Haaland’s revelations required change
Problems continued after her election when she continued to table amendments to her financial disclosure forms, even during her nomination process for the post in President Joe Biden’s cabinet to oversee the Home Office.
There have been at least five amendments to Haaland’s financial disclosure forms and two additional filings labeled miscellaneous, though none of the reports involve large sums of money. A recurring issue was reporting the incorrect year in which she was earning certain income and referring to incorrect dates.
Changing inaccurate disclosure reports is not unusual for members of Congress. An analysis conducted by CQ Roll Call in 2011 found that three in ten members of the House had tabled amendments the previous year.
Haaland did not respond to questions the Journal emailed to the Home Office’s public information office.
Haaland made history as the country’s first Native American secretary of the interior. His appointment was met with cheers from Democrats and many Native American tribesmen; Republicans, many of whom saw her as an opponent of the oil and gas industry and fossil fuels in general, were less enthusiastic.
The issues with its financial disclosures were not addressed during the two live questioning sessions of members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in February, but were the subject of written questions from the member of the Senate. committee, Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo.
Barrasso asked Haaland to explain the reasons for the changes she filed in 2019 and 2021 to previous disclosures filed with the House of Representatives and asked if her answers were honest and complete. In response, Haaland wrote, “I have made a good faith effort to complete the financial disclosure filings for the United States House of Representatives. I recently tabled additional amendments to correct inadvertent errors, which I will provide to the committee. ”
Barrasso, in her written questions, asked Haaland if she would be concerned about hiring someone in the Home Office who had difficulty answering questions like she did when answering the committee’s questionnaire.
Haaland said, “I worked in good faith to answer the Committee’s questionnaire. As I am not yet at the Ministry, I cannot speak to the details of his hiring process. ”
While Barrasso’s written questions and Haaland’s answers have been public, as have previous disclosure reports and amendments, the questionnaire and committee responses have not. A spokesperson for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said the committee does not, as a matter of principle, publish the questionnaires it gives to candidates, nor the candidates’ responses.
The amounts of money involved in Haaland’s disclosure reports and amendments are small compared to that of many other members of Congress, where just over 50% of its members have a net worth of over a million. dollars.
A January 4 letter to the United States House Ethics Committee correcting when Haaland received a disbursement from a retirement fund also included other information.
The attachments to the letter do not mention personal property or mortgages.
Haaland lists student loan debts between $ 15,001 and $ 50,000 as his sole liability. A 2019 filing in October 2020 indicates that student loans are coming from both undergraduate and graduate education starting in 1994. Haaland is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and the Law School of UNM.
On February 25, after the Senate committee hearings ended, Haaland tabled an amendment “to my 2017 candidate public disclosure report,” according to his covering letter to the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
The Journal found no trace of a 2017 disclosure report and she was not required to file a report in 2017, as she was not an official candidate at that time. It is not known which candidate disclosure statement she was amending.
Haaland was a candidate in the November 2018 general election, and House of Representatives rules require candidates to file a report in October of the election year. The first page of his amendment tabled for the 2018 report has an incorrect date; he says the amendment concerns his report tabled on November 6, but should have indicated October 6.
This report would have required financial information for 2017 and 2018. Haaland was not required to disclose her sources of income for 2016, but the amended report lists her income for that year, when she received a salary of $ 28,183. from the San Felipe casino.
According to reports, from 2013 to November 2015, Haaland was administrator in San Felipe Pueblo and in late 2015 went to work for the pueblo casino as a government affairs representative. The casino’s representational work ended in 2016 and she received $ 9,306 in state unemployment benefits.
One of the lingering issues in Haaland’s financial disclosures concerned the year she received a retirement payment. One report said she received the $ 1,145 in 2017, and another said they arrived in 2018.
The Jan. 4 letter to the ethics committee says 2018 was a mistake and should have been listed for 2016. It was a year for which Haaland had no obligation to file a financial disclosure.
In some reports the disbursement is $ 600. There is no explanation aside.
According to the report, Haaland went to work for Laguna Development Corp. in 2017 and earned $ 27,000 reviewing contracts for the pueblo company that oversees its casinos and construction activities. In 2018, Haaland received $ 30,000 for the same type of work for Laguna Development.
She won the election in 2018 and began her first term in Congress in January 2019.
Federal land disputes
Haaland faced tough questions from Republican senators during her live confirmation hearing on a wide range of topics, including the Biden administration’s moratorium on oil and gas leasing and others. controversies involving federal lands.
Her appointment was approved by Senate 51-40, and she took office on March 16. Barrasso, who represents a large energy-producing state, voted against her confirmation in committee but did not vote when she appeared before the full Senate.
Haaland does not have to file a financial disclosure as secretary of the Home Office until May 15.