for US -based companies seek to finance export deals where conventional private-sector funding is not available.
The nomination of Garrett, who voted against reauthorizations of the bank in both 2012 and 2015, incensed many business interests, even those who agreed with other elements of the Trump agenda. But members were skeptical of his claims since he didn't tell the committee that he believed they were wrong when he made them.
Senator Tim Scott of SC, where Boeing has a final assembly plant for its Dreamliner aircraft, voted against Garrett. As a representative in Congress (before being voted out of office in 2016), Garrett had suggested that the bank should be completely abolished. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) if his "crusade to kill the bank was a mistake", Garrett pointed to a different administration being in charge since he was vocal in 2015 about taking down Ex-Im.
GE in a statement urged quick confirmation of the remaining EXIM nominees and hailed the committee vote as "a milestone for manufacturers across the US whose customers require a fully-functioning EXIM Bank".
"So while I wish him no ill, I do believe that he was not the right person to be the chairman". "We urge the full Senate to move quickly on behalf of USA workers and companies of all sizes to guarantee the bank can once again operate at full strength".