Byron Todd Jones has received Senate confirmation to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which has not had a permanent director in seven years, USA Today reported Wednesday.
Deirdre Shesgreen writes Jones, who has temporarily held the post since 2011 and won a vote of 53-42 upon final count on Wednesday, is expected to help reestablish the organizational structure of the ATF.
“This position hasn’t had a director for seven years,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D) was quoted to have said in the report.
“I hope the ATF will be able to do its job, just as the American people deserve,” she added.
Shesgreen reports the referendum took more than five hours as Democrats had to wait for Heitkamp, who came from Washington, to complete 60 votes required to assure a win for Jones.
USA Today notes Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) also needed to be persuaded to change her decision due to previous complaint against Jones over an alleged workplace retaliation incident.
“During the vote, I was informed by colleagues that the investigation phase has concluded and a mediation process has been initiated to resolve this issue,” Murkowski said according to the report.
The article says six Republicans who voted against Jones cited the complaint that he allegedly opposed whistle-blowers and had a conflict with the assistant attorney while he served as the attorney of Minnesota.
The Senate should have postponed the appointment of Jones until the issue was completely resolved, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) reportedly said.