Dozens of members of Congress, together with some Republicans, are urging President-elect Joe Biden to select Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) to be his Interior Secretary ― and make some historical past within the course of.
Haaland, the chair of House Natural Resources subcommittee with oversight authority for the Interior Department, made historical past in 2018 as certainly one of simply two Native American girls ever elected to Congress. If Biden tapped her for the Interior Secretary publish, it will be the primary time the nation has ever had a Native American serve in any Cabinet place.
“We greatly appreciate your commitment to building a Cabinet that reflects the diversity of America, and we strongly recommend that you nominate our colleague Representative Deb Haaland, a congresswoman from New Mexico and an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, as to serve as your Secretary of the Interior,” reads a letter to Biden that was despatched Monday and signed by greater than 50 House Democrats.
“She has been a champion for our environment and public lands and has worked tirelessly to improve the nation-to-nation relationship between the United States and Indian tribes,” continues the letter, led by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.). “By selecting her to be your Secretary of the Interior, you can make history by giving Native Americans a seat at the Cabinet table for the first time.”
Here’s a duplicate of their letter:
On Friday, Democratic Reps. Gerry Connolly (Va.) and Paul Tonko (N.Y.), co-chairs of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, similarly wrote to Biden rallying behind Haaland for the job.
“Since joining Congress and our coalition, Congresswoman Haaland has demonstrated unwavering commitment to protecting public lands, addressing the climate crisis, and serving the needs of Indigenous communities across the country,” they wrote. “As an Indigenous woman, her nomination would be historically important, and she would bring perspective and direct experience to the work of serving Tribal communities in a way no office holder has before her.”
Even some Republicans are talking up on her behalf. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who co-chairs the Congressional Native American Caucus with Haaland, raved about his bipartisan work along with her.
“While we belong to different parties, I consider Congresswoman Deb Haaland a valued colleague and a good friend,” Cole instructed HuffPost in a Friday assertion. “Congresswoman Haaland and I not only share a special bond through our tribal heritage and extensive knowledge of tribal history in the United States, but we have a shared understanding when it comes to advancing policies for the good of Indian Country.”
“Because we understand that Native American issues are not a matter of conservative versus liberal, we have accomplished a great deal together, including helping secure substantial federal funding to aid tribal governments in their response to the coronavirus crisis and shedding greater light on the heartbreaking epidemic of murdered and missing indigenous women,” he added.
Because we perceive that Native American points are usually not a matter of conservative versus liberal, we now have achieved an awesome deal collectively.
Republican Rep. Tom Cole
Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the rating member on the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, which Haaland chairs, explicitly endorsed Haaland for Interior Secretary.
“As Secretary of the Interior, [Rep. Haaland] would not only make history as the first Native American to serve in that role, but would pour her passion into the job every single day,” Young told reporter Julian Brave NoiseCat on Wednesday.
A Young spokesman didn’t reply to HuffPost’s request for remark.
The Interior Department is accountable for managing the nation’s pure assets and honoring the federal authorities’s commitments to Native American tribes, which it has failed to do time and time once more. It additionally oversees the Bureau of Indian Education and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the latter of which manages over 55 million acres of land held in belief for Native Americans by the federal government. Both companies are notoriously underfunded and have did not adequately serve Indigenous communities.
The seismic shift of placing a Native American girl in control of the division with oversight of public lands ― from which Indigenous individuals have been forcibly removed by the U.S. authorities ― isn’t misplaced on Haaland.
“The symbolism alone, yes, it’s profound,” she instructed HuffPost final week.
Haaland mentioned “of course” she would have an interest within the publish of it have been provided to her. She emphasised that persons are advocating for her to get it, however that she didn’t know what was taking place with the appointment course of.
Biden has been mum on who he plans to nominate. Haaland’s title is being floated, together with Democratic Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico.
Biden transition workforce officers said Thursday that the president-elect plans to start out saying some Cabinet posts earlier than Thanksgiving.
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