Sen. Wyden allowed about 30 minutes of comments from the Senators before Murkowski called a vote. 19-3 in favor of moving Sally Jewell’s nomination forward. Barrasso, Heller and Risch dissented.
Sally Jewell received strong bipartisan support amongst the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee members during a business meeting on March 21 to consider her nomination for Secretary of the Department of the Interior. While many members vocalized concerns with various parochial issues, many Senators including Republican Senators Risch and Heller noted they were reassured by Ms. Jewell’s enthusiasm and willingness to work with Congress to resolve disputes in a collaborative manner. Western Senators Barrasso, Risch and Heller each raised concerns with potential listing of the sage grouse, and Risch noted that he retains the right to place a hold on a floor vote for Jewell if DOI was suddenly no longer willing to pursue a collaborative conservation plan to prevent listing of the sage grouse. As anticipated, Senator Murkowski raised the issue of King Cove and the proposed road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. She noted that was glad to hear that Sect. Salazar has agreed to take a second look at the issue and include public input before issuing a Record of Decision. Finally, Senator Landrieu mentioned her and Senator Murkowski’s recently introduced revenue-sharing legislation, to which Senator Wyden committed that he would work closely with Senators Landrieu and Murkowski on the revenue-sharing legislation.
Senator Murkowski motioned to move forward with a positive vote on Sally Jewell. The vote in favor of moving to a floor vote in support of the nomination was 19-3.
Adjourned at 10:45am EST.
Additional information on the meeting can be viewed here: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2013/3/to-consider-the-nomination-of-sally-jewell-to-be-the-secretary-of-the-interior.