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Rep. Deb Haaland And The Future Of The Department Of The Interior

Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), nominee for Secretary of the Interior, testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), nominee for Secretary of the Interior, testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM) is President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the U.S. Department of the Interior. If confirmed, she’d be making history as the first-ever Native American to lead the federal agency responsible for maintaining and conserving federal lands.

Her confirmation, however, hasn’t been a straightforward path so far. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was the only Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to approve of Haaland’s nomination in a close 11-9 vote along party lines.

Now her confirmation will move to the full Senate. Every Senate Democrat, as well as Sen. Murkowski and Maine Sen. Susan Collins, is expected to vote to confirm her, making her nomination a lock.

What does Haaland’s nomination mean for the Department of the Interior? And for its relationship with Native Americans?

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