Senate energy panel backs Haaland for interior secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key Senate committee has approved the nomination of New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland to be interior secretary, clearing the way for a Senate vote that is likely to make her the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved Haaland’s nomination, 11-9, sending it to the Senate floor. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was the lone Republican to support Haaland, who won unanimous backing from committee Democrats. The committee vote follows an announcement by Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Main, that she will support Haaland in the full Senate.