Biden’s gun nominee faces election-year Senate fight

Biden’s gun nominee faces election-year Senate fight

President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Steve Dettelbach speaks during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 11, 2022. Biden announced a final version of the administration’s ghost gun rule, which comes with the White House and the Justice Department under growing pressure to crack down on gun deaths. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Senate Democrats are preparing for a fight over Steve Dettelbach’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), backdropped by the November election. President Biden tapped Dettelbach this week , stepping into a proxy battle over gun control months before the midterms, with Republicans eager to paint both Biden and Democratic candidates as “soft on crime.” The nomination sets the stage for election-year politics to combine with a high-profile confirmation process for a post that has been politically tricky for either party to fill after the last Senate-confirmed ATF director stepped down in 2015. Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat and Judiciary Committee chairman, praised Dettelbach as “highly respected” and “well equipped to lead” ATF, but also pointed to the political dynamic his nomination is likely to face. “Confirming a qualified nominee to lead ATF should be a unifying priority in the Senate, yet the problem is the same one that has foiled ATF confirmations since 2015: the gun lobby,” Durbin said. Dettelbach previously served as a U.S. attorney for more than six years after […]

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