The confirmation of David Chipman has been an absolute trainwreck for the Biden administration. As the president tries to build the internal framework of government to fit his vision, he apparently thought senators would just roll over and confirm a professional gun control activist in a role where he’d be making decisions impacting the legality of any number of firearms.
The truth is, Chipman was a bad choice and always was.
Now, President Joe Biden is being urged to withdraw the nomination.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Saturday urged the White House to withdraw President Biden‘s pick of David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), a nomination that has been stuck in limbo for weeks.
“The Senate has spent quite enough time flirting with this profoundly misguided nomination. The American people deserve a trustworthy steward leading the ATF. … It is time the Biden administration revisit this decision and send us somebody who fits that description,” McConnell said.
The GOP leader’s push comes as Republicans have been deeply critical of Chipman over his ties to the gun control advocacy group Giffords and say that he is too extreme to run a federal agency tasked with enforcing certain gun laws.
McConnell, in a floor speech late last month, urged opposition to Chipman’s nomination, saying, “There is no way this nominee is the best the Biden administration can do.”
The problem for the Biden administration rests in the fact that while there’s a 50/50 split in the Senate, they can’t even get all of their own party on board with Chipman’s nomination. Among those who aren’t completely on board are Sens. John Tester, Krysten Sinema, Joe Manchin, and Angus King.
Apparently, a professional gun control advocate makes Democrats from fairly pro-gun states a little nervous. Who knew, right?
However, there’s little reason to believe that Biden will listen to McConnell. The fact that there hasn’t been some movement already–maybe not Biden withdrawing the nomination, but Chipman supposedly saying he’s withdrawing so he can focus on other things or something similar–tells me the White House is delusional about this guy’s chances of getting nominated to head the ATF.
I’m pretty sure my cat has a better shot, and yet Democrats keep trying to push Chipman.
My guess is that the White House is worried about losing all the political capital they have if they back off on Chipman. The problem is, they’ll lose more if they try to force a vote without having at least 50 senators willing to back the man. As things stand right now, that’s not going to happen.
It would be far better to withdraw Chipman’s nomination and to sit down with Senate Republicans to try and find an ATF director who may have the backing of both parties.
Granted, I don’t know that there is such a person. President Trump couldn’t get his nominee confirmed either, and that was with his party calling the shots in the Senate at the time, so I suppose Biden shouldn’t feel too bad about all of this falling apart.
Of course, the difference then was that Trump’s pick wasn’t such a complete dumpster fire that he generated thousands of headlines a day.