ATF lacks permanent boss as it investigates Boston Marathon explosion

April 16, 2013 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, still commonly known as ATF, is laboring without a permanent director even as it plays a key role in investigating the Boston Marathon bombing.

Long a political target for conservative lawmakers and gun-owners, the Justice Department agency employs about 5,000 personnel and operates on a $1.5 billion annual budget. Presidents of both parties, though, have been unable to get a permanent director confirmed by the Senate since 2006. Earlier this year, President Barack Obama nominated Acting Director B. Todd Jones for the post.

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