President Barack Obama on Wednesday re-nominated three Justice Department nominees whom the Senate returned last month after adjourning without acting on them.
Obama again tapped James Cole for Deputy Attorney General, Andrew Traver for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Denise O’Donnell for Bureau of Justice Assistance director.
The Cole nomination was pro forma. The former DOJ Criminal Division official is already serving as Deputy Attorney General through a recess appointment  made by Obama in December after Republicans blocked him in the Senate for five months last year.
Traver, a 23-year ATF veteran, also faced opposition while he was a nominee last year.
The National Rifle Association said  in a November news release that Traver’s nomination was “ill-advised.” They gun rights organization said Traver, the chief of the ATF’s Chicago office, “has been deeply aligned with gun control advocates and anti-gun activities,” noting his involvement with the Gun Violence Reduction Project, a national program supported by police chiefs, and the Joyce Foundation, which pushes for tighter gun laws.
Obama first nominated Traver on Nov. 17, but the Senate Judiciary Committee never acted on his nomination.
The ATF has never had a Senate-confirmed leader, as the gun-regulation agency has been buffeted by the fierce politics surrounding firearms ownership. Temporary appointees have led the ATF since a 2006 law allowed the Senate to confirm the director.
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