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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 TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE’s nominee to lead the Export-Import Bank appears unlikely to survive a scheduled committee vote next week.

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 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 CrapoLawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks GOP loads up lame-duck agenda as House control teeters Republicans shift course after outside counsel falters 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 RoundsOn The Money: Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion | Yellen says Trump attacks threaten Fed | Affordable housing set for spotlight in 2020 race Lawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks GOP shrugs off dire study warning of global warming 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 BachusThe key for EXIM's future lies in accountability Manufacturers support Reed to helm Ex-Im Bank Manufacturers ramp up pressure on Senate to fill Ex-Im Bank board 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 ScottOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Senators face Wednesday vote on Trump health plans rule | Trump officials plan downtime for ObamaCare website | Lawmakers push for action on reducing maternal deaths Bipartisan group of senators ask Trump to increase focus on maternal deaths 7 law enforcement officers shot in South Carolina 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.