Senate Confirms David Bernhardt As Secretary Of The Interior

Senate Confirms David Bernhardt As Secretary Of The Interior
Bernhardt has been with the Interior Department since he became its deputy secretary in 2017.

On Thursday, the Senate confirmed former fossil fuel lobbyist David Bernhardt as the next secretary of the interior in a 56-41 vote.

Bernhardt has been a mainstay at the Interior Department over the last few years, where he was initially confirmed by the Senate to act as the department's deputy secretary in 2017. He took over as acting interior secretary last year after former Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned amid a series of ethics scandals. 

Bernhardt has also faced scrutiny from lawmakers over potential conflicts of interest. And earlier this year, a CNN investigation found he made policy changes during his stint as acting secretary that directly benefited his former clients at least 15 times.

Days before Bernhardt's confirmation, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said: "It's a twisted parody to think that President Trump wants an oil and gas lobbyist to lead the Department of Interior. ... What a betrayal."

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.