BREAKING: Senate Confirms Rep. Deb Haaland as Interior Secretary

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Posted: Mar 15, 2021 7:15 PM
BREAKING: Senate Confirms Rep. Deb Haaland as Interior Secretary

Source: AP Photo/Morgan Lee

The Senate on Monday confirmed Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM) as Interior Secretary with a 41-40 vote, making her the first Native American cabinet secretary in American history.

Four Republicans voted for Haaland, including Sens. Susan Collins (ME), Lindsey Graham (SC), Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Dan Sullivan (AK).

Democrats cheered Haaland's nomination (and now confirmation). 

“Secretary Haaland is a respected leader in the Congress and Indian Country, who brings a unique and important perspective to our work to safeguard America’s natural heritage," House Speakar Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a statement. "As a Native American woman, an advocate and as the Vice Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and the Chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, her experience will serve her and the American people well in her new role.

Some Republicans, on the other hand, have concerns about Haaland's stance on energy issues, particularly as it relates to drilling on public lands.

"I'm deeply concerned with the Congresswoman's support on several radical issues that will hurt Montana, our way of life, our jobs and rural America," Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) told NPR.

Native Americans in New Mexico are greatly impacted by President Biden's executive order that put a 60-day moratorium on permits relating to onshore and offshore oil and gas development. Those permits also include drilling on tribal lands. How Haaland will impact those decisions moving forward, especially given her radical climate change background, have yet to be seen.