Zinke Confirmed as Secretary of the Interior With Bipartisan Support

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R., Mont.) / AP
• March 1, 2017 12:33 pm


Rep. Ryan Zinke (R., Mont.) was confirmed as Secretary of the Interior on Wednesday. The congressman received bipartisan support, passing the full Senate by a vote of 68-31.

Zinke garnered bipartisan support by holding to long-standing priorities of both parties, The Hill reported.

He endorsed Republican policies of allowing more oil and natural gas drilling, but he also strongly favors the conservation priorities of Democrats, leading him to gain support from conservationist groups such as the National Wildlife Federation and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, with his promises "to oppose large-scale transfers of federal land to state or private interests."

As the new Secretary of the Interior, Zinke will be in charge of overseeing federal lands, offshore drilling, and relations with American Indian tribes.

Fifteen Democratic senators joined their Republican counterparts to vote for Zinke's confirmation. Many of the Democratic senators that voted in support are from states won by President Trump, including Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), Joe Donnelly (D., Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.), Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.), Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), and Jon Tester (D., Mont.).

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