The Senate confirmed controversial Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives nominee B. Todd Jones on a nearly party-line vote today, with Democratic leaders making Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) fly back from her home state to move forward President Obama’s pick.
Heitkamp’s vote was added to Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), John McCain (Ariz.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.) to reach the 60 needed to end debate.
Jones was then confirmed 53-42. Kirk was the only Republican to vote in favor.
“For nearly seven years, Senate Republicans had refused to confirm an ATF director – not because they thought the nominees weren’t qualified, but because they put politics ahead of the agency’s law enforcement mission,” Obama complained in a statement after the vote.