HELENA — U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and one of his Republican colleagues, Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis, said Tuesday they're placing a "hold" on the nomination of Deb Haaland as U.S. Interior secretary, forcing a floor debate on her record.
Daines, an outspoken opponent of Haaland's nomination, said she is a clear opponent of pipelines, fossil fuel development and trapping on public lands.
"Her views will hurt the Montana way of life and kill Montana jobs," he said in a statement. "We must consider the impact she will have on the West."
While the hold may delay the final U.S. Senate vote on Haaland's confirmation, it won't derail it. It takes 51 votes to override a hold on a cabinet nominee, and 52 senators have indicated they will be supporting her confirmation as the first Native American presidential cabinet appointee in the nation's history.
The hold will force up to 30 hours of floor debate on the nomination.
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., told MTN News Tuesday that he will be voting to confirm Haaland, and that he expects a full Senate vote later this week.
Lummis said that the Biden adminstration's ban on oil-and-gas leasing on federal lands could cost Wyoming $13 billion in tax revenue.
"Congresswoman Deb Haaland will be a champion of this and even more radical policies, and I am committed to doing anything I can to fight the Biden and Haaland job-killing agenda," she said in a statement Tuesday.
Haaland is a congresswoman from New Mexico and a member of the Laguna Pueblo. She is one of only two Native American women elected to Congress.