Senate Democrats Force Joe Biden to Withdraw His Pick for ATF Director

POLITICS & POLICY
David Chipman testifies during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, September 25, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Joe Biden’s bad summer gets worse. Per Politico, the president is planning to withdraw his nominee to head up the ATF, David Chipman:

The White House is planning to withdraw David Chipman’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, according to three sources close to the process.

Chipman is currently a senior policy advisor to Giffords, a gun control group, and faced an uphill battle to Senate confirmation as President Joe Biden’s point person on firearms regulation.

As Politico notes, Biden’s pick proved unacceptable to his own party, let alone to Republicans. Senator Angus King of Maine opposed him, as, it seems, did Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senator Jon Tester of Montana.

Much of the commentary around this selection has focused on how difficult it is to find an acceptable choice for ATF chief in the current era. Indeed, as Politico notes, “the Senate has confirmed only one ATF nominee, in 2013.” Given this, though, one suspects that it might have been advisable for the White House to pick someone who isn’t an outspoken gun-control loon who is disliked by his own colleagues.

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