‘The nomination is favorably reported’: Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior #DebForInterior
Posted: Friday, March 5, 2021
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Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico) is on her way to making history yet again, this time as the first Native person in a presidential cabinet.

By a vote of 11-9 on March 4, 2021, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved Haaland’s nomination to serve as Secretary of the Interior in President Joe Biden’s administration.

“It is long past time to give a Native American woman a seat at the Cabinet table,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), the chairman of the committee.

The committee’s roll call fell largely along party lines. All 10 Democrats on the legislative panel voted in favor of Haaland, who is a citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna, an Indian nation with homelands in New Mexico.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) crossed party lines to support the nomination. She said Native people in Alaska are “enormously proud to have a Native American nominated to this position.”

Haaland’s nomination can now be considered by the full U.S. Senate. Republican lawmakers — some from states with significant Indian Country populations — have said they will try to stall the floor vote.

If confirmed, Haaland would be the first Native person to lead the Department of the Interior, the federal agency with the most trust and treaty responsibilities to tribes and their citizens. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Education and the recently-established Bureau of Trust Funds Administration, which is taking over most of the duties previously assigned to the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, are part of Interior.