Ex-NJ congressman Scott Garrett tapped for Export-Import Bank
President Donald Trump on Friday picked former Republican Congressman Scott Garrett of Wantage to lead the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an institution Garrett has spoken out against.
Garrett lost his bid for an eighth term to Democrat Josh Gottheimer in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District last November in a bitter, hard-fought race. Gottheimer raised more in campaign donations than any other House candidate ever in the state.
Meanwhile, Garrett was forced on the defensive early following reported remarks that he would not contribute to the House Republicans’ fundraising arm because it supported gay candidates. Garrett later said he was referring only to candidates who did not support the Republican platform’s opposition to same-sex marriage.
Between his votes supporting the Confederate flag and stand against gay Republican candidates for Congress, campaign attacks stated has more in common with rural Alabamans than the people of northern New Jersey.
A wealthy PAC political ad played throughout the campaign on the radio, “His views are perfect for rural Alabama, so why is Scott Garrett representing New Jersey?” the voice-over asks. A fiddle plays a folksy tune in the background. “Scott Garrett’s views might sound fine in the Land of Cotton, but we’re not singing his tune in New Jersey.”
The PAC also sponsored an airplane banner targeting New Jersey beach-goers soaking up the sun last Labor Day weekend. The message will direct voters to a website featuring the ad, followed by a sign reading: “Rep. Scott Garrett — Move to Alabama.”
During his time in Congress, at a town hall in Lafayette in May 2015, Garrett said he would favor doing away with the Export-Import Bank, which makes loans to companies doing business overseas. And at a congressional hearing in 2014, he said, “when you mix big corporations and taxpayer-backed guarantees, you get a little something that looks an awful like crony capitalism.”
Among the biggest beneficiaries of the bank is Boeing Co., which contributed $1 million to Trump’s inauguration. Garrett last year criticized Boeing’s multimillion-dollar deal to sell its airplanes to Iran after economic sanctions were lifted in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
“This agreement between Boeing and the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism is extremely troubling and shows that crony capitalism remains alive and well in Washington,” Garrett said in June 2016.
“Not only has Boeing lobbied for years to keep the taxpayer-backed Export Import Bank alive, it now has also used its powerful position to take advantage of the ill-conceived nuclear deal with Iran. This agreement is bad news, not just for taxpayers but for our national security.”