Manufacturers support Reed to helm Ex-Im Bank

Manufacturers support Reed to helm Ex-Im Bank
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After years in limbo, the Senate Banking Committee is taking a small step to get the Export-Import Bank running at full strength again with the backing of business groups.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) said head of a Thursday morning hearing that it supports the committee’s consideration Kimberly Reed to helm the bank.

NAM said in a letter to committee leaders that it is confident that "Reed will bring to the Ex-Im Bank strong experience in financial management and banking issues."

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"That experience, along with her strong recognition of the importance of the Ex-Im Bank to grow manufacturing and jobs in the United States, will provide much-needed leadership to ensure the Ex-Im Bank operates effectively to advance America’s export success, while ensuring proper fiscal operations at the agency," wrote Linda Dempsey, vice president of international economic affairs for NAM.

Reed was part of a group of nominees easily approved in December to join the Ex-Im Bank's board of directors.

But President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE's first nominee — former Republican Rep. 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 — failed to get through the committee at the time. 

Instead of nominating someone else to run the bank, in April, Trump tapped Jeffrey Gerrish, who also works for the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), to be acting Ex-Im Bank president.

Finally in June, Trump tapped Reed, a former Treasury Department official in President George W. Bush's administration, for the post. 

The Ex-Im Bank has been without a confirmed chairman since Trump took office last year and has been without a quorum — at least three members of a five-member board — since late 2015.

That has put the 84-year-old bank in financial limbo over the past three years, short too many board members to make loans above $10 million.

Currently, there are nearly $43 billion in deals that are stuck in the pipeline due to the lack of a quorum, Dempsey wrote in the letter to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoHillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law Trump authorizes sanctions against foreign governments that interfere in US elections Cruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke MORE (R-Idaho) and Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOvernight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan group wants to lift Medicaid restriction on substance abuse treatment New polling shows Brown, DeWine with leads in Ohio MORE (D-Ohio), ranking member on the panel.

Dempsey said Reed "is a superb choice" and the group supports quick action by the panel and the full Senate on her nomination.

There also are several pending nominees to the Ex-Im Bank board — 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, Claudia Slacik and Judith Pryor — all of whom the committee has already reported out favorably, that could move through the Senate. 

"Vacancies on the Ex-Im board of directors jeopardize the future of these small businesses and the 1.4 million jobs that the agency has supported over the past eight years," Dempsey wrote.