BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Lawmakers are set to vote Thursday on President Joe Biden’s pick to oversee vast government-owned lands in the U.S. West after Republicans sought to derail the nomination.
Democrats so far have remained united behind Tracy Stone-Manning amid allegations she stonewalled a 1989 investigation into the sabotage of an Idaho timber sale.
At stake is the leadership of the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management, which oversees energy production, recreation and other activities across almost a quarter-billion acres of public lands, primarily in the West.
Stone-Manning is a former top aide to former Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock and most recently a vice president at the National Wildlife Federation. Her advocacy for land preservation contrasts sharply with the land bureau's priorities under former President Donald Trump, who sped up oil and gas drilling approvals.
It would take every Senate Republican plus at least one Democratic lawmaker to block her confirmation in the evenly divided chamber.