Some senators from the GOP aren’t thinking twice about it. But for a few, the risk is more immediate. One of those is Williams’ senator, Lisa Murkowski. Particularly if coal-friendly Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia goes against Biden on Haaland’s nomination—he’s still publicly undecided—the moderate Murkowski could be a deciding vote. Politically, she’s in a squeeze: Her state depends on drilling, and she raised nearly three-quarters of a million dollars from the fossil fuel industry in 2020—more than from any other sector. But she also has close ties to Native communities; Alaska has the most voting-age Natives per capita in the country. And to add one more twist, Murkowski is one of only a few members of Congress with familial ties to a tribe. In 2011, she was formally adopted by one of the Tlingit clans in her home state.
This is very interesting. Haaland has softened her stance by necessity but will it be enough?