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Deb Haaland. Photo: Jim Watson-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 51-40 on Monday to confirm Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) as President Biden's secretary of the Interior Department.

Why it matters: Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, is the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency.

  • Haaland in 2018 became one of the first two Native American women to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, alongside Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas).
  • The Interior Department oversees the federal government's relationship with 567 federally recognized tribes and 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The big picture: Haaland will play an important role in Biden's energy and climate agenda as her agency manages and sustains the country's public lands, including national parks, oil and gas drilling sites, and wildlife.

  • She told senators during her confirmation hearing that while "fossil energy does and will continue to play a major role in America for years to come," she supports Biden's focus on moving toward a clean energy future.

Haaland's opposition to fracking and drilling on federal lands has been criticized by Republicans who argue that ending the practices could cost thousands of jobs.

  • She responded to those concerns in her confirmation hearing, testifying that "America’s public lands can and should be engines for clean energy production" and that a clean energy transition "has the potential to spur job creation."

The intrigue: Haaland's nomination was strongly supported by Native Americans across the country. From the Navajo Nation to the Oglala Lakota, tribal members watched Haaland's confirmation hearings and posted messages of support on social media.

Go deeper

Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant following a meeting with his COVID-19 response team. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A federal court in Missouri has blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally-funded facilities in 10 states.

Why it matters: Monday's decision is the first victory for opponents of the rule, which requires health care workers to get vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022. The case is one of four lawsuits challenging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) rule and argues that the mandate will exacerbate staffing shortages.

Twitter's next act

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is exiting the company he helped build at a time when its future has never been so uncertain.

Why it matters: The person who controls Twitter controls the de facto public square — with implications for politics, media and free speech.

44 mins ago - Health

CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation

Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday strengthened its previous recommendation for booster shots, saying that everyone 18 and older "should" receive a booster dose.

Why it matters: Last month, CDC director Rochelle Walensky accepted a key advisory committee's recommendation that adults "may" get the shot. The slight, but strengthened, change in wording comes amid the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant.