Haaland confirmed as interior secretary, becoming first Native American cabinet head

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The Senate on Monday confirmed ​Rep. Deb Haaland as interior secretary, making the New Mexico congresswoman the first Native American to lead a Cabinet department.

She was confirmed by a 51-40 vote.

Haaland’s confirmation was hailed by Democrats and tribal groups.

As interior secretary, she will lead a powerful department that routinely deals with the 600 federally recognized tribes.

“Rep. Haaland’s confirmation represents a gigantic step forward in creating a government that represents the full richness and diversity of this country,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

“Native Americans for far too long have been neglected at the Cabinet level and in so many other places,” said Schumer.

On the other side of the aisle, Haaland has been criticized by several Republicans during her confirmation process for her embrace of the progressive Green New Deal and her anti-fracking stance.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Haaland’s “extreme views” and support of “catastrophic legislation” such as the Green New Deal would make her confirmation as interior secretary disastrous, harming America’s energy supply and economy.

With Post wires

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