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Confirmation hearing scheduled for Biden’s interior secretary nominee

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The confirmation hearing for Interior Secretary nominee Rep. Deb Haaland is scheduled for next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. ET, a spokesperson for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.

Haaland, who represents New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, was reelected to her second term in November. If confirmed by the Senate, she will make history as the first Native American Cabinet secretary.

Haaland’s hearing is scheduled for the same day as the confirmation hearing for Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Xavier Becerra, who currently serves as California’s attorney general, before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The day before, another committee is set to hold its first hearing for Judge Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden’s choice for US attorney general.

The flurry of hearings comes as the Senate returns to assessing Biden’s picks to lead his Cabinet after the dramatic second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump absorbed the chamber’s attention last week. More than a dozen nominees still await Senate confirmation.

Biden’s selection of Haaland to lead the Interior Department marked a historic victory for an alliance of progressives and Indigenous leaders who had campaigned relentlessly to elevate one of their own to a powerful federal seat that oversees natural resources, public lands and Indian affairs.

A member of Pueblo of Laguna, Haaland is a favorite of the young, diverse progressive activists who vigorously lobbied the Biden team and House Democratic leadership — who are holding on to a slim majority after the November elections — to select her over more familiar names with closer ties to the Democratic Party establishment.

During Haaland’s short time in Congress, she has won support from members of both parties, including GOP Rep. Don Young of Alaska, who praised her work as a vice chair on the House Committee on Natural Resources and described her as a “consensus builder.”

Haaland also served as the chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. In November, 50 House Democrats — across ideological lines — signed a letter touting her for the Cabinet job.

Article Topic Follows: Politics

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