Trump nominee to head Ex-Im Bank in trouble

Trump nominee to head Ex-Im Bank in trouble
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE’s nominee to lead the Export-Import Bank appears unlikely to survive a scheduled committee vote next week.

Scott GarrettErnest (Scott) Scott GarrettBiz groups take victory lap on Ex-Im Bank Export-Import Bank back to full strength after Senate confirmations Manufacturers support Reed to helm Ex-Im Bank MORE, a former Republican lawmaker from New Jersey who endured a rough confirmation hearing in early November, has yet to sew up enough support in the Senate Banking Committee, which would block him from advancing to the full Senate.

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The Senate Banking Committee announced on Tuesday a hearing in a week to consider Garrett’s nomination, along with a slate of four other nominees that would provide the bank with a quorum for the first time in two years.

On Tuesday, Banking Committee Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoGOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe Nearing finish line, fight for cannabis banking bill shifts to the Senate On The Money: Trump strikes trade deal with Japan on farm goods | GOP senator to meet Trump amid spending stalemate | House passes cannabis banking bill | Judge issues one-day pause on subpoena for Trump's tax returns MORE (R-Idaho) said he wouldn’t make any predictions about how the vote will go.

"I’ll let the senators speak for themselves,” Crapo said.

He said he has been wanting to move to the vote for quite some time.

“I finally determined that I wasn't going to wait any longer. There wasn't any event or development that caused it."

But Garrett's nomination was on the brink of failure on Tuesday.

Republican Sen. Mike RoundsMarion (Mike) Michael RoundsAmerica's newest comedy troupe: House GOP 'Mike Pounce' trends on Twitter after Trump slip at GOP retreat Conservatives offer stark warning to Trump, GOP on background checks MORE (R-S.D.) said he will oppose Garrett, a decision that brought praise from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), which has campaigned for months against the former lawmaker for his past calls to kill the agency over what he deemed crony capitalism. 

Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the NAM, thanked Rounds on Twitter, saying his opposition brings a "big sigh of relief from MFG workers in South Dakota and across the country!"

Garrett's failure to win confirmation to helm the agency would represent a big win for manufacturers and business groups across the country, which have complained that his repeated attempts to shut down the Ex-Im Bank make him an unacceptable choice.

“Manufacturers and manufacturing workers are pleased that Scott Garrett’s nomination doesn’t appear to have enough support in committee to move forward,” Timmons said in a statement. 

“Garrett’s abysmal record demonstrates he would not run the Ex-Im Bank in good faith or stand up for the 1.4 million manufacturing workers whose jobs have depended on it," he said.

NAM encouraged the committee to move forward with the rest of the nominees.

Crapo said that each nomination — including Kimberly Reed, Spencer BachusSpencer Thomas BachusManufacturing group leads coalition to urge Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank Biz groups take victory lap on Ex-Im Bank On The Money: White House files notice of China tariff hikes | Dems cite NYT report in push for Trump tax returns | Trump hits Iran with new sanctions | Trump praises GM for selling shuttered Ohio factory | Ex-Im Bank back at full strength MORE, Judith Pryor and Claudia Slacik — will be voted on separately.

At Garrett's confirmation hearing on Nov. 1, Rounds doled out harsh criticism, saying that he remained unconvinced that his mind had changed about the bank.

He wasn't alone. 

South Carolina Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottBlood cancer patients deserve equal access to the cure Rand Paul: 'We deserve to know' identity of Trump whistleblower Bottom Line MORE (R) also expressed similar concerns. 

The committee breakdown is 12 Republicans to 11 Democrats, leaving Garrett’s nomination with little wiggle room.

Losing Rounds and Scott torpedoes Garrett's chances.

Even Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.), said on Tuesday he doesn’t know yet how he will vote on Garrett, saying “that's like a light-year away."

Meanwhile, Club for Growth President David McIntosh criticized Rounds, saying that "South Dakotans deserve better than a politician who opposes President Trump and his nominees."

“Sen. Rounds is placing special interests and lobbyists above the interests of the American people by stating he will vote against Scott Garrett, President Trump’s nominee for the Ex-Im Bank,” McIntosh said.

The conservative Club for Growth is calling on the committee to either approve all or none of the nominees.

In the meantime, the pressure for Garrett to step aside won't let up.

The week’s notice by the banking panel gives the White House a chance to withdraw Garrett’s name from consideration while allowing the other nominations to go forward, giving the bank the quorum it needs to complete larger deals that have been stuck in the pipeline.