Sanders opposes Biden Interior nominee in procedural vote

Sanders opposes Biden Interior nominee in procedural vote
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia US launches second Somalia strike in week MORE (I-Vt.) joined several GOP senators to oppose President BidenJoe BidenTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Republicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change Biden on hecklers: 'This is not a Trump rally. Let 'em holler' MORE’s nominee for the No. 2 role at the Interior Department in a procedural vote Wednesday.

Sanders joined with eight GOP senators against a vote to limit debate on Tommy Beaudreau's nomination for deputy Interior secretary, while 89 senators voted in Beaudreau's favor.

The move doesn’t guarantee that Sanders will ultimately oppose Beaudreau's confirmation, but cloture votes often preview how senators will ultimately vote.


Spokespeople for Sanders did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. 

Beaudreau has faced some scrutiny from progressive groups over his ties to oil giant Total and multinational mining company BHP. The nominee also has ties to the offshore wind industry

Beaudreau is seen as a more moderate compromise for deputy Interior secretary after the White House pulled back its initial pick for the role, Elizabeth Klein.

Klein’s shot at the job was spiked amid reported concerns from Senate moderates that she was too progressive. She is now a senior counselor to Interior Secretary Deb HaalandDeb HaalandSecretary Haaland, Colorado's epic drought highlights the need to end fossil fuel extraction Why Biden's Interior Department isn't shutting down oil and gas We have a moral obligation to learn Native American history MORE

Asked to respond to criticism over his fossil work during his confirmation hearing, Beaudreau said he accepts the criticism of the past work, adding that it "comes with holding these roles." 

He also said that he’s “a little bewildered” by some of the criticism because of “what I believe was a very strong track record during the Obama administration on conservation,” as well as what he described as his “tough but ... fair-minded” reputation as a regulator.