It Looks Like Another Biden Nominee Is Bound to Fizzle Out

It Looks Like Another Biden Nominee Is Bound to Fizzle Out

( – Biden may have gotten his Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson through the Senate, but he’s struggled to get another position filled: the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The president’s previous pick for the job, David Chipman, failed to garnish enough support in the evenly split Senate, leading to Biden withdrawing his nomination. The president’s latest nominee may not make it through the Senate either, spelling trouble for the agency.

Just months after Chipman’s failure, President Biden nominated Steve Dettlebach to head the ATF. The Senate hasn’t confirmed a leader for the ATF in nearly a decade, dating back to 2015. Biden claimed on April 11 that Dettlebach was more than qualified, mentioning his unanimous confirmation in 2009 to be a US attorney.

Dettlebach is already in better shape than Chipman when it comes to the GOP, as several federal prosecutors have proclaimed their support for him. Republicans in Congress, on the other hand, have been just as stiff as they were with Biden’s previous nominee. Senators like Ted Cruz (R-TX) haven’t outright denied support for Dettlebach, claiming they need to hear from him before making a decision. Others, like Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), have called him a “gun-grabbing radical.”

Support from the Republican party isn’t necessary for the Senate to confirm Dettlebach, as long as all 50 Democratic Senators vote in his favor, with Vice President Harris serving as a tie-breaking vote in the event of party-line voting. Still, Senators like Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), and Angus King (I-ME) haven’t announced their support.

Similarly, Senator John Tester (D-MT) has asserted he’ll be closely examining Dettlebach before he votes on whether or not to confirm him. Biden’s nominee still has plenty of fight ahead of him before he’s officially the agency’s director.

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