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Holder Stays as Attorney General; Conflicts With House Likely to Continue

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Despite that, Holder is likely to participate in a meeting with the NRA on Thursday as part of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s task force on gun violence.

One widely expected recommendation by the task force is to strengthen the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which has not had a permanent director in six years and reports to Holder. The attorney general probably would play an important role in any such process.

But in an interview with CQ Roll Call in December, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., warned that an effort to bolster the ATF risks getting intertwined with House Republicans’ frustrations over Fast and Furious.

“As long as the president asserts executive privilege to cloud the whole question of failures at the ATF, I don’t think he stands on high ground to have a Senate-confirmed permanent director,” Issa said.

Holder, 61, is already the longest-serving attorney general since John D. Ashcroft, who served under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005.

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