Secretary Zinke lacks leadership team more than a month into job

Secretary Ryan Zinke, right, speaks with an employee of the Department of the Interior during a visit to the Channel Islands National Park in California on April 18, 2017. Photo: U.S. Department of the Interior

He's ridden a horse to work, shoveled snow at the Lincoln Memorial and met with tribal leaders but the head of the Department of the Interior still doesn't know who will be joining him at the agency that has the most impact in Indian Country.

Secretary Ryan Zinke has been on the job since March 1. Yet President Donald Trump hasn't picked anyone to serve in key posts like the Deputy Secretary of the Interior, the Solicitor of the Interior or the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs.

According to news reports, Zinke has complained repeatedly to the White House about the lack of movement. He's even called Trump directly, The Washington Post said.

“A lot of it — the executive branch is no different than any branch — is the frustration of the bureaucracy," Zinke told journalists in remarks that were reported by E&E News earlier in the month. “We’re working with the White House every day.”

By this time in their first terms, both Barack Obama and George W. Bush had announced their picks for Deputy Secretary and Solicitor. Both also had announced their choices for the Indian Affairs job by now.

During his first term, Obama made history by naming the first Native person and Native woman as Solicitor. In his second term, a Native person served as Deputy Secretary.

Trump's 100th day in office arrives on April 29.

Read More on the Story:
Slow pace of Trump nominations leaves Cabinet agencies ‘stuck’ in staffing limbo (The Washington Post 4/25)

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