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White House withdraws ATF nominee after GOP pushback

White House withdraws ATF nominee after GOP pushback
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The White House on Tuesday formally withdrew Chuck Canterbury's nomination to lead the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). 

The Trump administration sent notice to Congress that it is pulling the nomination, which has been stuck in limbo since September amid opposition from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Canterbury was nominated for the top ATF position in June and had a hearing before the Judiciary Committee in July, but senators appeared rankled over his answers when they tried to press him on his view on firearms. Canterbury was renominated for the post in mid-February but never received a committee vote. 

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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw RNC chairwoman: Republicans should realize distancing themselves from Trump 'is hurting themselves in the long run' Latest Mnuchin-Pelosi call produces 'encouraging news on testing' for stimulus package MORE (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told The Hill last year that the nomination was "going to be very problematic."

Pressed at the time if the White House should withdraw the nomination, Graham deferred to the administration but reiterated that Canterbury's nomination was a "problem."

GOP Sens. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.) and Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyConservatives seize on New York Post story to push Section 230 reform Hillicon Valley: Trump refuses to condemn QAnon | Twitter revises its policy, lets users share disputed article | Google sees foreign cyber threats Chairman: Senate Judiciary to vote on subpoena for Mark Zuckerberg MORE (Mo.) both told The Hill at the time that they would not support Canterbury if his nomination was brought up for a vote in the committee. 

Spokespeople for Sens. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseCornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' RNC chairwoman: Republicans should realize distancing themselves from Trump 'is hurting themselves in the long run' The Memo: Trump's second-term chances fade MORE (R-Neb.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeTed Cruz won't wear mask to speak to reporters at Capitol Michigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test Barrett fight puts focus on abortion in 2020 election MORE (R-Utah) also said at the time that they both had "concerns" about Canterbury, pointing toward his views on the Second Amendment. 

Republicans hold a 12-10 majority on the Judiciary panel, meaning Canterbury could only lose one GOP vote before he would have needed support from Democrats to get his nomination sent to the Senate floor.