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 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'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 CrapoSenate Dems want watchdog to probe if SEC official tried to pressure bank on gun policies Community development impact remains clear with NMTC post-tax reform Overnight Finance: Trump signs Dodd-Frank rollback | Snubs key Dems at ceremony | Senate confirms banking regulator | Lawmakers lash out on Trump auto tariffs 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."