Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a business meeting to consider the pending nomination of U.S. Representative Debra Haaland (D-NM) to be the Secretary of the Interior. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, voted to support Rep. Haaland’s nomination and she passed out of committee by a recorded vote of 11-9. Rep. Haaland previously committed to Chairman Manchin that she will work with him to extend Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation (AML) fees– a key priority due to its 2021 expiration.
“While I may not personally agree with some of Representative Deb Haaland’s past statements and policy positions, as Secretary, she will be carrying out President Biden’s agenda. And, as a former Governor, I understand the importance of having one’s own team in place. It is especially important that President Biden has the department heads he wants, since they make up his Cabinet. He is trying to bind together a nation split by deep political, racial, social, and economic divisions. Just as I believe that the responsibility falls on every one of us to work together to heal those divisions, he is committed to ushering in a new era of bipartisanship and inclusiveness, and he deserves to have the support of Cabinet members he believes can best help him in that task. He is also trying to assemble a Cabinet that reflects the rich diversity of our nation—one that looks like America. 230 years after President Washington called his first Cabinet meeting, it is long past time to give a Native American woman a seat at the Cabinet table,” said Chairman Manchin. “I support Deb Haaland’s nomination and will vote to report her and I look forward to working with her to protect our public lands and ensure the responsible use of all our natural resources in a bipartisan manner.”
The committee also voted to ratify the majority and minority leadership and membership rosters of its four subcommittees— which were announced earlier this week.