June 16, 2022

Judiciary Committee Advances Nomination of Steve Dettelbach to Lead ATF

Committee additionally advances two Circuit Court nominees, two District Court nominees, and one U.S. Attorney

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee today advanced the nominations of Sarah A.L. Merriam, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit; Lara E. Montecalvo, to be United States Circuit Judge for the First Circuit; Tiffany M. Cartwright, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Washington; and Nina Nin-Yuen Wang, to be United States District Judge for the District of Colorado.

Merriam received a vote of 12-10; Montecalvo received a vote of 12-10; Cartwright received a vote of 12-10; and Wang received a vote of 14-8.

The Committee also advanced the nomination of Steven M. Dettelbach, to be Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), by a vote of 11-11.  Under the provisions of S. Res. 27, Leader Schumer may now file a discharge motion on the Dettelbach nomination to be placed on the executive calendar.

The Committee also advanced the nomination of Phillip A. Talbert, to be United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California, by voice vote.

Ahead of the vote, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke to the nomination of Steve Dettelbach to lead ATF.

Key Durbin quotes:

“We have the opportunity today to take another step towards making our nation safer—voting to advance Steve Dettelbach’s nomination.”

“[ATF has] only had one confirmed Director since the position was made subject to Senate confirmation in 2006.  And it has not had a confirmed Director since 2015.  Seven years, no leadership…  For stability, for responsiveness, for accountability, and for agency morale, this is long overdue.”

“At root, Mr. Dettelbach is a career public servant… His nomination has been endorsed by virtually every major law enforcement organization in the country.”

“The bipartisan gun safety framework makes clear the Senate can still cross party lines to get things done. I hope that happens today in this Committee.”

Video of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s opening statement is available here for TV Stations.

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