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Sally Jewell confirmed for interior secretary as GOP objections crumble

- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Sally Jewell to head the Interior Department.

The 87-11 vote to confirm came despite the vow of some Republicans to block her nomination, United Press International reported.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican, earlier threatened to halt the nomination because of a department policy that blocked a gravel road from connecting village residents to a nearby airport in her home state, UPI said. Ken Salazar, the outgoing secretary, told Mrs. Murkowski in March that he would reconsider the issue.

Sen. James E. Risch, Idaho Republican, previously stymied the nomination over disputes with Interior about a sage grouse protection plan that was hurting his constituents. A spokesman Mr. Risch's office said that issue had been favorably resolved, UPI reported, and therefore the senator had dropped his objections.

Others in the GOP indicated they had a problem with Mrs. Jewell's vice chairmanship of the National Parks Conservation Association's board of trustees. The trustees sued the government on several occasions during the time she held a board position, Politico said.

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