Saturday, April 10, 2021

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Republicans are looking to turn Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s confirmation hearing into prime-time viewing material for Fox News.

Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM) helped sponsor the Not Invisible Act to create a new position within the Interior Department dealing specifically with murder, trafficking, and missing Native Americans, and form a new joint advisory committee between the Interior and Justice Departments on those issues. President Trump signed it into law on October 10, 2020.

Senator John Barasso of Wyoming, the ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement that the first Native Cabinet nominee’s “radical views are squarely at odds with the responsible management of our nation’s energy resources.”

Senator Steve Daines of Montana, who sits on the same committee, tweeted that he’s “deeply concerned” with the New Mexico congresswoman’s support of the “Green New Deal” and that he will try to block her confirmation.

Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, also on the committee, told E&E News that he would challenge Haaland on the Biden administration’s plan to stop issuing new leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands.

For American Indians, the nomination of Haaland has a special symbolic power: A Native woman poised to lead a department once run by a man who declared its mission was to “civilize or exterminate” Native people.

MAGA-men in Lansing, Michigan. Who would want to “threaten Republicans’ way of life”?

It strikes some as a rich irony that Republicans are now describing her as an existential threat to their way of life.

Across the country, Haaland is beloved by First Peoples. Her nomination has galvanized the Indigenous with the hope of representation, and it’s not lost on these voters that the leaders of the Grand Old Party are lining up against them.

The National Congress of American Indians has written a letter to senators, urging them to confirm Haaland and has created a template so that tribal leaders across the country can do the same.

Gerald Gray, the chair of the Little Shell Tribe of North Dakota, criticized Senate Republicans’ statements and said it was “time to put the partisan politics aside, stop calling every Democrat a ‘radical’ and get things moving in Interior.”

Read more at the Politico article,

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/02/23/deb-haaland-interior-secretary-confirmation-republicans-native-americans-alaska-murkowski-471125

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