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Susan Collins Says She Will Vote To Confirm Deb Haaland For Interior Secretary

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Jim Watson
/
Pool via AP
In this Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, file photo, Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., listens during the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on her nomination to be Interior secretary, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she will vote to confirm Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico to be secretary of the Department of Interior. Haaland would be the first Native American to serve in a cabinet-level position.

Collins said in a written statement that after examining Haaland’s qualifications, reviewing her hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and meeting with her personally, she will offer her support.

Haaland currently serves as the vice chair of House Committee on Natural Resources where she is known as a strong critic of oil and gas drilling and a political progressive who supports the Green New Deal.

Collins says that while she disagrees with some of Haaland’s views, she appreciates her deep knowledge of tribal issues. Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo and one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress.

Around the country, native people see her possible confirmation as transformational for a department that has a legacy of separating native children from their families and for opening sacred land to mining and drilling.

Collins previously announced that she would oppose the nomination of President Joe Biden’s pick to head the Office of Management and Budget. Neera Tanden’s nomination was withdrawn Tuesday amid opposition over her history of criticizing lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Collins also cited Tanden’s deletion of hundreds of tweets in her opposition.