Dec 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Native Americans push House member for Interior

Rep. Deb Haaland.

Rep. Deb Haaland. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Native Americans are pushing Biden to select Rep. Deb Haaland as Interior secretary, arguing the New Mexican would add unique and necessary perspective to the Cabinet agency as a woman from their community.

Why it matters: The Biden transition team is fielding incoming from every constituency on every Cabinet pick, and as the number of remaining seats is fewer, the lobbying is becoming more intense.

Members from the transition are scheduled to meet Thursday with tribal leaders and organizers. Those leaders are increasingly bent on adding pressure to ensure Haaland, a Native American, gets picked.

  • A source familiar with the meeting told McCammond some in Bidenworld want to reassure these advocates they're being taken seriously, particularly after some anonymous criticism of Haaland in a recent New York Times story.

Why it matters: It's not just about identity politics. The Department of the Interior oversees millions of acres of land, including Native reservations, and would be responsible, in large part, for the country's nearly 2 million Indigenous people.

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