Sinema breaks with party in confirming David Bernhardt as Interior secretary

By Robin Ravender | Arizona Mirror

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. /Photo by Gage Skidmore / Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

By Robin Ravender | Arizona Mirror

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema was one of three Democrats who sided with President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans in confirming David Bernhardt, a former lobbyist and George W. Bush administration official, to become the next U.S. Interior Secretary. 

The nomination was approved by a vote of 56-41, largely along party lines. Sinema, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico voted for his confirmation, as did Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with Democrats. 

Sinema issued a statement this week explaining her decision to break with her party to support Trump’s nominee. 

“After meeting with Mr. Bernhardt and carefully considering his nomination, I am confident he is professionally qualified, believes in the mission of the Interior Department, and will faithfully uphold the law,” she said. 

Republican Sen. Martha McSally also voted in favor of Bernhardt.

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