Rep. Deb Haaland Fends Off Republican Attacks At Contentious Confirmation Hearing
February 24, 2021
Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), President Joe's Biden's pick to lead the Interior Department, kicked off her confirmation hearing Tuesday by acknowledging the "historic nature" of the moment, as she stands to become the nation's first-ever Indigenous Cabinet member. But she also tried to head off opposition from Republicans who have painted her as an "extreme," "radical" threat to fossil fuel production and the American "way of life."
"I hope this nomination would be an inspiration for Americans - moving forward together as one nation and creating opportunities for all of us," she told lawmakers.
Haaland, 60, vowed to be "a fierce advocate for public lands" and consult all stakeholders to strike the right balance between natural resource development and conservation. She also said she'd "work my heart out for everyone," including fossil fuel workers, ranchers, communities suffering from legacy pollution and "people of color whose stories deserve to be heard."