Democratic leaders are taking steps to leap-frog the nomination of Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
According to a report in The Hill newspaper, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill, is preparing legislation that would allow the ATF to be folded into another agency, presumably the FBI.
The move would effectively bypass the need for confirmation in the Senate, where Jones’ nomination has run into determined GOP resistance over his management style and track record on prosecuting gun cases.
Jones, who already serves as acting ATF director, was nominated by President Obama to be the agency's permanent head in January as part of a broader gun violence agenda stemming from the schoolhouse shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn.
“It strikes me that if the Senate has not confirmed the head of an agency as important as this, after a certain period of time, that we should transfer the jurisdiction of that agency to the FBI for example, which has a long-term director,” Durbin told The Hill.
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