President-elect Joe Biden has reportedly made his interior secretary pick.
Biden will nominate Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), who would make history as the first Native American Cabinet secretary, to serve as head of the Interior Department, Politico and The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
Haaland had previously picked up support from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) among others, as Pelosi in a statement this week said that the congressman “knows the territory, and if she is the president-elect’s choice for interior secretary, then he will have made an excellent choice,” although her confirmation would narrow Democrats’ House majority.
A person familiar with the transition’s thinking told The Washington Post that the selection of Haaland “reflects President-elect Biden’s determination to confront long-running injustices toward indigenous people in America, and to finally and fully uphold our country’s trust and treaty obligations to tribal nations.”
Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), who was reportedly in the mix for the interior secretary position, praised Haaland’s reported selection in a statement Thursday, saying she will be “excellent” in the role and will “restore the department’s workforce and expertise, uphold our obligations to Native communities, and take the bold action needed to tackle the accelerating climate and nature crises.”
Yahoo’s Hunter Walker noted that the selection of Haaland for interior secretary was “one of the clearest asks from progressive Dems,” adding, “This is a major win for them.” Politico also wrote that she’ll bring a “major outside voice to a Biden Cabinet so far dominated by former Obama officials.” Brendan Morrow