Deborah Haaland set to be validated as very first Native American Cabinet

Congresswoman Deb Haaland, D-NM, speaks during the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on her nomination to be Interior Secretary on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, February 23, 2021.

The Senate on Monday is set to verify Rep. Deborah Haaland, D-N.M., as President Joe Biden’s secretary of the Department of the Interior, making the second-term Democrat the first Native American to hold a spot in the White House Cabinet in U.S. history.

Haaland, a registered member of the Laguna Pueblo, is anticipated to gain bipartisan support to run the interior department, which has a personnel of 70,000 workers and is charged with managing the country’s natural resources. The company handles almost 500 million acres of land, or one-fifth of the surface area of the United States.

Haaland’s confirmation would fill one of the few staying vacancies in Biden’s Cabinet, nearly two months after he was sworn in. With the majority of the major posts now occupied, the outstanding positions include United States trade representative, Labor secretary, and Health and Person Services secretary.

The confirmation marks a success for progressives who championed Haaland’s election, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Haaland, an advocate of the Green New Offer, was among the co-chairs of Warren’s 2020 campaign for president.

Republicans sought to wield Haaland’s progressive positions against her throughout her verification hearings last month. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., pressed Haaland on her support for the Green New Deal and the decreasing number of jobs readily available in the nonrenewable fuel source industry.

” I believe there are millions of tasks in a clean energy future,” Haaland reacted, in line with previous declarations from Biden. “If we can all interact I think we can do it all. I believe we can protect our public lands and produce jobs.”

Asked about her opposition to fracking on public lands, Haaland reacted that if validated she would be supporting Biden’s agenda, not necessarily her own.

“President Biden does not support a restriction on fracking, is my understanding,” she stated.

During the hearing, Haaland highlighted her bipartisan credentials. In her very first year in Congress, Haaland presented more bills with a co-sponsor from another party than any other Home freshman, according to GovTrack, which likewise rates her the 10th most politically left member of Congress.

In a somewhat uncommon maneuver, Haaland likewise promoted the assistance of Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, who presented her to the committee. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, another Alaska Republican politician, was one of the evident skeptics on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“I have had her reach throughout the aisle to speak to me about Alaska. She’s bipartisan,” Young informed lawmakers.

Haaland pledged at the hearing to deal with repairing the U.S. federal government’s relationship with Native American people if validated. She indicated her own story as an inspiration.

“If an Indigenous female from humble starts can be confirmed as secretary of the Interior, our nation holds pledge for everyone,” she stated.

Haaland is among the very first two Native American women elected to Congress, alongside fellow Democrat Sharice Davids of Kansas, a member of the Ho-Chunk Country.

The Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted previously in March to advance Haaland’s nomination by a vote of 11-9, with Murkowski signing up with 10 Democrats in favor of her verification.

“I am going to put my rely on Representative Haaland and her group regardless of some really real misgivings,” Murkowski said.

Sen. Joe Manchin, the prominent and carefully enjoyed moderate Democrat from West Virginia, also provided his approval. Manchin mentioned Young’s recommendation and stated it was “long previous time to provide a Native American woman a seat on the Cabinet table.”

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