On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee rejected President Donald Trump's nomination of former Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., to lead the Export-Import Bank. Republicans Senators Tim Scott of South Carolina and Mike Rounds of South Dakota joined Democrats to bar the nomination. While he served in Congress, Garrett vocally opposed the Export-Import Bank and thus faced opposition from the get-go. Other nominees may also find opposition among Republican legislators.

Three of Trump's nominees to fill seats in federal judgeships over the last two weeks have withdrawn their nominations. Matt Petersen, who was nominated to fill a seat on a federal district court, withdrew his name on Monday after facing a grueling examination by Sen. John N. Kennedy (R-La). His announcement followed news of last week that Brett Talley, who was nominated to be a district judge in Alabama, was withdrawing his nomination after the Judiciary Committee had sent his bid for the bench to the floor but then offered to withdraw his nomination. Another judicial nominee, Jeff Mateer, for the Eastern District of Texas, also pulled his bid.  

In a statement on Monday, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said, “This is a clear signal that the White House isn’t properly vetting nominees but instead counting on Senate Republicans to jam them through with minimal review.” Feinstein added, "I hope the White House and Senate Republicans learn a lesson from this and change how they’re handling judicial nominations.” ‎

However, the Senate has so far approved a record number of Trump’s appeals court nominees picks this year after delaying votes on Barack Obama's circuit court and district nominees.  

The GOP-controlled Senate has had its differences with Trump over executive nominees. Michael Dourson withdrew his nomination to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical safety division this month when he ran into criticism from North Carolina Republican Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard M. Burr. In addition, Paul Trombino III, who had been nominated to head the Federal Highway Administration, also withdrew his nomination in December for personal reasons. He had received bipartisan support in the Senate.

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Remains of WW2 pilot found on the bottom of Pacific Ocean

U.S. Navy personnel have discovered the remains of an American aviator who was shot down in combat over the Pacific Ocean in 1944. A team aboard USNS ...



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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