Heinrich Introduces Haaland In Interior Secretary Confirmation Hearing

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, introduced President Joe Biden’s U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary nominee U.S. Representative Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) to the full committee.

VIDEO: Heinrich Introduces Haaland In Interior Secretary Confirmation Hearing [HD DOWNLOAD LINK HERE]

Senator Heinrich’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member Barrasso,

It is both my pleasure and my honor to introduce my colleague from New Mexico, my Representative in the House of Representatives, and President Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Interior, Congresswoman Deb Haaland.

Congresswoman Haaland is member the Pueblo of Laguna.

She is what we like to call a 35th-generation New Mexican.

As many have noted, she will make history as the first-ever Native American Cabinet secretary, something that frankly should have happened a long, long time ago.

She grew up in a military family: her father was a decorated Marine combat veteran, and her mother is a Navy veteran.

She grew up like many kids with parents in the military, moving frequently and attending 13 different public schools over the course of her childhood.

Before being elected to Congress, she owned her own business, was the chair of the board of a tribally-owned business, and she served as tribal administrator for the Pueblo of San Felipe.

Congresswoman Haaland knows firsthand how the decisions that we make here in Washington affect communities across the country, especially in rural Western states.

As representative of the 1st District of New Mexico, Congresswoman Haaland has served as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands.

As a committee leader, she demonstrated her commitment to working across party lines.

Of all the members of Congress newly elected in 2018, she introduced the most bills with bipartisan cosponsors.

I have no doubt that Congresswoman Haaland's bipartisan experience and her leadership will help us restore our nation-to-nation relationship to Indian Country, and make conservation and outdoor recreation a key part of our national economic recovery.

What we’ve learned over the last several years is that our relationship to our land and our loyalty to America’s special places has the ability to unite us all.

Americans want more equitable access to our public lands, environmental justice, solutions for the climate crisis, protection of wildlife and clean water, and they want rural economic development.

Congresswoman Haaland also understands that confronting the climate crisis—not denying it—and transforming our economy will not come without costs.

That is especially true for fossil fuel workers—including many New Mexicans—who have long powered our economy.

I see Congresswoman Haaland as a true partner for states like ours as we diversify our economy, invest in our communities, and remain a global leader in producing and exporting energy.

I am confident Congresswoman Haaland will use the best available science to restore our landscapes, open up new outdoor recreation opportunities for everyone, put our public lands to work in confronting the climate crisis, and help Indian Country recover and rebuild from Covid-19.

I am eager to support her confirmation so she can get to work protecting our natural heritage for future generations, and I sincerely hope the other members of this committee will join me in supporting her nomination.