Outdoorsman David Bernhardt Confirmed as Secretary of the Interior
By Chris Eger
David Bernhardt, who has been acting Interior Secretary since January and Asst. Secretary since 2017, has been confirmed by the Senate to take over the Department (Photo: Bernhardt/Twitter)
Supported by Republicans and a host of pro-gun and conservation groups, David Bernhardt was confirmed last week as Secretary of the Interior.
Bernhardt, who served as Acting Secretary of the Interior since the departure of Ryan Zinke in January, had been previously confirmed by the Senate to the department’s number two position in 2017. The Senate doubled down on President Trump’s nominee in a bipartisan 56-41 vote last Thursday that saw every present Republican — as well as a smattering of Dems and Independents — vote in Bernhardt’s favor.
Formerly Interior’s solicitor during the administration of President George W. Bush and a member of Virginia’s Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, on the eve of the Senate vote, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, chair of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, called Bernhardt “the most qualified candidate we have ever had at the Department of Interior.”
A member of the president’s Cabinet who stands eighth in line of succession just behind the attorney general, the chief of the Interior Department oversees the Bureau of Land