September 07, 2017

Udall Votes for Bill to Keep Government Open, Provide Relief to Hurricane Victims

Welcomes continuation of emergency wildfire money, but West needs a long-term fix to fully fund emergency firefighting needs

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined the full Senate in voting 80-17 for a short-term agreement to keep the government open, avoid a default, and provide emergency relief funds to communities recovering from Hurricane Harvey. He released the following statement:

“Keeping the government up and running is a basic responsibility of Congress, but it is absolutely critical for New Mexico families, our state's economy, and for maintaining the vital national security mission at our labs and military instillations. I am relieved that we have avoided a government shutdown and are providing funding consistent with the strong levels established earlier this year in the bipartisan budget agreement. This bill also provides urgently needed relief and support to the families and communities grappling with the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. When we revisit this work in December, I will work hard with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass a bipartisan agreement that makes strong and smart investments in New Mexico families. But Congress needs a new budget deal for 2018 and beyond to avoid sequestration and to return to a responsible, long-term appropriations process that gives certainty to New Mexico’s economy and to our national security work.

“As wildfire season rages in the West, this bill also continues emergency firefighting funding I successfully fought for in last year’s budget. But this money is just a short-term, temporary patch for the ongoing emergency taking place during this fire season. Instead of continuing to force the Forest Service to rob from other essential accounts, we must also pass a bipartisan solution that provides the full funding needed to fight wildfires in New Mexico and across the West for next year and future years.”