Update: Skipwith Confirmed for Fish and Wildlife Director
Over a month ago, I asked why Senate Democrats were holding up the nomination of the woman who would be the first-ever African American Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service. She was even introduced at her confirmation hearing by her home state's African American (and Democrat) member of Congress.
Maybe it was because she committed the cardinal sin in the eyes of some Democrats by supporting President Trump, as prominent civil rights activist Niger Innis speculated.
Well, we now have an update for you- Aurelia Skipwith has now been confirmed by the US Senate. As Bloomberg Environment reports:
The Senate voted 52-39 to confirm Skipwith, who will serve as director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, a division of the Interior Department that makes determinations on what species are endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Democrats Doug Jones of Alabama, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined Republicans in supporting Skipwith.
Maybe I'm biased because we both went to Howard University, but for the life of me I can't figure out why Senate Democrats are blocking this nominee.
Civil-rights activist Niger Innis is wondering the same thing. In a piece posted at Townhall.com, Innis highlights the distinguished background of Aurelia Skipwith, President Trump's nominee to serve as a Deputy Assistant Secretary at The Department of Interior.
As Innis points out, Skipwith earned her undergrad degree from Howard, before getting a master's from Purdue and her law degree from The University of Kentucky. She also was introduced by her home-states African American, and Democrat, member of Congress:
And yet, Innis says Skipwith "committed a cardinal sin in the eyes of some blacks" by supporting President Trump and being nominated to a post in his administration:
The white, liberal senior Democrats on the committee were unimpressed. Aurelia Skipwith, however, has spent a lifetime overcoming prejudice and did so again. She did not whine or claim she was being mistreated, or that she needed special favors. After much effort, she was voted out for Senate floor consideration -- on a party line vote. Luckily, the Senate is run by Republicans. When confirmed by the full Senate she will become the first African-American to head the Fish and Wildlife Service. As Congressman Clay told the committee, “This is a historical nomination. We encourage our little black girls to take the road less travelled and embrace science, technology, engineering and math a field that is male dominated … she is the embodiment of what we instruct our children to do and be – educated, hardworking, excelling in their designated profession and contributing good to the world.”
I've gotten the chance to meet both Niger Innis and Aurelia Skipwith during their separate visits to Montana. Skipwith also has the support of several Montana-connected organizations, including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the NRA, the US Chamber, the Safari Club, and more.