President Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is frustrated with “the resistance” to getting his senior leadership staff in place, and he can see who is working to thwart the president’s governance.
The secretary puts most of the blame on the Office of Government Ethics, which many quietly report to be overzealously abusing its position to review nominees, showing less interest in expediting Trump nominees than it did for former President Barack Obama’s nominees.
Many nominees are languishing there, he tells The Daily Caller News Foundation suffering with intrusive, micromanaging questions that exceed the agency’s jurisdiction while exalting its power to obstruct for ideological reasons.
The rest of Zinke’s “poker chips” for blame are placed on Senate Democrats who are slowing nominations.
Zinke has three goals for his time in the cabinet: He hopes to restore trust with all the partners of the Interior Department, improve the languishing infrastructure, and thin out the headquarters staff while bolstering the front line staff.
As someone who has served in our military as a Navy SEAL and seen personnel movements, complaints surfacing from civil servants at his new position don’t appear to bother him. Today, he says, “16 percent of the Interior staff are retirement age and in five years, that number will be 40 percent.”
Coming in, he has been focused on the abuse of executive authority by Obama on the monument designations of public lands with the Antiquities Act that occurred without state and local interests, as well as the reduced revenue that has come in from the department’s off shore oil leases.
“If you go back to 2008, the Department of Interior was second largest revenue generator in our government, behind the IRS. We made $18 billion a year just with our offshore oil and gas. Last year, we made only $2.6 billion,” he says.
Zinke plans to look carefully at both revenues and expenditures of his Department, and adds he was proud to receive the first quarter of Trump’s salary for the Park Service’s efforts to restore the Antietam Civil War battlefield.
For more on Secretary Zinke, follow his efforts on Facebook or join nearly 50,000 of his followers on Twitter (@SecretaryZinke). Or see more of his work as secretary of the Interior. also articles here and here.
Videographer Sean Moody is credited with the video work for this piece.
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