NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Congresswoman Deb Haaland made her final speech on the House floor and submitted her letter of resignation from the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday. Haaland is leaving Congress to become the U.S. Interior Secretary and will be tasked with overseeing energy development on public land, national parks and forests, and tribal relations.

A member of the Laguna Pueblo, Haaland thanked her House colleagues for embracing the issues Native Americans face. She also spoke about her New Mexico roots. “My ancestors settled there because they were drawn to the Mighty Rio Grande and the sacred places that dot the sandstone mesas and granite mountains. That’s why I made the most of my time in Congress,” said Haaland.

Haaland is expected to be sworn in later this week. New Mexico’s Secretary of State has 10 days to issue a proclamation. Then, the election will be held no less than 77 days or more than 91 days after the vacancy date. So far, a mix of Democrats, Republicans and other candidates have declared their candidacy to fill the seat.