The Biden administration put Tommy Beaudreau forward for deputy Interior secretary in a bid to offer Democrats and Republicans a consensus pick for the No. 2 job at the federal agency. Today, the gambit paid off.
Beaudreau was confirmed in a 88-9 vote, with eight Republicans joining Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with Democrats, in opposition.
The bipartisan support for Beaudreau stood in stark contrast to the sharply divided confirmation vote for Deb Haaland to lead Interior earlier this year, when only four Republicans sided with Democrats following an ugly partisan fight that invited accusations of racism and sexism on the part of the GOP.
Republicans who voted against Beaudreau were those who see any potential Interior official as complicit in President Biden’s actions to curtail energy extraction on public lands.
But for most GOP senators, Beaudreau’s tenure as the first director of the Bureau of Ocean