Sen. Warner on Senate Banking Committee vote against Ex-Im nominee Scott Garrett

mark warnerU.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, comments following the committee’s bipartisan 10-13 vote against former Rep. Scott Garrett’s nomination to lead the U.S. Export-Import Bank, followed by broad bipartisan support for other Ex-Im Bank board nominees.

“For decades, the Export-Import Bank has served as a job-creating tool for U.S. manufacturers and exporters, helping finance over $138 billion in exports across the country – including support for more than 80 companies in Virginia – and supporting hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs.

“In order for U.S. manufacturers to compete in a global economy, we need a fully functional Ex-Im Bank. Without it, U.S. companies are at a major disadvantage against their foreign counterparts. But Rep. Garrett’s long record of attacking and undermining the Export-Import Bank mean that he is not fit to lead it. Today’s bipartisan vote against his nomination is a strong signal to the Trump Administration that it should withdraw this nomination and put forward a qualified nominee who understands the important role the Ex-Im Bank plays in leveling the playing field for U.S. companies overseas.  

“Establishing a quorum for the Bank’s board is long overdue, and I am encouraged that the rest of the board nominees were able to be approved by the Banking Committee on a bipartisan basis. I hope that they will soon be confirmed by the whole Senate so that the Ex-Im Bank can fulfill its important responsibilities to support American manufacturers in selling their products around the world.” 

The Ex-Im Bank has not had a board quorum since 2015, after Senate Republicans blocked two bipartisan nominees to the Ex-Im Board that were put forward by President Barack Obama. Without a full quorum, Ex-Im can only authorize loans under $10 million, which make up only around 15 percent of the Bank’s total business.

Since 2013, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has helped finance more than $1 billion in exports from nearly 80 Virginia companies, more than half of them small businesses. Sen. Warner has been a longtime supporter of Ex-Im, introducing legislation to reauthorize its operations and increase its spending authority following a historic lapse in Congressional approval in July 2015. Since the Bank’s reauthorization, he has called for the confirmation of qualified nominees to lead a fully functional Ex-Im.

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