Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding moving to discharge the nomination of Steven Dettelbach to be Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, allowing the full Senate to consider this nomination. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
As we await the completion of a gun safety bill, there is another step the Senate will take today to protect our communities from gun violence: we can move to confirm Steven Dettelbach as the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
I want to thank Senator Durbin and the Judiciary committee, for moving this nomination expeditiously.
Later today, I will move to discharge the nomination of Mr. Dettelbach from the Judiciary Committee, after his nomination resulted in a tie vote.
Based on his record and qualifications Dettelbach unquestionably deserves bipartisan support, but either way he is going to move forward.
The ATF has not had a permanent director since 2015, so confirming Mr. Dettelbach is one of my top priorities before the end of June.
We need a fully functional, fully staffed ATF in order for that agency to fulfill its mission of keeping our communities safe from gun violence. Obviously, the gun safety legislation we’re negotiating is very important, but so is having a fully-functioning ATF.
It is critical we have a fully functioning, fully staffed ATF for that agency to carry out its mission of protecting our communities from gun violence, and what they do is very, very important. Sometimes their work is quiet, sometimes it’s not noticed, but their ability to deal with gun traffickers and so many others who poison our streets with illegal guns that take the lives of our children – the ATF is essential in stopping that, curtailing it.
And having a strong, qualified nominee like Mr. Dettelbach will certainly help reduce the scourge of gun violence in this country, particularly because the ATF has not had anyone at the helm since 2015.
So I am going to make sure his nomination moves as quickly and speedily through this chamber as possible.