History! Senate Confirms Deb Haaland As First Native American Cabinet Secretary
March 16, 2021
WASHINGTON - On March 15, 2021, more than 200 years after George Washington assembled his first Cabinet, New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland of the Laguna Pueblo was confirmed by the Senate to serve as the first Native American Cabinet secretary, heading the Interior Department.
In a 51-40 vote, four Republican Senators broke party lines to join Democrats in confirming Madam Secretary Haaland, including Sens. Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan.
The road to the vote was embattled, with a two-day Senate committee hearing and significant pushback from congressional members from resource-reliant states fretting over how their districts could be impacted by the Biden administration's green energy policies. Some Republican senators made attempts to characterize Haaland as a "left-wing radical," citing her support for the Green New Deal and opposition to fracking.