Senate confirms Steve Dettelbach as Biden’s choice to head Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Boston News, Weather, Sports

(CNN) — The Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Steve Dettelbach as President Joe Biden’s choice to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The candidate’s successful confirmation is a victory for the Biden administration and follows a spate of recent mass shootings — in Buffalo, New York, Uvalde, Texas and Highland Park, Illinois — that have shocked the nation and prompted calls for further action to combat gun violence in America.

The confirmation vote marks an important milestone as the ATF has served under a number of incumbent directors since the resignation of its last Senate-confirmed chairman in 2015, and the Senate last confirmed an ATF nominee in 2013.

Dettelbach is a former federal prosecutor and was previously unanimously confirmed by the Senate as US Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio under President Barack Obama.

During his confirmation hearings, he vowed he would not be swayed by political considerations and said he was committed to upholding the law free from political interference and would do so if confirmed as ATF director.

“Politics cannot play a role in law enforcement. Not at all,” he said at the time.

“I’ve lived that creed and I vow to continue to do so because people need to have faith that law enforcement’s only agenda is to enforce the law — and when you’re with the ATF, catch the bad guys and the to protect the public,” he said.

“I vow never to let politics in any way influence my work as ATF director,” he added.

The White House suffered an embarrassing setback in its efforts to confirm a candidate to head the office last fall.

The White House in September 2021 withdrawn David Chipman’s nomination to run the office. Biden blamed Republicans for the inability to confirm Chipman, but there were concerns about the nomination from moderate Democrats, independent Sen. Angus King of Maine and GOP senators over the candidate’s gun control record to date.

The incident highlighted the challenge of ensuring successful confirmation of an ATF director given the controversial political nature of gun control policy.

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Nate Jones

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