Even Democrats aren’t sold on Biden’s pick to lead ATF, reports claim

President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is facing a “serious” threat of rejection in the U.S. Senate, PJ Media reported Sunday.

Questions about David Chipman and his relationship to the gun industry have even some moderate Democrats concerned about confirming him to the role.

According to The Hill, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is pulling his support of the ATF nominee after it was revealed that Chipman appeared on a Chinese state-run propaganda outlet. While that appearance may not have been disqualifying, Chipman’s decision not to disclose it was, in Manchin’s eyes.

Not “just any TV appearance”

Manchin’s concerns were echoed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who mentioned the failure to disclose in a Senate floor speech Saturday.

“Earlier this week, news reports indicated that Mr. [Chipman] had failed to disclosure to our colleagues on the Judiciary Committee a TV appearance he made several years ago,” McConnell said, according to Fox News. “And this wasn’t just any TV appearance. Mr. Chipman had granted the interview to a propaganda network overseen by the Chinese government.”

Besides Manchin, other Democrat-leaning senators who’ve expressed reservations toward backing Chipman include Jon Tester (MT) and Angus King (ME), The Hill notes.

“As a proud gun owner, Senator Tester believes ATF needs a strong leader to support the agency’s law enforcement mission,” a spokesperson for Sen. Tester told The Hill.

“Senator Tester will continue to review David Chipman’s record and testimony to ensure he would support our brave law enforcement officers and respect Montanans’ Second Amendment rights,” the spokesperson added.

Chipman on the back burner

Of course, many felt Chipman’s nomination was doomed from the start. Even without these recent allegations, Chipman had multiple scandals weighing him down. As McConnell pointed out Saturday, multiple former ATF agents have accused Chipman of making “racially discriminatory comments.”

To further add to Chipman’s problems, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has left the nominee’s confirmation process on the back burner.

If Democrats tried to rush Chipman’s confirmation, they might stand a chance of succeeding. As it stands, Chipman will likely have to wait until at least next month before the Senate takes up the issue.

That leaves plenty of time for Republicans to continue building their already strong case against him. Stopping Chipman’s nomination, if successful, will be a major victory for the GOP.

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