WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Senate confirmed Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne to be Secretary of the Interior. Idaho Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo both voted in favor of Kempthorne’s nomination.
Craig spoke in support of Kempthorne’s nomination Thursday evening, stressing his consensus-building talents, “I have watched Governor Kempthorne for two terms, or 8 years in my State of Idaho, take very difficult situations and sometimes competing sides and bring them together to resolve a problem and to come out whole and smiling in behalf of their interests and in behalf of the State of Idaho. It is with that kind of style and capacity that Governor Kempthorne comes to the position of Secretary of the Interior.”
“Today’s confirmation of Dirk Kempthorne marks the beginning of a great tenure at the Interior Department,” said Crapo. “While there has been some partisanship regarding his confirmation, none of it was directed at him but rather at specific political situations. Dirk has been a great leader in the state of Idaho and will bring strong guidance and common sense to the issues confronting the Interior Department. I look forward to working with him on improving the Endangered Species Act, public land management issues and a host of other issues facing the West and our country.”
Craig also emphasized the Secretary’s role in energy production, “I believe in the next 2 1/2 years Dirk Kempthorne will actually produce more energy for this Nation and our Nation's energy consumers than will the Secretary of Energy. It is that kind of uniqueness and the domain over which he presides that makes this position tremendously important.”
The Senate voted 85-8 to limit debate on the nomination. Kempthorne was subsequently approved on a voice vote.
A high-resolution photo (300 DPI, JPEG) of Kempthorne and his wife, Patricia, with Craig, Crapo, and Senate Majority Leader Frist along with Craig’s full remarks, including audio and web video, are available at Senator Craig's website.