Move to make ATFE director subject to Senate confirmation
Congressional Quarterly is reporting that the reauthorization of anti-terrorism laws (conference report on HR 3199) will make the appointment of the director of ATFE subject to Senate confirmaton.
A PATRIOT ACT PROVISION
Puts ATF in the Gun Lobby's Sights
By Daphne Retter
CQ Today (Legislative News-Daily from Congressional Quarterly)
February 27, 2006
The gun rights lobby has had a good couple of years in Congress, and the Senate's expected vote this week to clear a reauthorization of the 2001 anti-terrorism law (PL 107-56) could be icing on the cake.
Deep within the conference report on the reauthorization bill (HR 3199) is a 38-word provision that would leave the nemesis of gun advocates, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), more accountable to the Senate.
The provision would make the ATF director subject to Senate confirmation, thus giving senators a new bargaining chip in negotiations with the White House. Confirmations can be held hostage to satisfy individual senators' demands.
The provision, quietly inserted by House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., R-Wis., caps a run of good fortune for the National Rifle Association and other gun lobbies. Most recently, the gun group pushed successfully for a limit on civil liabilities for gun manufacturers and dealers (PL 109-92), as well as an end to the ban on assault weapons (PL 103-322).