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Public Statements

Executive Session

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, I join my colleagues from the Northwest who have come to the floor this afternoon to speak in support of the nomination of Sally Jewell as Secretary of the Interior. Like my colleagues from the Northwest, I wish to express how much we appreciate her willingness to serve and how proud we are of her legacy and interests in a variety of issues so far.

Obviously, the Department of the Interior is so important to us, with its broad range of services, including everything from our national parks, to wildlife refuge, to offshore drilling lease management, to the important science done by the USGS Service, and many other things. In fact, I read somewhere kind of humorously that the Department of the Interior was called the Department of Everything Else.

As a nominee, Ms. Jewell came before our committee. I thank her family for their willingness to support her in her efforts to come to Washington, DC, because Sally is the exact type of leadership we need at the Department of the Interior. She represents a balanced person who not only knows how to help a growing business, as she did, she has served on the university board of regents and also worked on the nonpartisan National Conservation Parks Association. She has done everything in business, from dealing with oilfields in Oklahoma to commercial banking to, of late, running REI, one of our most successful companies in the Pacific Northwest. I know she has the kind of leadership it takes to figure out these issues about best use of public lands or the vigorous challenges the Department faces when it comes to modernizing the bureaucracy or thinking about climate change at the same time you are talking about deepwater drilling. There are a myriad of things we have to forge through, and Sally Jewell is the right person with the right balance to get that done.

Having grown up in Washington, where over 40 percent of our lands is in public land, I know Sally understands these western issues, whether it is water rights or salmon recovery or understanding the impact on water levels, the fire season, wildlife on BLM lands, or the importance of access to hunting and fishing. I guarantee, because she grew up there, Sally Jewell understands these issues. I know she has been involved in many organizations to express that, and that has been a good training ground for her.

I am confident, because she is a trained engineer, she is going to bring a very pragmatic, can-do attitude to the Interior Department's management and problem-solving efforts.

I know science will be her compass, and I know she is not going to have an ideological bent, but she is going to have a "get it done'' mentality.

Given the importance of the Interior Department's agencies and very challenging mission, I am excited we are going to have somebody with a business background and a science background at the Department of the Interior.

I hope our colleagues will vote today to move Ms. Jewell out of the Senate so we can get her into the Department of the Interior so she can begin this important job and continue to move our Nation's agenda forward.

As the chairwoman of the Indian Affairs Committee I look forward to working with Ms. Jewell on all the issues related to Indian Country as well. There is much to accomplish and much to address. I think her background is exactly what we need in the Department. I hope my colleagues will move quickly on this issue.

I thank the chairman, Senator Wyden, for his leadership in moving her nomination through the process.

I yield the floor.


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