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  Biden pick for Interior secretary likely to face rocky confirmation hearing
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ContributorBrentinCO 
Last EditedBrentinCO  Feb 22, 2021 01:15pm
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AuthorJacob Fischler
News DateFriday, February 19, 2021 07:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionU.S. Senate Republicans may use next week’s Interior confirmation hearing for Rep. Debra Haaland to air their grievances about the Biden administration’s energy policies, running the risk of alienating Native Americans in Western states.

GOP Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Steve Daines of Montana sit on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which will hold the Tuesday hearing, and both have already raised objections that Haaland holds “radical” views. Daines vowed to block her progress in the Senate unless she addresses several issues that concern him.

If confirmed, Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat, would be the first Native American person to hold a Cabinet position, a significant symbolic step for the federal department charged with overseeing most federal-tribal relations. She is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna.

But her confirmation already is running behind — the timing of the hearing means Haaland likely won’t get a vote on the floor of the Senate until sometime in mid-March at the earliest. That timeline would make Haaland’s start date the latest in modern history for a president’s first Interior secretary.
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