Conservative groups urge Trump to stick with Ex-Im Bank nominee

Conservative groups urge Trump to stick with Ex-Im Bank nominee
© Greg Nash

Nine conservative groups are urging President Trump to stick with his pick to head the Export-Import Bank amid growing opposition from business groups.

The groups expressed their staunch support for former Rep. Scott GarrettErnest (Scott) Scott GarrettOvernight Finance: Trump repeals consumer arbitration rule | GOP scrambles on tax bill | Trump floats repealing ObamaCare mandate in tax bill | Powell told he'll be picked for Fed chair | Fed holds off on rate hike | Bank nominee gets rough reception Manufacturers increase pressure against Ex-Im nominee Garrett Trump bank nominee gets rough reception at confirmation hearing MORE's (R-N.J.) nomination to head the Ex-Im Bank calling on the White House and congressional leaders to dismiss concerns of "special interest business groups."

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"On behalf of the following organizations representing millions of Americans, we write to strongly denounce the special interest business groups that are urging the White House to drop the appointment of Scott Garrett as the next president of the Export- Import Bank,” the groups wrote in a letter to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoOvernight Finance: GOP criticism of tax bill grows, but few no votes | Highlights from day two of markup | House votes to overturn joint-employer rule | Senate panel approves North Korean banking sanctions Senate panel approves North Korea banking sanctions Trump names Powell as chairman of Federal Reserve MORE (R-Idaho).

“It is beyond audacious that the recipients of the Bank’s subsidies believe that they, not the president, can select the person to run the very agency that will hand the goodies out to them," they wrote. 

Crapo has said he supports Garrett to lead the bank. 

Led by Club for Growth, the groups which include Heritage Action for America and FreedomWorks, argue that the bank represents corporate cronyism and should be overhauled.

Supporters, including the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and Business Roundtable, a group of the nation’s top CEOs, are opposed to Garrett's nomination.

House and Senate Democrats have joined the effort in urging Crapo to reject Garrett's nomination. 

While in office, Garrett was a leading critic of the Ex-Im Bank who worked to shut down the agency. 

Last month Jay Timmons, NAM’s president and CEO, wrote a scathing op-ed in The Wall Street Journal calling on Garrett to withdraw from consideration.

Business groups have battled with conservative members of Congress over the past two years trying to get the bank back to full strength after a nearly six-month shutdown in 2015.

The conservative groups pointed to EPA and Education department chiefs as examples of the “reformers” picked by Trump to clean up Washington. 

"We’re extremely hopeful that President Trump will ignore the special interests that are so desperate for their Export-Import Bank gravy train to continue," they wrote.

"To that end, our groups and the people we represent, will vocally oppose any nomination (or slate of nominations) to Ex-Im’s board if Garrett’s nomination is not considered."