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Aliyah Chavez
Indian Country Today

Rep. Deb Haaland’s historic appointment to lead the Department of the Interior could happen in the coming days.

The Senate released new details Wednesday afternoon indicating that Haaland’s confirmation was moving forward, setting up a timeline that could lead to a vote as early as Monday, a political expert says.

On Thursday, the full Senate will vote on a motion to invoke cloture on Haaland’s nomination beginning at 1:30 p.m. E.T. — essentially allowing the Senate to decide whether or not to put a time limit on how much debate can happen on her nomination when it is considered by the full Senate.

If the Senate votes to invoke cloture, her nomination to be secretary of the Interior will be considered by the full Senate as early as next week, with all 100 senators expected to vote.

Haaland, Laguna and Jemez Pueblos, would become the nation’s 54th Secretary of the Interior and the first Native American in history to be named to a Cabinet position, if she receives a majority of votes. Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins have already indicated they support her confirmation.

The plans released Wednesday come as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, filed cloture on Haaland’s nomination Tuesday.

“Despite Republican obstruction, Representative Haaland will be confirmed by the Senate to be Secretary Haaland,” Schumer said in remarks on the Senate floor.

(Screenshot of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer)

Timing for a full Senate vote on Haaland’s nomination has not been set, according to the Associated Press. Political expert Holly Cook Macarro, Red Lake Ojibwe, estimates the vote will be Monday. However, it will be announced by leader Schumer in the coming days.

More on clotures
Schumer filed cloture on Haaland’s nomination after Republican Sens. Steve Daines of Montana and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming put holds on Haaland’s nomination. The hold means that Haaland’s nomination would force a debate of up to 30 hours.

Daines defended his decision to put a hold on the nomination, tweeting that Haaland “opposes pipelines & fossil fuels, ignores science when it comes to wildlife management & wants to ban trapping on public lands.”

(Related: Senate energy panel backs Haaland for interior secretary)

Once Haaland is confirmed, she will resign from her seat as a New Mexico congressional representative and be publicly sworn into office shortly after, either on the same day or the next day. 

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3/10: This story was updated following voting schedules by the Senate

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