On Wednesday, the Senate unanimously stripped the Cover-Up Protection Act (S. 679) of provisions which would take the jobs of officials like Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich and exempt them and their successors from Senate confirmation.
You may remember that Weich was the cover-up specialist who testified before Congress two weeks ago, doing his best to dodge and deflect any questions relating to the disastrous Operation Fast and Furious.
The Senate also voted to reinstate the requirement for Senate confirmation of Weich's Legislative Affairs counterparts in all of the other cabinet departments as well.
This is an enormous victory for the members and friends of Gun Owners of America, who fought this battle with very little help from other organizations.
Having said this, the bill still has gun-related problems: It would continue to exempt the head of the Bureau of Justice Statistics from the requirement that he be confirmed by the Senate. This is particularly important to gun owners because the Bureau of Justice Statistics has, in the past, highlighted the use of guns by law-abiding Americans for self-defense.
But if its director became a political hack, appointed by the president without Senate confirmation, as S. 679 would provide, it could rapidly become an engine for politically correct anti-gun “junk science.”
For this reason, Gun Owners of America opposed final passage of S. 679, which passed by a vote of 79-to-20. The Senators who voted correctly are: Ayotte, Boozman, Burr, Chambliss, Coburn, Coats, Crapo, DeMint, Grassley, Hatch, Heller, Inhofe, Isakson, Johnson, Lee, Moran, Paul, Reich, Rubio and Vitter.
The battle now shifts to the House.
We have every reason to believe that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa can be convinced to ensure that the bill never sees the light of day in the House.
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