Tuesdays with Tom 6-26-2012
WASHINGTON - On his weekly radio call today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall urged Congress to act before the July 4th recess in order to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling and a short-term transportation measure from expiring.
Udall also highlighted a provision he is working on with Sen. Bingaman to expedite flood insurance coverage for New Mexico communities impacted by wildfires.
Below are highlights from Udall's remarks:
0:00 - The Senator opens with remarks on the upcoming July 1st deadline for Congress to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling.
0:36 - "Going to college is getting more and more expensive, especially for low and middle-income families. Making sure that interest rates don't double is important to students who take out loans to get their degrees. A deal is in the works on how to pay for keeping the rates low, and I'm hopeful we'll be voting on it before the week's up."
0:57 - Udall comments on the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act currently being considered in the Senate, and an effort he has joined with Sen. Bingaman on to cover property struck by recent fires.
1:27 - "Oftentimes the flooding that takes place in the aftermath of a wildfire, like the Whitewater-Baldy or the Little Bear, causes more long-term damage than the fire itself. Right now, there is a 30-day waiting period after flood insurance is purchased before coverage under the new contract can take effect. The provision we're working on would waive that 30-day period in instances where a wildfire creates or exacerbates the potential of new flooding problem in places that weren't at risk before. This is especially important for New Mexico where the wildfire and monsoon seasons are so closely linked."
2:06 - Udall discusses the bipartisan Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act currently before the Senate, as well as the need for a transportation reauthorization extension or final bill before June 30th.
2:58 - "Every day we fail to get this bill done means the loss of jobs in New Mexico. Our highway contractors need to be put to work."
3:15 - Udall answers questions and expresses his disappointment on the Supreme Court's decision yesterday to overturn a longstanding Montana law that limited corporate spending on political races.