Trump considering withdrawing Ex-Im nominee: report

Trump considering withdrawing Ex-Im nominee: report
© Greg Nash

President Trump is considering pulling his nomination of former Rep. Scott GarrettErnest (Scott) Scott GarrettWho has the edge for 2018: Republicans or Democrats? Rejected Trump nominee quietly hired by SEC: report Trump taps USTR's Gerrish as acting head of Export-Import Bank MORE (R-N.J.) for president of the Export-Import Bank, Politico reported Friday.

The news that Trump could withdraw Garrett comes amid intensifying lobbying efforts by U.S. companies opposed to the nomination because of the former congressman's opposition to the agency while he was in Congress.

Garrett lost his reelection bid last year. But he has not convinced businesses that his views on the Export-Import Bank, which extends credit to foreign buyers of U.S. exports, have changed, according to Politico.

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Garrett has also faced scrutiny for reportedly telling lawmakers in a private meeting last year that he would not pay dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee because the organization sought to recruit gay congressional candidates. He has denied that he made such a statement. 

A White House spokeswoman said that Trump stands behind Garrett's nomination, asserting that the former representative is qualified to lead the Export-Import Bank.

But according to Politico, the administration is trying to find a way to withdraw Garrett from consideration without embarrassing the White House.

As a presidential candidate, Trump suggested that he would do away with the Export-Import Bank if elected.

But since taking office, he has changed his tone on the agency, telling The Wall Street Journal in an interview in April that "actually, it's a very good thing."

He nominated Garrett and former Rep. Spencer BachusSpencer Thomas BachusManufacturers ramp up pressure on Senate to fill Ex-Im Bank board Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE (R-Ala.) to the bank's board last month.