Senate

Senate advances Steve Dettelbach to head ATF 

The Senate voted mostly along party lines on Tuesday to advance the nomination of Steve Dettelbach to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in a 48-46 vote.  

In advancing Dettelbach, the Senate bypassed a filibuster of the nominee, despite the absences of Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who have tested positive for COVID-19.  

Two Republicans voted to advance the nominee, Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Rob Portman (Ohio), who also voted to discharge Dettelbach from a deadlocked Senate panel last month.  

Dettelbach would be the first Senate-confirmed director to head ATF since 2015.  

Schumer last month called the absence of a Senate-confirmed ATF director over the past seven years “outrageous at a time when we need one more than ever.” 

Biden nominated Dettelbach in April after his first nominee to lead the ATF, David Chipman, foundered in the face of stiff opposition from gun rights groups.  

Biden withdrew Chipman’s nomination in September after centrist Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) held back their support.  

Dettelbach is a former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio who later co-led white-collar investigations at the law firm BakerHostetler.  

Biden in April praised him as “immensely qualified” to lead ATF. 

ATF agents helped investigate the recent mass shootings in Buffalo , N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas, according to the White House.  

Tags ATF Charles Schumer Gun control Richard Blumenthal Rob Portman Rob Portman Steve Dettelbach Susan Collins Susan Collins
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