Western Caucus Members Applaud Senate Confirmation of Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt
Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04), Executive Vice-Chairman Scott Tipton (CO-03), Chairman-Emeritus Rob Bishop (UT-01), and Western Caucus Members David Valadao (CA-21), Mike Simpson (ID-02), Ken Calvert (CA-42) and Greg Gianforte (MT-AL) released the following statements after the United States Senate voted 53-43 to confirm David Bernhardt as the next Deputy Secretary of the Interior:
“Deputy Secretary Bernhardt knows how to get things done,” said Chairman Gosar. “Because he also understands Western issues, and the various challenges facing the Department, his confirmation today is a major victory for Interior, and by extension for the American people. He is eminently qualified for the position and will be an outstanding second-in-command. I look forward to working with him closely on land and resource issues facing Arizona and the United States.”
Congressman Tipton stated, “As a native of the 3rd Congressional District of Colorado, David knows Western land issues inside and out, and Coloradans will be glad to have him working to advance our interests as Deputy Interior Secretary. He is an excellent addition to Secretary Zinke’s team. I extend my enthusiastic congratulations to David and his family, and I am excited to work with him to protect the way of life we enjoy in the West.”
“Deputy Secretary Bernhardt has long been a champion of issues within the jurisdiction of the Committee from tribal sovereignty to water abundance,” remarked Chairman-Emeritus Bishop. “Having another partner at Interior will only enhance our ability to help people. I look forward to working with him in his new role.”
“David Bernhardt is a dedicated public servant with the knowledge and expertise to effectively serve as Deputy Secretary of the Interior. He thoroughly understands the complex and unique issues impacting California and the entire Western United States am I eager to work with him and the entire administration moving forward,” said Congressman Valadao.
“I applaud the Senate for confirming David Bernhardt to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior,” said Congressman Simpson. “Having served at the Department of the Interior in senior positions and growing up in the West, Mr. Bernhardt has the knowledge and experience to aid Secretary Zinke in looking after our public lands and natural resources.”
Congressman Calvert stated, “I want to congratulate David Bernhardt on his confirmation to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Interior. David’s experience and knowledge of California water and other western resource issues will be a tremendous asset for the Interior Department. I look forward to working with him to address the many exciting opportunities and challenges ahead.”
“As Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke has his work cut out for him to increase recreational access, cut red tape, and boost energy production. The public lands he oversees are part of Montanans’ priceless heritage. David Bernhardt will be a good hand to help Ryan get the job done,” stated Congressman Gianforte.”
Deputy Secretary Bernhardt is a native of Rifle, Colorado. He is an avid hunter and fisherman. He recently served on the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries for the Commonwealth of Virginia. He has previously served as the United States Commissioner to the International Boundary Commission, U.S. and Canada. From 2001 and 2009, he held several positions within the Department of the Interior, including—after unanimous confirmation—serving as Solicitor, which is the Interior’s third ranking official and chief legal officer.
Prior to his confirmation, Deputy Secretary Bernhardt chaired the natural resource law practice at Brownstein, Hyatt Farber and Schreck, LLP. Mr. Bernhardt earned a B.A. from the University of Northern Colorado. He graduated with honors from the George Washington University National Law Center and is admitted to various state and federal court bars. He is married to Gena Bernhardt. They have two children, and reside in Arlington, Virginia.