A Republican representative from Minnesota is pushing back against President Joe Biden’s Secretary of the Interior nomination, calling for fellow lawmakers to join him in opposing the nominee.
Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico, a Democrat and one of the first Native American women to serve in Congress, is Biden’s nomination for Secretary of the Interior. She would also be the first Native American to serve in that role.
Minnesota Rep. Pete Stauber recently asked his colleagues to join him in writing to the president’s team “requesting they withdraw the nomination of Rep. Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior.”
Stauber called Haaland’s possible appointment to the position a “threat to America’s natural resources-based economy” and a step backwards to the Obama administration’s “failed policies.”
Haaland supports erasing high-wage jobs in the oil, gas, and mining industries, Stauber said, noting that her appointment would increase the nation’s dependence on foreign sources that have “no labor or environmental standards.”
Stauber wrote that Haaland is a lead sponsor of the Green New Deal, and if she were to be appointed Interior secretary, she would be “well-positioned to enact a Green New Deal agenda nationwide.”
The Native American Caucus of the Minnesota Legislature sent Stauber a letter to express their “dismay and disappointment” and request that he rescind his opposition to Haaland’s nomination.
“It is disingenuous, especially at this moment in history, to further divisions and raise frivolous oppositions,” the Native American Caucus wrote, further stating that the act of nominating Haaland is a step toward “healing the soul of America.”
State Sen. Jen McEwen tweeted a copy of Stauber’s letter, saying his efforts are “thwarting” this “historic, deeply meaningful” nomination, and then apparently called for his resignation.
A senate colleague informs me that @RepPeteStauber has been working behind the scenes to thwart @DebHaalandNM ‘s historic, deeply meaningful nomination for Secretary of the Interior… and didn’t even consult with the *five* Bands/Nations in our district. #Resign pic.twitter.com/BGN5ClpNZI
— Jen McEwen (@JenMcEwenMN) January 17, 2021
Lt. Gov. Penny Flanagan also tweeted her disapproval of Stauber’s actions, calling his letter “perplexing and disappointing.” She pointed out that five federally recognized tribes are located within his congressional district.
11 federally recognized tribes are within the borders of Minnesota; 5 are inside the 8th Congressional District. That's why it's perplexing and disappointing to see #MN08 Rep. Pete Stauber leading the opposition to Deb Haaland's historic appointment as Interior Secretary. https://t.co/Y0benP7dcx
— Peggy Flanagan (@peggyflanagan) January 19, 2021
Stauber represents the traditionally blue Eighth Congressional District in northern Minnesota and is the first Republican to win back-to-back terms in the district since the 1940s.
He expressed his strong opposition to President Joe Biden’s decision to revoke the Keystone XL Pipeline permit in a statement released Thursday.
“By revoking this critical permit on his very first day in office, President Biden has shown he has embraced a radical view of how to address the economic and security needs of this nation,” said Stauber.
“Although he claimed to support labor unions during the campaign, this devastating policy change will eliminate thousands of good-paying union jobs for Teamsters, Operating Engineers, Laborers, and Pipefitters during an economic crisis while driving up energy costs for hardworking American families,” he continued. “Further, this shortsighted permit revocation sends a chilling message to pipeline and infrastructure projects nationwide, including in northern Minnesota.”