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On August 30, 2015, just ahead of a presidential visit to Alaska, the Barack Obama administration announced the name Denali would be restored in line with the Alaska Geographic Board's designation. U. S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell issued the order changing the name to Denali on August 28, 2015, effective immediately. Jewell said the change had been "a long time coming". The renaming of the mountain received praise from Alaska's senior U. S. senator, Lisa Murkowski, who had previously introduced legislation to accomplish the name change, but it drew criticism from several politicians from President McKinley's home state of Ohio, such as Governor John Kasich, U. S. Senator Rob Portman, U. S. House Speaker John Boehner, and Representative Bob Gibbs, who described Obama's action as "constitutional overreach" because he said an act of Congress is required to rename the mountain. The Alaska Dispatch News reported that the Secretary of the Interior has authority under federal law to change geographic names when the Board of Geographic Names does not act on a naming request within a "reasonable" period of time. Jewell told the Alaska Dispatch News that "I think any of us would think that 40 years is an unreasonable amount of time. "

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