The White House is reportedly contemplating delaying a vote on Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the Indian-American head of a doctors group, who has been chosen by US President Barack Obama for the post of surgeon general.
Murthy, an internist and political ally of Obama, has been subjected to criticism from the National Rifle Association.
According to the New York Times, opposition from the gun-rights group has grown so intense that it has placed Democrats from conservative states, several of whom are up for re-election this year, in a difficult spot.
A senior White House official stated that a range of options were being discussed and said that the White House was recalibrating its strategy around his floor vote, adding that it was expected of him to ultimately get confirmed.
Meanwhile, the NRA has been sending alerts to millions of email subscribers, asking them to contact their senators and ask them to oppose confirmation of President Obama's radically antigun nominee.
An N.R.A. spokesman, Andrew Arulanandam, said that all the rules had changed as far as this White House was concerned, adding that given Dr. Murthy's blatant activism on behalf of gun control, that's not a gamble they are willing to take.