Interior nominee approved by comittee

March 21, 2013 at 12:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 21 (UPI) -- A U.S. Senate committee Thursday gave its approval to President Obama's nomination of Sally Jewell to be Secretary of the Interior.

The Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 19-3 in favor of Jewell with three Republicans casting the dissenting votes.

Jewell, CEO of outdoor retailer REI, Inc., will replace Ken Salazar if she is approved by the full Senate. There have been threats from some GOP lawmakers to block her nomination, although she expected to eventually win confirmation, The Hill said.

The Capitol Hill newspaper said Thursday's vote took place after ranking Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said Jewell had agreed to revisit the DOI's refusal to allow construction of a road into a remote Alaskan village.

Other Republicans have expressed misgivings about the Obama administration's restrictions on energy extraction on federal lands.

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