GOP Seeks to Block First Native American Nominated to Cabinet

When Joe Biden was still on the campaign trail, one of his most repeated promises was to create an administration and Cabinet that looked like the country it would represent. Now as President, Biden has delivered on that promise and then some. But some members of the GOP have made it their mission to block President Biden’s appointees for whatever reasons they can muster, because if they’re not obstructing a Democratic president, what are they there for?

In their latest attempt at preventing the new administration from undoing the damage from the last one, Republicans are blocking the President’s appointee for Interior Secretary. If confirmed, Deb Haaland would make history as the first Native American woman to serve on a Presidential Cabinet. But opponents to the choice who were already being vocal pre-impeachment are now speaking a little louder now.

MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 20: In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) addresses the virtual convention on August 20, 2020. The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)

Senator Steve Daines of Montana voiced his concerns earlier in the month regarding Haaland’s support for the Green New Deal and President Biden’s oil and gas moratorium, as well as her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

“I’m not convinced the Congresswoman can divorce her radical views and represent what’s best for Montana and all stakeholders in the West. Unless my concerns are addressed, I will block her confirmation,” he said.

Other members of the GOP began voicing concerns about Haaland, who was elected to the House in 2018, because her nomination to lead the federal lands agency delighted progressives. As usual, they were shut down on Twitter by people who actually understood the issues.

Daines could stall the nomination by placing a hold preventing her from advancing through a procedural vote and instead forcing a cloture vote, which could take a significant amount of time. Haaland is likely to ultimately prevail though, as only a simple majority would be needed to eventually get her nomination to the floor.

Haaland isn’t the only woman of color being blocked by the Senate. Last Thursday Senator Ted Cruz placed a hold preventing the Senate from voting on the nomination of Gina Raimondo, President Biden’s pick for Commerce secretary, over concerns Raimondo has not clarified her stance on Chinese telecom giant Huawei.





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