Via The Hill:
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is vowing to block President Obama’s nominations until he gets detailed answers on a controversial program that resulted in drug cartels acquiring more than 1,300 firearms from the U.S.The degree to which Grassley's threats will be effective remains to be seen but it could get very interesting if there's a judge Obama is really chomping at the bit to appoint.
Grassley is pressing the Department of Justice (DOJ) on who initiated the “Gun Runner” program that authorized the sale of guns to people acting as straw purchasers for drug cartels in Mexico. Gun Runner might have contributed to the death of at least one federal agent.
As the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Grassley has been working closely with House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) for the past several months, gathering documents and conducting interviews with DOJ officials and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents in an attempt to find out who gave the order for the operation.
Sources note that unlike Grassley, Issa has subpoena power.
Gun Runner and another operation called Fast and Furious were designed to dismantle the gun-smuggling routes that drug cartels use to ferry high-powered assault rifles from the U.S. into Mexico. By allowing people to illegally purchase large quantities of the weapons from gun dealers, officials hoped to trace the firearms to the drug cartel members and prosecute them. But ATF whistleblowers allege that officials lost track of the guns.
h/t to Sipsey Street