White House To Withdraw ATF Nominee Chipman

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By Katherine Doyle September 10, 2021 | Image Source: Washington Examiner

The White House is withdrawing President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Justice Department’s gun agency after facing opposition from lawmakers in Congress.

“Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress have made clear that they intend to use gun crime as a political talking point instead of taking serious steps to address it,” Biden said in a statement Thursday. “That’s why they’ve moved in lockstep to block David Chipman’s confirmation, and it’s why they side with gun manufacturers over the overwhelming majority of the American people in opposing commonsense measures like universal background checks.”

Chipman’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives came under fire from Republicans and outside groups for his ties to Giffords, a gun control group run by former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords where he is a senior policy adviser. Reports later alleged that Chipman, a 20-year veteran of the agency he was nominated to lead, made racist comments during his tenure.

Beyond obstructing Chipman’s nomination, Biden charged that Republicans had failed to increase funding for police departments by voting against the COVID-19 rescue package that allocated $350 billion for states and cities.

“While my administration has worked to strengthen law enforcement and crack down on gun crime, Republicans have opposed us at every turn,” Biden said.

Last month, the White House said it was looking with “eyes wide open into the challenge.”

“We knew this wouldn’t be easy,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at the time.

That challenge has now come to a close.

Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent who caucuses with Democrats, warned the White House and Democrats that he was unlikely to back Chipman , while Democrats, including Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana, did not share a position. Manchin told the Washington Examiner in July that he was still undecided.

These represented key votes for Chipman, who faced blanket opposition from Republican senators.

Manchin has already torpedoed one Biden nomination this year. The White House pulled the nomination of longtime Democratic operative Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget soon after Manchin said he would not support her.

Another Biden pick is facing headwinds from inside the Democratic Party. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed the White House’s nomination of Rahm Emanuel to serve as ambassador to Japan, calling it “deeply shameful.”

Emanuel, the former mayor of Chicago, led the city at the time of the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The officer was charged only after a lawsuit pressed city officials to release the footage of the 2014 shooting.

Similar to Tanden, Emanuel is a party insider with ties to previous Democratic administrations.

Author: Katherine Doyle

Source: Washington Examiner: White House to withdraw ATF nominee Chipman