The Senate voted 53-42 Wednesday to confirm the nomination of B. Todd Jones to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The vote came after nearly five hours of delay. Democratic Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampSenate rejects Trump immigration plan Cramer to announce North Dakota Senate run on Friday Senate Democrats not sold on bipartisan immigration deal MORE had to fly back from her home state of North Dakota at the last minute after Democrats came up one vote short of ending debate on the nomination.

Six Republicans voted with Democrats to end debate in a 60-40 vote. Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe siren of Baton Rouge Interior plan to use drilling funds for new projects met with skepticism The 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s immigration framework MORE (R-Alaska) switched her vote to advance Jones’s nomination after her colleagues pressured her on the Senate floor. She joined GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Tech: Judge blocks AT&T request for DOJ communications | Facebook VP apologizes for tweets about Mueller probe | Tech wants Treasury to fight EU tax proposal Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand FCC to officially rescind net neutrality rules on Thursday MORE (Maine), Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteAudit finds US Defense Department wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars US sends A-10 squadron to Afghanistan for first time in three years No, the US did not spend million on a gas station in Afghanistan MORE (N.H.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCongress punts fight over Dreamers to March Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico GOP looks for Plan B after failure of immigration measures MORE (S.C.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Trump set a good defense budget, but here is how to make it better MORE (Ariz.) and Mark KirkMark Steven KirkHigh stakes as Trump heads to Hill Five things to watch for at Trump-Senate GOP meeting Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns MORE (Ill.). 

Ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyPavlich: The claim Trump let the mentally ill get guns is a lie Congress fails miserably: For Asian-Americans, immigration proposals are personal attacks Grassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees MORE (R-Iowa) said he wouldn’t support Jones’s nomination because he is accused of “retaliating against a whistle-blower.”

“The Senate should not be voting on a nomination when there is an open investigation,” Grassley said ahead of the vote. “To be honest, we don’t know the full story, but there is an open investigation of serious accusations on retaliation against whistle-blower activity. ... These are serious charges.”

Grassley said promoting Jones would not help restore public confidence in the bureau after the “botched” “Fast and Furious” gun-walking operation.

The ATF hasn’t had a leader for seven years. Democrats have complained that Republicans have opposed directors for the bureaubecause of the National Rifle Association’s powerful lobby. 

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharOvernight Health Care: Trump eases rules on insurance outside ObamaCare | HHS office on religious rights gets 300 complaints in a month | GOP chair eyes opioid bill vote by Memorial Day Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Dems seek reversal of nursing home regulatory rollback MORE (D-Minn.), who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the agency “deserves” a leader.

“There are 24,000 ATF agents and they have gone without a leader for seven years, since it became an appointment position,” Klobuchar said. “It is simply time to change that.”

Jones has served as the Minnesota U.S. attorney and acting director of ATF. 

Earlier this month, the Senate Judiciary Committee cleared his nomination on a party-line, 10-8 vote.

— Updated at 8:42 p.m.