The Democratic congresswoman from New Mexico is a historic pick and would be the first Native American Cabinet secretary if confirmed by the Senate. But Democrats and White House officials told CNN that they anticipate the hearing could get tense, and some Republicans have already spoken out against what they call her “extreme” and “radical” views on energy and environmental issues.
A key question for the future of her nomination is whether Joe Manchin, the chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and one of the most conservative Senate Democrats, will support it. Manchin is not getting ahead of the hearing — he has not yet said if he will vote to confirm Haaland.
Manchin said on Monday, “We’re very open to hearing her and hopefully she’ll have a good hearing.”
Haaland is also expected to directly thank Manchin for convening the hearing and “sharing with me the issues and needs of the people he represents in West Virginia.”
An official with the confirmation process told CNN that Democrats are making the case for Haaland that focuses on her bipartisan legislative record and extensive work with public lands and wildlife. Perhaps most importantly, expect her supporters to argue that Haaland believes that every job is important — and that oil, gas, and coal jobs will remain an important part of the US economy as transition toward a clean energy future.
Republicans have repeatedly said that the Biden administration is going to kill jobs through its clean energy agenda, which Haaland supports. Democrats plan to counter that Haaland’s home state…
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