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Manchin says he'll vote for Haaland for interior secretary

Deb Haaland
Posted at 2:40 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 17:40:57-05

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says he will vote in favor of New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland to serve as interior secretary, clearing the way for likely approval of her nomination as the first Native American to head a Cabinet agency.

Manchin is the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He had been publicly undecided through two days of hearings on Haaland’s nomination by President Joe Biden.

Manchin caused a political uproar last week by announcing plans to oppose Biden’s choice for budget director, Neera Tanden, a crucial defection that could sink her nomination in the evenly divided Senate.