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White House to propose cutting the 'Alcohol' and 'Tobacco' out of ATF: report

White House to propose cutting the 'Alcohol' and 'Tobacco' out of ATF: report
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The Trump administration is weighing a plan to reorganize the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), stripping the agency of its mandate to investigate alcohol and tobacco smuggling.

The plan is outlined in the Trump administration's upcoming budget proposal, according to a New York Times report. The budget is still in draft form.

The change would reflect that agency's shifting role over the years. The ATF traces its origin back to the prohibition era, when federal agents were charged with enforcing the government's ban on the manufacture and distribution of alcohol. 

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But ATF has focused more in recent decades on investigating violent crimes, instead of tobacco and alcohol smuggling.

The Treasury Department, as the agency that collects taxes on tobacco and alcohol, would gain the authority to investigate such offenses under the Trump administration's proposal, the Times reported.

Congress would have to approve the reorganization. 

ATF has been a leading agency in the Trump administration's efforts to crack down on gang violence and crime syndicates.

According to the Times's report, the proposed change to ATF has remained consistent through multiple revisions of the administration's draft budget proposal. Discussions about reorganizing the agency began last year, and senior officials at ATF supported the idea.