The nomination of Rifle native David Bernhardt to be second in charge of the Interior Department received a bipartisan vote in committee Tuesday and will now advance to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.
Bernhardt’s nomination passed on a 14-9 vote with Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and independent Angus King of Maine supporting the confirmation.
We’re proud of our native son and his hard work that has advanced him from a legislative aide in a congressional office to the agency’s legal council under Interior Secretary Gail Norton.
Big Environment is trying to block his confirmation, claiming that because he’s a lawyer who had clients in the past with interest before the agency, he might have a conflict of interest.
But Bernhardt, who has always had strong morals and high ethical standards, says he will recuse himself from any past business:
“If I get a whiff of something coming that involves a former client or my firm, I will make that item go straight to the ethics office and whatever they decide, that will be it for me,” Bernhardt said at his confirmation hearing last month.
“I have signed the exact same agreements my predecessors have, and I will stand by that.”
The only client that Bernhardt will represent in his role as deputy secretary, is the United States. It’s just our luck that as a westerner, he will strongly represent us as well.
We know that Bernhardt has U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s support. As usual, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet is mum on whether he will support the Coloradan.
We hope we don’t see another shameful vote like the one Bennet cast against Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.