Hoppy Kercheval: Another round of ‘Manchin in the Middle’ (Opinion)

Hoppy Kercheval: Another round of 'Manchin in the Middle' (Opinion)

It is time for another episode of “Manchin in the Middle.” West Virginia’s Democrat U.S. senator is again a key vote on a pending issue where the Senate is split. This time, it is over President Joe Biden’s nominee of David Chipman to be the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Chipman spent 25 years at the ATF, where he rose through the ranks and investigated terrorist attacks in New York City and Oklahoma City. As The Washington Post reported, “His supporters think he has a unique background fitting to run the somewhat rudderless agency." However, Second Amendment advocates in Congress and the National Rifle Association are working to derail the nomination. They are troubled by some of Chipman’s statements over the years on gun control and his work, post-ATF, as an adviser to gun-control groups. Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Chipman during his confirmation hearing in May over his support of a ban on “assault weapons,” including the popular AR-15. However, Chipman said his role at the ATF would be to enforce existing laws, not make new ones. He added that he supports the U.S. Supreme Court’s Heller decision, which affirmed an individual’s right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes, including self-defense within the home. West Virginia Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito already is on record as a “no” vote on Chipman. “It is clear that, if David Chipman was confirmed, he would do everything in his power to threaten the […]

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