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Congressman Denny Heck urges President Trump to withdraw nomination of Scott Garrett to lead Export-Import Bank

Jul 25, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, U.S. Representative Gwen Moore (WI-04), and U.S. Representative Denny Heck (WA-10) sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to remove Scott Garrett from consideration to be the president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

The Export-Import Bank is the nation’s official export credit agency and a tool that helps companies in Washington state and nationwide create jobs at home by selling their products overseas. The private market is often unable to serve small businesses or sales of advanced capital equipment into developing countries.  ExIm steps in to provide the insurance and loan services available to make these sales possible.

In 2015, while a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Scott Garrett (NJ-05) was among the leaders of an effort to shut down the Export-Import Bank and deny American businesses a level playing field on which to compete for business, create jobs, and sustain thousands of export-driven jobs that our country already has, thanks to ExIm financing. 

“I grew up working on a farm and you don't put a fox in charge of the henhouse,” Heck said. “Scott Garrett has repeatedly said he wants to eliminate and weaken the Export-Import Bank, and there is no reason to think he won't if he's put at the helm."

In June 2015, Heck publicly promised an “all hands on deck, all the time” effort to get a winning vote in the House to save the Export-Import Bank. On October 9, 2015, more than 40 Republicans joined Heck and 178 Democrats in signing a discharge petition to bring legislation to the House floor to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, marking the first successful discharge petition since 2002. The reauthorization text was included in H.R. 22, the DRIVE Act, which passed in the House by a vote of 371 – 54 on November 5, 2015. President Obama signed the measure into law on December 4, 2015.

Congressman Garrett lost his bid for re-election on November 8, 2016.

Full text of the letter follows:

July 25, 2017

The President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As Members who helped lead the effort to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States in the 114th Congress, we urge you to withdraw the nomination of Scott Garrett to be President of the Bank. 

As you well know, the ExIm Bank plays a vital role in supporting tens of thousands of well-paying jobs in this country in the face of competition aggressively supported by more than 60 foreign export credit agencies, all while generating a profit for the U.S. Treasury.  Unfortunately, for the past two years the Bank has been unable to approve transactions worth more than $10 million – precisely the type of deals where the need to offset foreign export credit agency financing is most pronounced.  Worse, U.S. companies are starting to move production to offshore locations where they can benefit from the services of foreign export credit agencies; in fact, for some infrastructure and other large deals, U.S. firms cannot even bid without the backing of ExIm Bank financing. 

Given your expressed intention of making the U.S. more competitive, the nomination of Mr. Garrett makes no sense.  Then-Representative Garrett was a leading critic of the Bank’s operations and a vocal opponent of the Bank’s reauthorization, voting against its reauthorization and saying, “Congress should put the Export-Import Bank out of business.”  If confirmed as Chairman of the Board, Mr. Garrett would have wide latitude to control the Board’s agenda and substitute his personal views for the statutory mission of the Bank, destroying it from within after failing in his efforts to persuade his colleagues to legislate its demise.

We therefore respectfully request that you withdraw the nomination. 

House Democratic Whip

Ranking Member, Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee 

Member of Congress