Grassley says he's unlikely to block Jones nomination for ATF
July 23, 2013 — 3:53pm
With Jim Spencer
A leading Republican in the U.S. Senate indicated Monday that he may not block President Obama’s nomination of Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones to be the permanent head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the Star Tribune that he still has serious reservations about Jones, who has crossed swords with Republicans about gun legislation and his management style.
“I think at this point our main goal was to get this information out,” Grassley said. “The majority party has decided to move ahead. All I can do is raise Cain about it and try to get as much information out as I can.”
Grassley said he still believes the nomination should be held up pending a mediation process involving Jones and one of the veteran prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Minneapolis.
“I made that point. The majority party disagreed,” Grassley said. “They’re moving ahead. So all I can do is bring all of this information to my colleagues’ attention. But it’s very unprecedented what they have done in the sense that an ongoing investigation was not completed before we moved ahead with a nominee.”
Asked if he would try to put a hold on Jones’ nomination, a move that can sometimes lead to a filibuster, Grassley responded: “I don’t think I will. But I’m going to raise a lot of Cain.”
GOP Party Chairman Keith Downey released a letter to a party committee questioning the judgment and competency of Deputy Chairman Chris Fields just days ahead of the election for party officers in St. Cloud Saturday.