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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 TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE's first nominee — former Republican Rep. Scott GarrettErnest (Scott) Scott GarrettOn The Trail: The political losers of 2020 Biz groups take victory lap on Ex-Im Bank Export-Import Bank back to full strength after Senate confirmations 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 CrapoOn The Money: Inflation rears its head amid spending debate | IRS chief warns of unpaid taxes hitting T | Restaurants fret labor shortage IRS chief warns of unpaid taxes hitting trillion Trump faces test of power with early endorsements MORE (R-Idaho) and Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDemocratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents Big bank CEOS to testify before Congress in May Democrats get good news from IRS 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 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, 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.