Senate opposition leads White House to withdraw ATF nominee

Senate opposition leads White House to withdraw ATF nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said Thursday it would withdraw the nomination of a gun-control advocate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after nominee David Chipman ran into bipartisan opposition in the Senate. Chipman’s nomination had stalled for months and he was widely seen as one of the administration’s most contentious nominees. The White House and top Democrats had been pushing to save his nomination for weeks but could not secure the necessary votes, with some Democrats saying privately they would not vote for him. Despite that, President Joe Biden blamed only Republicans. “He would have been an exemplary director of the ATF,” Biden said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress have made clear that they intend to use gun crime as a political talking point instead of taking serious steps to address it. That’s why they’ve moved in lockstep to block David Chipman’s confirmation.” Chipman is a former federal agent and adviser at the gun control group Giffords. He won praise from advocates for his work pushing for greater regulation and enforcement on ghost guns, overhauling the background check system and moves to reduce the trafficking of illegal firearms. But that same advocacy drew opposition from moderate Republicans such as Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, as well as independent Sen. Angus King of Maine, dooming his prospects for confirmation in the 50-50 divided Senate. In a statement, Chipman said he remained committed to addressing the issue of […]

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