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Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record'

Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record'
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Former Sens. Tom UdallTom UdallSenate Democrats befuddled by Joe Manchin Study: Chemical used in paint thinners caused more deaths than EPA identified Oregon senator takes center stage in Democratic filibuster debate MORE (D-N.M.) and Mark UdallMark Emery UdallKennedy apologizes for calling Haaland a 'whack job' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland courts moderates during tense confirmation hearing | GOP's Westerman looks to take on Democrats on climate change | White House urges passage of House public lands package Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' MORE (D-Colo.) called for the Senate to confirm Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandSanders opposes Biden Interior nominee in procedural vote OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Judge halts Biden pause on new public lands oil leasing | Democrat presses Haaland on oil and gas review | EPA puts additional delay on Trump lead and copper in drinking water rule Democrat presses Haaland on oil and gas review MORE (D-N.M.) as Interior secretary in a USA Today op-ed Tuesday, saying accusations of political radicalism “motivated by something other than her record.”

The two argued that Haaland’s record on environmental issues is typical of a Democratic member of congress from a western state and that they had similar records in Congress that would be unlikely to prevent their confirmation.

“Rep. Haaland’s nomination is both historic and long overdue. If confirmed, she would be the first Native American Cabinet member,” the two former senators wrote.

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“Her record is in line with mainstream conservation priorities. Thus, the exceptional criticism of Rep. Haaland and the threatened holds on her nomination must be motivated by something other than her record.”

Sens. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesGOP senator introduces constitutional amendment to ban flag burning Company officially nixes Keystone XL pipeline OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE (R-Mont.) and John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoJudge halts Biden pause on new public lands oil leasing GOP senator: I want to make Biden a 'one-half-term president' Biden land management pick faces GOP scrutiny over decades-old tree spiking case MORE (R-Wyo.) have both suggested they will oppose Haaland’s nomination, citing her positions on energy issues.

Previously, the progressive New Mexico representative has expressed support for the Green New Deal and opposition to a controversial oil and gas extraction method known as fracking. 

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSen. Manchin paves way for a telehealth revolution Manchin meets with Texas lawmakers on voting rights Schumer tees up sweeping election bill for vote next week MORE (D-W.Va.), a key vote in the 50-50 Senate, has also suggested he has concerns about Haaland’s nomination. His hesitancy caught the ire of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHillary Clinton backs Shontel Brown in Ohio congressional race Ocasio-Cortez, Gillibrand and Moulton call for more high-speed rail funding in infrastructure package Pelosi picks Democrats for special panel tackling inequality MORE (D-N.Y.), who lambasted his comments on Tuesday, noting that the West Virginia senator voted to confirm then-Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsBorder state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos Garland strikes down Trump-era asylum decisions The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from the Biden-Putin summit MORE.

The former lawmakers also went on to cite Stewart Udall, Mark’s uncle and Tom’s father, who served as Interior secretary during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. The two said that Stewart Udall told them that the West was built by people like Haaland. 

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“He often reminded us that the West wasn’t built by gunslingers or lone rangers as told in films and novels. Instead, it was farmers, Native Americans, Hispanic and Anglo ranchers, and others who made it in those tough pioneering years by working together,” they wrote.

"We cannot think of anyone who embodies that truth more and has the ability to lead a newly energized Interior Department for all Americans than Congresswoman Haaland.” 

Haaland faced tough questions on Tuesday during her hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where she sought to court moderates including Manchin — the chairman of the committee who are weighing a vote on her confirmation.