White House officials confirmed on Saturday that Donald Trump will cancel his nomination of William Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management.
Pendley served as acting director of the bureau for almost a year, but confirmation of his nomination was met with extreme resistance from Senate Democrats and environmental groups.
Trump nominated Pendley for official confirmation in June, saying at the time that he “worked to increase recreational opportunities on and access to our Nation’s public lands, heighten concern for the impact of wild horses and burros on public lands, and increase awareness of the Bureau’s multiple-use mission.”
However, all 47 Senate Democrats signed a letter to Trump announcing that they would oppose Pendley’s confirmation earlier this week. Rather than drag out the fight further, President Trump has withdrawn Pendley’s name from consideration.
Democrat lawmakers requested Trump to nominate a “new, qualified candidate” for the position after environmental groups blasted Pendley’s support of the government selling off federal lands and his doubts about climate change claims.
Trump has not yet issued a statement regarding his decision to withdraw the nomination. The Department of the Interior confirmed that Pendley will continue as acting director of the bureau until a replacement is confirmed.