On 31 May 2006, Department of the Interior employees welcomed former Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne as the 49th Secretary of the Interior. The Senate officially confirmed Secretary Kempthorne five days earlier with a vote of 85-8, after Democratic Senators Bill Nelson (FL) and Mary Landrieu (LA) lifted holds they had placed on his confirmation vote. Both Senators were upset over Kempthorne's views on offshore oil and gas leasing; Nelson opposed the sale of additional leases near the coast of Florida and Landrieu wanted more revenue from leasing to be diverted to the states.

 


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