Graham, 3 other GOP senators signal possible support for Haaland confirmation

Graham, 3 other GOP senators signal possible support for Haaland confirmation
© Greg Nash

Four Republican senators, including Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell faces GOP pushback on debt deal Bottom line GOP senators introduce bill targeting Palestinian 'martyr payments' MORE (S.C.) and Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanGOP resistance to Biden FCC nominee could endanger board's Democratic majority Man charged with threatening Alaska senators pleads not guilty China conducts combat readiness drill after US congressional delegation arrives in Taiwan MORE (Alaska), have signaled they could vote with Democrats to confirm Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandNevada governor apologizes for state's role in indigenous schools The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden to announce increased measures for omicron The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks up bright side beneath omicron's cloud MORE (D-N.M.), President BidenJoe BidenHouse passes 8B defense policy bill House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale MORE's pick to lead the Interior Department. 

Graham and Sullivan were joined by fellow Republicans Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate leaders face pushback on tying debt fight to defense bill Congress should reject H.R. 1619's dangerous anywhere, any place casino precedent Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills MORE (Alaska) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection Hillicon Valley — Presented by Connected Commerce Council — Incident reporting language left out of package Language requiring companies to report cyberattacks left out of defense bill MORE (Maine) in supporting the advancement during the procedural vote. Murkowski and Collins had previously announced that they would support the nomination. 

Votes on procedural measures ahead of a confirmation vote are often viewed as previews of what final vote tallies could look like, although they’re not guaranteed to be identical. 

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A spokesperson for Sullivan indicated in an email that the senator hadn't made his decision on the nomination yet. 

"Senator Sullivan had another hour-long meeting with Congresswoman Haaland yesterday and is following up on numerous commitments Haaland has made to him and continuing to evaluate her responses to questions he has raised," spokesperson Nate Adams said. 

The nomination has become a political flashpoint, as supporters hail the historic nature of appointing a Native American woman to the Cabinet, particularly overseeing a department with significant responsibility to tribes, while opponents have gone after her stances on fossil fuels. 

Sens. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesBill honoring 13 service members killed in Afghanistan heads to Biden's desk The Memo: Much-criticized Trump policy puts Biden in a vise The good, bad, and ugly of Tester's Blackfoot-Clearwater Stewardship Act MORE (R-Mont.) and Cynthia LummisCynthia Marie LummisLobbyists turn to infrastructure law's implementation Republicans struggle to save funding for Trump's border wall Holiday season poses major test for Biden economy MORE (R-Wyo.) placed holds on her nomination, citing her stance on fossil fuels.

During her confirmation hearing, 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."

Jordain Carney contributed.

Updated 6:12 p.m.