Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin will vote to confirm Tracy Stone-Manning as the next Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), his communications director confirmed Monday.
The Senate Energy and Resources Committee will vote on Stone-Manning’s nomination Thursday, Committee Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member and Republican Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso announced Monday. Manchin announced that he would vote to confirm Stone-Manning shortly after, the Daily Montanan first reported.
— Daily Montanan (@daily_montanan) July 19, 2021
Republicans, including Barrasso and Minority Leader and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, have called on President Joe Biden to withdraw Stone-Manning’s nomination, following reports from the Daily Caller News Foundation and other outlets that she participated in a tree-spiking ring in the late 1980s and early 1990s. (RELATED: Obama’s BLM Director Says Biden Nominee Should Be Disqualified For Her Involvement In 1989 ‘Eco-Terrorism’ Case)
Barrasso accused her of lying to the Energy and Resources Committee about her involvement in the tree-spiking ring.
“Tracy Stone-Manning lied to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by claiming the tree spiking was ‘alleged’ and that she was never investigated. Now, we have confirmation that neither of those things are true,” Barrasso told the Daily Caller News Foundation after a retired federal investigator told E&E News that Stone-Manning had been considered a target of his investigation.
The lead investigator of the tree-spiking case, Michael Merkley, wrote in a letter to Manchin and Barrasso that Stone-Manning “had known all along who had perpetrated the crimes,” and that she “was aware that she was being investigated in 1989, and again in 1993 when she agreed to the immunity deal with the government.”
The Biden administration has expressed full support for Stone-Manning.
With the Senate split 50-50, the Biden administration needs every Democrat to support its nominees or seek Republicans to cross over. No Republicans are expected to vote for Stone-Manning. Manchin previously opposed Neera Tanden’s nomination to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget, sinking her nomination.