WASHINGTON – The Senate confirmed Deb Haaland as Interior secretary Monday, making her the first Native American to serve in a presidential Cabinet.
The vote was 51-40 with all Democrats and a handful of Republicans voting to confirm her.
“Rep. Haaland’s confirmation represents a gigantic step forward in creating a government that represents the full richness and diversity of this country because Native Americans were, for far too long, neglected at the cabinet level and in so many other places,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate before the vote Monday evening.
For more than 171 years, the federal agency responsible for managing the U.S. relationship with hundreds of recognized tribes has never had a Native American at its helm.