Tags: Immigration | Trump Administration | raul labrador | ryan zinke | secretary | interior | freedom caucus

Rep. Labrador Interior Favorite; McMorris Rodgers 'Not Interested'

idaho republican representative tilts his head slightly to his right, while looking left and delivering his remarks
House Judiciary Committee Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho (Jacquelyn Martin)

By Wednesday, 19 December 2018 05:59 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Two days ago, a person close to the thinking of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., made it clear the seven-term lawmaker was "not seeking or interested" in being secretary of the Interior.

Speculation in official Washington has now settled on five Republican members of Congress to succeed outgoing Secretary Ryan Zinke at Interior. With the selection expected to be announced by President Trump on Friday, the favorite in the group appears to be Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho.

A co-founder of the House Republican Freedom Caucus and favorite of conservatives since his election to Congress in 2010, Labrador had a private meeting with White House officials earlier this week. Administration sources say discussion included Labrador taking over Interior from Zinke.

Born in Puerto Rico and a onetime immigration attorney, Labrador developed a hard-line position on illegal immigrartion while in the state legislature. He reportedly has an "excellent" relationship with President Trump. Last year, Labrador lost the Republican primary for governor of the Gem State.

Two other Republicans who are not returning to Congress next year are receiving mention for Interior: Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., of the Central Valley and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., both of whom lost close races.

Also being discussed to take over the Interior slot are Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, soon to be ranking Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee, and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., a strong defender of property rights.

The president is expected to name a successor to Zinke shortly before leaving for the Christmas holiday Friday.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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According to Newsmax's John Gizzi, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, is now a favorite to replace outgoing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., "not seeking or interested" in the Cabinet position.
raul labrador, ryan zinke, secretary, interior, freedom caucus
Wednesday, 19 December 2018 05:59 PM
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