New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haaland has been nominated by President Elect Joe Biden to serve in his cabinet as the Secretary of the Interior. If confirmed, Rep. Haaland would make history as the nation’s first-ever Native American Cabinet secretary and would lead an influential federal agency overseeing roughly 500 million acres of public lands and plays a key policy role on tribal issues.
As head of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Haaland would oversee aspects of oil and gas drilling sites on public lands, which raises some questions about how she will perform in the position if confirmed. Representative Haaland has often touted her support for the ‘Green New Deal’ and an outright ban on fracking. As the secretary of the interior, Rep. Haaland will have considerable influence of the future of domestic energy production – the industry that provides more than 40% of New Mexico’s annual budget. For now only time will tell how this appointment will impact state revenue and job levels.
Meanwhile in NM Congressional District 1, the appointment poses a threat to the Democratic party’s thin majority in the house and leaves a seat open for the Albuquerque area district. A special election will be held within 77-91 days of Haaland’s seat being vacated. There would be no primary elections held before the special election, as political parties’ central committees would instead nominate their own candidates at least 56 days before the election. With more than enough names in the hat for potential replacements on both sides of the aisle, it’s anyone’s guess who could be elected to fill the vacant seat. Click here to read more.