Zinke confirmed as Trump's Interior secretary

Melba UnderwoodMar 02, 2017

This Wednesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ryan Zinke's nomination to lead the Interior Department, with 68 votes for and 31 against. Defenders sent a letter to US senators on Jan.13 urging them to use great care in questioning Zinke on his past positions.

Nonetheless, Zinke describes himself as a "Roosevelt conservationist" and promised throughout his confirmation hearing to oppose the transfer of public lands to private owners.

Still, his stance on public lands has come into question in recent weeks after he voted in favor of a House rule that would allow federal land transfers to be considered cost-free and budget-neutral, making it easier for drilling and development. Steve Daines, R-Montana, who will deliver remarks immediately before the vote, the historic confirmation will take place at 8:30 a.m. Montana Standard Time.

The congressman will reportedly resign his House seat before his official swearing in as the next Secretary of the Interior.

Zinke served as a Navy SEAL for 22 years, from 1986 until 2008, and is the first former SEAL to ascend to leading a department of the federal government. Ben Carson. That procedural move clears the way for a final vote on his nomination. In January, six Democrats joined 16 Republicans to pass Zinke's nomination out of the Senate energy panel.

"We appreciate his support of the Land and Conservation Fund", Ullman said.

Zinke also pledges to tackle an estimated $12 billion backlog in maintenance and fix at national parks and stand firm against attempts to sell, give away or transfer federal lands.

During his hearing, Zinke rejected Trump's claim that climate change is a hoax, saying it is indisputable that environmental changes are affecting the world's temperature and human activity is a major reason.

"The National Rifle Association congratulates Secretary Ryan Zinke on his confirmation as the 52nd Secretary of the Interior", said Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. I have impressed upon Congressman Zinke that he must work to help President Trump understand our trust and treaty obligations to Tribes and the need for meaningful consultation on any issue that affects Native American lands and culture, including the ongoing process to determine a Resource Management Plan in the greater Chaco Canyon area.

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