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Panel Advances Haaland's Nomination To Full Senate

U.S. Congresswoman Deb Haaland

New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haaland has cleared one of the final hurdles in the confirmation process for Secretary of the Interior.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 11-9 on Thursday to advance Haaland's nomination onto the Senate where she is expected to be confirmed and become the first Indigenous person appointed to a cabinet position.

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who represents a number of Alaska Native constituents, was the only Republican to side with Democrats on Haaland's confirmation.

Haaland faced tough questions from Republican lawmakers on what role her record on climate change and the environmental protections would play in decisions on oil and gas extraction on public lands.

Republican Susan Collins of Maine is also expected to support Haaland's nomination in the Senate along with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, whose approval is seen as crucial. Manchin has called her nomination historic and long overdue.

A confirmation vote in the full Senate is expected in the coming days.


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Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
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