Senate panel rejects Trump's nominee to lead Ex-Im Bank

The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday rejected President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE's nominee to lead the Export-Import Bank.

The panel, in a 10-13 vote, declined to advance the nomination of Scott GarrettErnest (Scott) Scott GarrettManufacturers support Reed to helm Ex-Im Bank Trump taps nominee to lead Export-Import Bank Who has the edge for 2018: Republicans or Democrats? MORE, a former Republican congressman from New Jersey.

Two Republicans — Sens. Mike RoundsMarion (Mike) Michael RoundsGOP senator: Trump thinks funding deal is 'thin gruel' Lawmakers put Pentagon's cyber in their sights Endorsing Trump isn’t the easiest decision for some Republicans MORE (S.D.) and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottSenate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Senate passes bill to make lynching a federal crime Partnerships paving the way to sustain and support Historically Black Colleges and Universities MORE (S.C.) — joined Democrats in opposing the nominee. 

“If there was ever somebody who didn’t belong at the helm of the Ex-Im bank, it was Scott Garrett," said Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration MORE (D-N.Y.). 

Schumer called on Trump to withdraw Garrett's nomination and choose someone who will "fulfill the mission of the Ex-Im bank." 

Garrett's nomination proved deeply controversial with the Banking Committee, and his chances of being recommended by the panel seemed to plunge last week when Rounds announced he would oppose Garrett. Yet the White House refused to pull his name from consideration.

Marc Short, the White House's legislative affairs director, on Tuesday said it was disappointing "that the Senate Banking Committee missed this opportunity to get the Export-Import Bank fully functioning again."

Short said the White House will "work with the committee on a path forward."

At his confirmation hearing last month, senators from both parties grilled Garrett over his push to disband the Ex-Im Bank as a member of Congress.

While in the House, Garrett was among the conservatives who persistently tried to shut down the Ex-Im Bank on the grounds that its “crony capitalism distorts the market to help some of America’s biggest companies."

Senators questioned whether his views had changed and asked why he should be allowed to lead the agency now.

Garrett vowed that he would let the bank “continue to fully operate,” but many of the senators were unconvinced.

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Hill's Morning Report - Can Bernie recapture 2016 magic? Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Trump, Dems open drug price talks | FDA warns against infusing young people's blood | Facebook under scrutiny over health data | Harris says Medicare for all isn't socialism On The Money: Smaller tax refunds put GOP on defensive | Dems question IRS on new tax forms | Warren rolls out universal child care proposal | Illinois governor signs bill for minimum wage MORE of Ohio, the top Democrat on the panel, on Tuesday said senators from both parties left that Nov. 1 hearing without any concrete proof that Garrett had actually changed his mind about Ex-Im.

Rounds said he opposed Garrett's nomination “because I believe he’s a principled man who simply believes in the abolishment of the bank.”

“I think that strong desire on his part to see it abolished as an example of crony capitalism would not have worked in the operation of the bank,” he said during the hearing. 

“So while I wish him no ill, I do believe that he was not the right person to be the chairman,” he said.

Rounds said he wants to work with the White House to find a chairman who would work to reform the bank rather than kill it. 

Major business groups in Washington, such as the National Association of Manufacturers, waged an aggressive campaign against Garrett, accusing him of harboring an ideological agenda for the agency.

“The Senate Banking Committee did right by America’s manufacturing workers today by rejecting Scott Garrett’s nomination,” said Jay Timmons, the group's president and CEO. 

“This agency, which has supported 1.4 million jobs over the past several years, is too important for manufacturers and our economy to be led by someone who has consistently tried to destroy it,” Timmons said. 

The committee on Tuesday did approve four other nominees to serve on the Ex-Im board — Kimberly Reed, Spencer BachusSpencer Thomas BachusFormer congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles The key for EXIM's future lies in accountability Manufacturers support Reed to helm Ex-Im Bank MORE, Judith Pryor and Claudia Slacik. If they are confirmed by the Senate, that would give Ex-Im a quorum, allowing the agency to approve business deals of greater than $10 million.

The bank has lacked a quorum for nearly two years. The Banking panel under then-Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyHow the border deal came together Winners and losers in the border security deal GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration MORE (R-Ala.) refused to consider former President Obama’s nominees for the bank's board.

Brown said that there are $37 billion worth of deals in the Ex-Im pipeline more than $10 million. About $8 billion to $10 billion of those could potentially be approved within a month, he said.

Timmons urged the Senate to quickly confirm the other four nominees so the Ex-Im Bank can operate at full strength. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFox News has covered Ocasio-Cortez more than any 2020 Dem besides Warren: analysis Durbin after reading Green New Deal: 'What in the heck is this?' Dems think they're beating Trump in emergency declaration battle MORE's (R-Ky.) office said they had no guidance about whether the Senate would take up the four nominations to the five-member board. 

The Ex-Im Bank lends money to foreign buyers to promote U.S. exports, with Boeing and General Electric the two biggest beneficiaries of the financing. 

A GE spokesperson said the committee’s vote against Garrett is “a milestone for manufacturers across the U.S. whose customers require a fully functioning Ex-Im Bank.” 

“We urge the full Senate to move quickly on behalf of U.S. workers and companies of all sizes to guarantee the Bank can once again operate at full strength,” the spokesperson said.

- This story was updated at 1:39 p.m. Jordan Fabian contributed.