The White House thinks the acting director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is doing such a great job, they're planning to demote him, Politico reports. The move allows the administration, which says fighting gun violence is a top priority, to avoid a nasty confirmation hearing for a troubled agency. The White House has no plans to name a permanent director for the agency, where career agent Thomas Brandon has been serving as acting chief since April. He can't legally hold that title for longer than 120 days, and the clock runs out on Oct. 27.
Brandon has agreed to stay on while re-assuming his previous title of deputy director, serving as the agency's highest-ranking official. “We’re not going to nominate you, but we have full confidence in you if you stay at the ATF,” Brandon said he was told. “If they don’t nominate anybody and I revert back to just the deputy director, but I’m still the CEO, I will give the taxpayers what I’ve always given them: a hard day’s work,” Brandon said. ATF has had only one permanent director under Obama: B. Todd Jones. Jones left on March 31 to take a job at the National Football League. Brandon, then Jones's deputy, has been serving as acting director since. 0VPLHks