The Biden Administration has withdrawn its nomination of Elizabeth Klein as deputy secretary of the Department of the Interior amid opposition from key Senators.
Klein had worked for the Interior Department during the Obama and Clinton administrations and was most recently the deputy director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at NYU School of Law.
Sources familiar with the matter told Politico that she was no longer showing considered for the post after Sen. Lisa Murkowski made it clear she would oppose the nomination.
Elizabeth Klein to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior – President-elect Biden Announces Additional Key Administration Posts | President-Elect Joe Biden https://t.co/eQi0UMlpLi pic.twitter.com/kM7XC1GhNR
— Public Lands Foundation (@PublicLandFdn) January 19, 2021
The Alaska Republican has sought to expand “The Last Frontier” state’s oil and gas industry, and could have faced roadblocks from Klein’s progressive policies.
Murkowski was one of four Republicans who voted to confirm Interior Secretary Deb Haaland but has since expressed reservations about her policies.
She said that her constituents “are concerned by [Haaland’s] opposition to resource development on public lands, including her opposition to key projects in Alaska and her questioning of the vital role that Alaska Native Corporations serve in our communities,” according to Fox News.
“I am going to place my trust in Representative Haaland and her team, despite some very real misgivings,” Murkowski said. She faced censure from Alaska’s Republican party after she voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial.
Senate Democrats could have confirmed Klein if Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and all 49 other Democratic senators supported the nomination, but it is not clear if Manchin would have supported another progressive nominee, Fox News reported.
Although a replacement for Klein has not yet been announced, two people familiar with the matter told Politico that Tommy Beaudreau is being considered for a possible nomination.
Beaudreau is an Alaskan native who served as an Interior official during the Obama administration. Murkowski is said to have put Beaudreau’s name forward as a possible replacement for Klein.
Klein is the second nominee the Biden administration has failed to push through the Senate confirmation process.
Neera Tanden withdrew herself from consideration to head the Office of Management and Budget earlier this month amid strong Senate opposition to her appointment.
Tanden, whose history of partisan vitriol on social media had become a lightning rod for critics, said that it was “an honor of a lifetime to be considered” but she could not move forward.
NEW: White House releases Neera Tanden’s letter to Biden withdrawing her nomination.
“Unfortunately, it now seems clear that there is no path forward to gain confirmation, and I do not want continued consideration of my nomination to be a distraction from your other priorities.” pic.twitter.com/TDNuHW0EDf
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) March 2, 2021
“I have accepted Neera Tanden’s request to withdraw her name from nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget,” Biden said.
“I have the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel, and I look forward to having her serve in a role in my Administration. She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work.”
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