- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 17, 2020

President-elect Joseph R. Biden is expected to name Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico as his pick to lead the Department of the Interior, according to multiple reports on Thursday.

Ms. Haaland, first elected in 2018, would be the first Native American to lead the department.

She was the top choice of liberal activist groups, who had actively encouraged retiring Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico to take himself out of the running.

House Democratic leaders publicly gave their blessing to Ms. Haaland on Wednesday after they had expressed concern about losing another House member to the incoming administration.

Mr. Biden has already named Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio as his pick for secretary of Housing and Urban Development and tapped Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana to be a senior adviser and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Democrats are likely to hold all three seats, though their shrinking majority would be temporarily winnowed even further if and when the members leave for the new administration.

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