Republicans put procedural delay on Haaland’s nomination
Two GOP Senators have put holds on Rep. Deb Haaland’s nomination to be Interior Secretary, putting up a procedural hurdle that will delay the New Mexico Democrat’s final confirmation vote.
Sens. Steve Daines (Mont.) and Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) said they will force debate on Haaland’s nomination, which would last for 30 hours.
Despite the delay, Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat, is still expected to be confirmed since she’ll need just a simple majority to eventually get to the floor.
A statement from Daines’s office said the senator thinks it’s important to have a floor debate on Haaland’s record.
“I will be forcing debate on Rep. Haaland’s nomination to Interior,” Daines said in a statement. “Her record is clear: she opposes pipelines & fossil fuels, ignores science when it comes to wildlife management & wants to ban trapping on public lands. Her views will hurt the Montana way of life and kill Montana jobs. We must consider the impact she will have on the West.”
Lummis, in a statement, cited President Biden’s energy policies in her statement.
“Congresswoman Deb Haaland will be a champion of this and even more radical policies, and I am committed to doing anything I can to fight the Biden and Haaland job-killing agenda,” she said.
Haaland stressed during her Senate confirmation hearing that she’ll be implementing Biden’s agenda, not her own, and said fossil fuels will still play a role in the country’s energy mix.
“There’s no question that fossil energy does and will continue to play a major role in America for years to come. I know how important oil and gas revenues are to fund critical services,” she said at the time. “But we must also recognize that the energy industry is innovating, and our climate challenge must be addressed.”
Daines, who has been outspoken in his opposition to Haaland’s nomination, previously indicated he might place the hold, with his office saying he would work to “block and defeat” the nomination.
Spokespeople for Haaland and the Interior Department declined to comment on the holds by Daines and Lummis.
Haaland has garnered support from Democrats and even some Republicans, with Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) saying they would vote for her.
If she’s confirmed, Haaland will be the first Native American Cabinet secretary. As head of Interior, she would oversee a department with significant responsibilities to the country’s federally recognized tribes.
Updated at 10:19 a.m.