POLITICS

Trump Eyeing Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers For Interior Department

The Washington state Republican would oversee decisions about energy development and public lands.

UPDATE: President-elect Donald Trump announced on Dec. 15 that he has selected Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) to serve as his Interior Secretary.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) posted on Facebook that it was “an honor to be invited to spend time with the President-elect, and I’m energized more than ever to continue leading in Congress as we think big, reimagine this government, and put people back at the center of it.”

Previously:

WASHINGTON ― President-elect Donald Trump is expected to nominate Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) to serve as his secretary of interior, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday morning. 

As chair of the Republican conference, McMorris Rodgers is the fourth-ranking Republican in the House and the highest ranking woman in Republican leadership. She also serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has oversight over some of the issues that Interior handles. 

The Department of Interior controls 500 million acres of land, or some 20 percent of the U.S. landmass. Its purview includes energy development on public lands, as well as the national parks, wildlife refuges and the outer continental shelf. 

McMorris Rodgers was a co-sponsor of a 2011 bill that would have sold off 3 million acres of public lands. 

Environmental groups have criticized McMorris Rodgers, saying she has not supported protecting public lands

“In Congress, Rep. McMorris Rodgers has consistently voted to prioritize drilling on our public lands and waters, including in sensitive areas like the Arctic, and even to open up our public lands for sale to the highest bidder,” said League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski in a statement.

LCV has given McMorris Rodgers a 4 percent lifetime score on environmental issues.

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