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Senate committee schedules hearing for Donald Trump's Interior nominee






Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Montana) is seen on Capitol Hill with the flag of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Photo: Office of Ryan Zinke

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Montana) will go before the Senate next week for his confirmation as Secretary of the Interior for Republican president-elect Donald Trump.

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources announced a January 17 hearing for Zinke. That's three days before Trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the United States.

Zinke has served one term in Congress and has earned praise for his work on protections for Native women, federal recognition, water rights, energy and economic development issues. He would now be able to make decisions on those and other key matters if he is confirmed to lead the Interior Department, which includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

"Most important, our sovereign Indian Nations and territories must have the respect and freedom they deserve," Zinke said when his nomination was announced last month.

Zinke, who won a second term in November, is an adopted member of the Fort Peck Tribes in Montana.

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