Amid bipartisan efforts to do one thing — something — to stem the nation’s epidemic of gun violence, Senate Republicans demonstrated Thursday that they received’t even assist the only of steps: confirming a everlasting director on the prime company that enforces federal gun legal guidelines.
Each Republican on the Judiciary Committee voted in opposition to advancing President Joe Biden’s nominee to steer the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Steven Dettelbach.
The committee vote was an 11-11 tie. The Republicans who voted no are Sens. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), John Cornyn (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah), Ted Cruz (Texas), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), John Kennedy (La.), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.).
Notably, Cornyn is at the moment main the bipartisan effort to pass a gun safety package in response to latest mass shootings, together with the devastating assault in his house state, the place 19 youngsters and two lecturers had been killed in a mass capturing at an elementary faculty in Uvalde, Texas.
Dettelbach will nonetheless advance to the total Senate for a closing affirmation vote. However solely as a result of Democrats can do it on their very own, barely. Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) can pressure Dettelbach out of the committee by submitting a discharge petition.
Schumer signaled Thursday morning that he’s able to get shifting on Dettelbach’s nomination instantly.
“Later at this time, I’ll transfer to discharge the nomination of Mr. Dettelbach from the Judiciary Committee after his nomination resulted in a tie vote,” he stated on the Senate flooring. “We want a totally practical, absolutely staffed ATF to ensure that that company to meet its mission of conserving our communities protected from gun violence. Clearly, the gun security laws we’re negotiating is essential, however so is having a totally functioning ATF.”
The ATF hasn’t had a everlasting director in seven years. The place, which has lengthy confronted opposition from gun rights teams who don’t need anybody confirmed to run the company charged with regulating them, has solely had one Senate-confirmed director in 16 years.
Forward of Dettelbach’s committee vote, chairman Dick Durbin (D-In poor health.) stated a vote to verify him is a vote to make the nation safer. He famous that Dettelbach, who has a two-decade profession as a Justice Division prosecutor, has been endorsed by nearly each main legislation enforcement group within the nation.
“Seven years, no management,” Durbin stated. “For stability, for responsiveness, for accountability and for company morale, that is lengthy overdue.”