The White House withdrew its nomination of David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The administration received enough pushback from both sides of Congress to warrant the withdrawal.
Biden Withdraws Nomination of David Chipman to ATF
Earlier, President Joe Biden nominated Chipman, a twenty-year ATF veteran. However, Chipman joined a gun-control group led by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.
He joined the group in support of efforts to curb gun violence. As a result, Republicans don't want David Chipman near the ATF leadership. Some Democrats coming from gun-friendly states also opposed Chipman’s nomination.
In a statement, Biden formalized the withdrawal. “We knew this wouldn’t be easy — there’s only been one Senate-confirmed ATF Director in the Bureau’s history — but I have spent my entire career working to combat the scourge of gun violence, and I remain deeply committed to that work,” Biden said. “Since taking office, my Administration has taken numerous steps to combat gun violence, and we’ll continue to use every tool at our disposal to fight gun violence and keep Americans safe,” he added.
Biden Blames GOP As Usual, But Dems Torpedoed The Nomination
In addition, Biden blamed the Republicans for blocking Chipman’s nomination. He said that the GOP used “gun crime as a political talking point” instead of finding solutions.
However, the pushback from Democrats ultimately doomed the nomination. “ATF is a federal agency focused on reducing gun violence by enforcing the law and prohibiting the sale of firearms to convicted felons and other dangerous individuals,” Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) said in a statement.
“The gun industry resents their work as it limits sales and holds them accountable for violations of the law. That is why the gun lobby is determined to leave the Director’s position vacant. David Chipman is the latest target of their concerted effort,” Durbin added.
However, several Democratic senators publicly and privately voiced their concerns about Chipman. This includes Senators Joe Manchin III (WV) and Jon Tester (MT). In addition, Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine, also has reservations about David Chipman.
In particular, Senator King’s state of Montana made a lot of lobbying against David Chipman. Many sportsmen’s groups from the state oppose the nomination. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) issued a statement applauding Chipman’s withdrawal.
ATF Nomination Is A Challenge
With the ATF job off the table, White House officials are now trying to look for an opening for David Chipman. Presently, he works as a senior adviser to Gifford’s gun control group. The Justice Department reportedly offered Chipman a position. However, reports say that he will decline any forthcoming offer.
Even before David Chipman, nominating a leader for the ATF is a contentious situation. Historically, lawmakers from both sides continually struggle to pass legislation.
They’re also having difficulty confirming nominees to deal with the issue. Even as the ATF leadership position is critical, getting a nominee through is a challenge. In fact, the ATF only managed one-Senate confirmed head in the past 15 years.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) issued a statement on Chipman’s withdrawal. “Mr. Chipman’s long record as a partisan, anti-Second Amendment activist raised plenty of concerns about how he’d administer federal firearms laws.
The employees of ATF and the American people deserve an ATF director who carries out the mission of the agency with respect for the Constitution and for all agency employees,” he said.
Chipman is the second Biden nominee to not make it through confirmation. Prior to his withdrawal, Neera Tanden also didn’t get the Senate’s nod as head of the Office of Management and Budget. Senators didn’t like her practice of issuing abrasive tweets to various senators.
Watch Reno May’s video as he talks about President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw David Chipman’s nomination for ATF (AFT) Director:
Do you agree with the withdrawal of David Chipman as ATF head? Also, do you agree that Chipman’s partisan stance on gun control won’t help the ATF?
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