Senate Committee Votes on Trump’s Ex-Im Bank Nominees
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Banking Committee today voted against the nomination of former New Jersey Congressman Scott Garrett, President Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank). While in Congress, Garrett became well-known for his bigoted views and his voting record disparaging of the poor and the environment.
The committee approved the nominations of former Alabama Congressman Spencer Bachus, who faced insider-trading allegations while in Congress; Kimberly Reed, who held high level positions at the Treasury Department and Lehman Brothers in the lead up to the financial crisis; and Claudia Slacik, whose submission to the Office of Government Ethics reveals investment in Exxon, a recipient of Ex-Im Bank financing, and many other energy companies.
The vote brings the board of Ex-Im Bank, the U.S. export credit agency, one step closer to the quorum it needs to resume business, and put the financing for up to 15 fossil fuel projects one step closer to reality.
Prior to it lacking board quorum, Ex-Im Bank provided an average of almost $6 billion annually to fossil fuel projects from 2013 to 2015 – 60 times the amount it spent on clean energy projects.
In response to the vote, Kate DeAngelis, international policy analyst at Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement:
The Export-Import Bank dodged a bullet today when a Senate committee voted down Scott Garrett, a climate change denier and bigot.
Due to major conflicts of interest with some of Ex-Im’s biggest beneficiaries, the nominees approved by the Senate committee will need to tread carefully. With Ex-Im’s board set to vote on nine or more GE fossil fuel projects, board members face major financial conflicts of interest.
There are serious concerns about whether proper assessments of the environmental and social impacts of each of these projects will be conducted or whether the projects will simply be approved for the financial benefit of the incoming board members.