Montana U.S. Senators split their votes Monday along a largely party-line vote to confirm Pres. Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of the Interior.
In a 51-40 vote, Senators confirmed Deb Haaland to be the first Native American Cabinet Secretary in U.S. History.
A member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, the 60 year old New Mexican Congresswoman received strong support from many tribal nations in Montana, including, most recently, the Crow Nation.
Republican senators Steve Daines from Montana and Cynthia Lummis from Wyoming, opposed Haaland’s confirmation, placing holds on her nomination last week and voting against her in Monday’s vote, while Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester voted to confirm.
Once sworn in, Haaland will lead the federal department in charge of tribal law enforcement and education, national parks, wildlife services and the Bureau of Land Management.
Kaitlyn Nicholas is Yellowstone Public Radio's Report for America Indigenous Affairs reporter.