When the Senate voted on the nomination of David Hayes for Interior deputy secretary in May 2009, then-Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona was one of only two Republicans who supported him. The rest of the caucus sided with Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and former Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah), who had demanded an accounting of the Obama administration's energy policy after its decision to unilaterally withdraw 77 oil and gas leases in Utah upon taking office. Hayes' confirmation was delayed. Kyl, who had worked closely with Hayes on brokering water rights settlements in the Southwest, this week called Hayes an "ambassador," a sentiment other members of his party would later come to share.