Department of Interior

Interior Secretary Nominee Clears Senate Panel

Next stop, full Senate

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The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved President Obama's pick to lead the Interior Department, REI Chief Executive Sally Jewell, sending the nomination to the full Senate for consideration.

At a time when several Obama Cabinet nominees have faced high hurdles during the confirmation process, Jewell sailed through the committee with a 19-3 vote. Republicans Mike Lee of Utah, Tim Scott of South Carolina and John Barrasso of Wyoming opposed her nomination.

Barrasso had questioned Jewell doggedly during the confirmation hearing a few weeks ago about her service on the board of the National Parks Conservation Assn., an environmental group, an affiliation he cited in his decision to reject the nomination.