“I hope it will be an ATF professional,” King said. “And I would be delighted and I am very [for it]. And I have a few names.
Meanwhile, Tester, who was not committed to Chipman’s appointment, said there was “absolutely” to be an ATF director.
It is a controversial position. The Senate has only confirmed one candidate for the head of the ATF – B. Todd Jones in 2013 – and the agency has not had a confirmed director since 2015. But with the mid-terms of 2022 that Should heat up in the coming months, Democrats want to see someone confirmed quickly who wouldn’t risk becoming a political handicap for the party.
Several Senate Democrats, including Judicial President Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Also said on Monday that they would like to see the White House nominate another candidate.
Chipman, senior policy adviser to gun control advocacy group Giffords, faced unanimous opposition from the Senate’s 50 Republicans. Prior to his stint at Giffords, Chipman spent more than two decades at the ATF. During his confirmation hearing, however, he was criticized by Republicans on the Judiciary Committee for an interview in which he said new, untrained gun owners should only use their guns “if zombies begin to appear “.
Senate Democrats, meanwhile, blamed the gun rights lobby for Chipman’s failure to nominate, arguing that no candidate for the agency would satisfy these outside groups. But Chipman, and any other candidate, could be confirmed by the Senate if Democrats stand together.
The White House sent an official notice of Chipman’s withdrawal to Democrats and Republicans on the Judiciary Committee on Monday. As a sign that the administration knew his appointment was an uphill battle, Biden admitted last week that the White House knew the confirmation fight “would not be easy.”
Chipman is the second high-profile Biden candidate to fail in the face of opposition from Senate Democrats. Earlier this year, the White House withdrew Neera Tanden’s nomination to the Office of Management and Budget after Manchin said he would not vote to confirm it.