The Senate Judiciary Committee’s agenda for Thursday, June 17th, includes a vote of a number of nominees. Key among these will be David Chipman to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
If it goes as expected, the Judiciary Committee will have a tie vote with all Democrats voting for him and all Republicans voting against him. A tie vote would not normally result in a nominee being discharged from the committee. However, under the power sharing arrangement of the 117th Senate, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) as committee chair will report the tie vote to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Either of those two after consulting both Durbin and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) can then make a discharge motion to bring the nomination to the floor of the Senate for a vote.
This makes it all the more important that pressure be put on any wavering Republican such as Collins and Murkowski as well as on Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) to vote no on Chipman.
The US Senate’s switchboard can forward your call to any Senator’s office. That number is 202-224-3121. I would call the DC offices of my senators as well as the local offices in their home states. If you plan to call any of the wavering senators, I’m not saying to make up an address but if you have relatives in that state, I’d use it.