President Trump has nominated Scott Garrett, the former New Jersey congressman who lost reelection to his 5th District seat last year, to be president of the Export-Import Bank, the White House announced Friday evening.
Garrett, one of the most conservative politicians in the state, was a House member from 2003 to January 2017 and chairman for several years of the powerful financial services subcommittee.
He was defeated in November’s election by Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat, former Microsoft executive and Clinton administration speechwriter. Garrett left office somewhat ungracefully, refusing to speak to Gottheimer or to hand over constituent case files.
Garrett’s nomination to lead the Ex-Im Bank is ironic, since until recently he was a critic calling for its abolishment. He had been rumored after Trump’s election to be in the running for chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A former state assemblyman with a deeply religious background, Garrett ran a tougher-than-usual campaign last year after Politico reported he was opposed to sending Republican Party committee funds to gay candidates.
If confirmed, Garrett’s term would run almost four years, through Jan. 20, 2021.