Politico

Biden's ATF pick has 'a lot of issues' says No. 2 Senate Dem leader


Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said Monday that “there are a lot of issues” with President Joe Biden’s pick to oversee the nation’s firearm regulations.

The Senate has yet to move forward on David Chipman’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. A handful of moderate Democrats, including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), have yet to say whether they’ll support his nomination.

Durbin acknowledged Monday that the whip count “is not where we want it yet, but there’s always a chance.”

With Senate Republicans likely to unanimously oppose Chipman’s nomination, Democrats can’t afford to lose a single vote in their 50-member caucus. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has described Chipman as an “anti-gun extremist,” while moderate Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said he’s made statements that “demean law-abiding gun owners.”

Chipman is currently a senior policy adviser to Giffords, a gun control group. Prior to his time at Giffords, Chipman spent more than 20 years at the ATF.

Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked on Chipman’s nomination. The split committee vote forces the Senate to hold a vote to discharge him before they can move his nomination forward. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has yet to announce the floor vote.

The Senate has only confirmed one nominee — B. Todd Jones in 2013 — to become ATF director.

“Members understand this is a highly controversial position,” Durbin said Monday. “It has been left vacant because Republicans and Democrats couldn’t find someone to fill the slot so it’s no wonder that we’re having some difficulty with it.”

Continue

About the author

Lisa

Leave a Comment