Metro Weekly

Senate Banking Committee rejects anti-gay Scott Garrett for Export-Import Bank head

Just as with his last congressional campaign, Garrett garnered much opposition from the business community

U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett – Photo: U.S. Congress, via Wikimedia.

In a rare move of bipartisanship, senators rejected the nomination of former U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) to lead the Export-Import Bank, an institution he had once advocating scuttling.

Garrett’s nomination was rejected by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on a 10-13 vote, with Republicans Mike Rounds (S.D.) and Tim Scott (S.C.) voting with Democrats on the “no” side.

Garrett’s nomination received much opposition from the business community, which cited Garrett’s past opposition to the institution as justification for rejecting him.

Many in the business community had previously opposed Garrett when he ran for re-election in 2016 due to his open hostility towards LGBTQ people — something that ultimately cost him his seat in Congress.

As a congressman, Garrett compiled an anti-LGBTQ voting record, voting against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He attacked same-sex parents as being selfish and prioritizing their desires over their children’s wellbeing when speaking in support of the Marriage Protection Amendment. He even went so far as to refuse to pay dues to the National Republican Congressional Campaign because of their support of openly gay, pro-equality congressional candidates.

“This Administration has demonstrated a deeply concerning track record of nominating unqualified people with a history of anti-LGBTQ views and actions,” David Stacy, government affairs director for the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. “The American people made clear they do not want nominees with anti-LGBTQ views appointed to crucial positions of power. It is not only a moral failing but is proving to be a political non-starter.”

Garrett becomes the fourth nominee to be defeated in part due to his anti-LGBTQ record. Earlier this year, Tennessee State Sen. Mark Green was forced to withdraw his nomination to be Secretary of the Army after a number of comments he made expressing Islamophobic and anti-LGBTQ beliefs came to light. 

The U.S. Senate recently refused to move forward with the nominations of Jeff Mateer, a Trump judicial nominee for a seat on a federal court in Texas who called transgender children part of “Satan’s plan” and held a host of anti-LGBTQ positions, and Brett Talley, a nominee for a federal seat in Alabama, who came under scrutiny after homophobic comments he wrote on a personal blog came to light.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at