Bishop may face stiff opposition if he’s Trump’s pick for Interior Secretary

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Rep. Rob Bishop’s name keeps surfacing as President Donald Trump’s possible nominee to be the next Secretary of the Interior. But, some members of Congress say he might have a difficult time being confirmed.

E&E News reports Bishop, along with former Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, are two of the names most often mentioned in connection with the Interior post. Bishop has spoken with the White House about the job, but did not consider the conversation a job interview. Bishop also is downplaying any talk that he may be Trump’s choice to replace Ryan Zinke who resigned at the end of 2018.

When told Friday his name keeps cropping up as a potential nominee, Bishop chuckled. “I know, I don’t know why,” he said.

“And as long as they spell it right, I think it’s a plus.” He joked: “For now I’m getting more publicity than a senator out of it, so I don’t have to be shameless about it.”

Asked whether he wants the job, Bishop has simply said, “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

If nominated, Bishop will likely face stiff opposition from conservation groups and Democrats. But Republicans think he would be able to get enough support to win confirmation.

“Rob Bishop has been around for a long time,” said Murkowski, who has worked with the Utahn frequently on energy and lands legislation. “He’s certainly very knowledgeable on the public lands issues, so he’s kind of that known commodity on the Hill. I think he could get that support.”


A few Democratic colleagues on the House Natural Resources panel said that while they disagree strongly with Bishop on policy, he wouldn’t be the administration’s worst choice.

 

“Bishop is a philosophical zealot,” said Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.). “But he would be an interesting addition to this administration because, like it or not, you can disagree with him, be angry at him on occasion, but the fact of the matter is he doesn’t come in with the ethical and legal baggage that the people were there, and some that are acting have.”

 

California Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman, who has worked with Bishop on the panel, echoed that sentiment.

 

“In a perfect world, I would love to have a bunch of environmental champions on the short list for this critical position,” said Huffman. “But since we’re in a Trump world, I think you could do worse than Rob Bishop.”