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Continued: Senate Dems approves Obama's ATF nominee, thanks to a switch and a long, long delay

  • Article by: ALAN FRAM , Associated Press
  • Last update: July 31, 2013 - 7:39 PM

Many congressional Republicans have been harshly critical of the ATF, especially for its fumbled Fast and Furious Operation aimed at gun-smuggling across the Southwest border. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and others have also complained that Jones' nomination should not move forward because of whistle-blower complaints against Jones involving his work as U.S. attorney for Minnesota.

Five other Republicans also voted Wednesday to end the blockade against Jones.

They included Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who came under pressure at home from gun control supporters after she opposed wider background checks in April. Ayotte, like Murkowski, voted against Jones' confirmation.

When Obama nominated Jones, he seemed to face long odds for winning approval. But the politically potent National Rifle Association said this week that it was neutral about Jones, which even critics of Jones conceded was important.

Senators had planned to vote Wednesday to confirm Samantha Power to become ambassador to the United Nations. That roll call was postponed until Thursday.

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