Press Releases

August 26, 2014

Udall Endorses Bipartisan Bill to Give Child-Serving Organizations Access to Federal Background Checks of New Employees and Volunteers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation that would enable children's groups, summer camps, and other youth-serving non-profit associations to gain access to federal criminal background checks on new employees and volunteers. He discussed the legislation yesterday during a visit with the Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails in Albuquerque. Under current law, organizations like the Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails lack access to the F… Continue Reading

August 25, 2014

Udall, Durbin Visit Sandia National Laboratories, Discuss Tech Transfer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall visited Sandia National Laboratories with fellow U.S. Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois to discuss ways to support New Mexico's national labs and promote technology transfer to create new well-paying jobs. Udall welcomed Senator Durbin, who chairs the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, to receive an update on Sandia's work on the B61 Life Extension Project. Senator Udall has fought to maintain adequate funding for this and other important prog… Continue Reading

August 21, 2014

Udall Urges CFPB, FTC to Protect Service Members from Abusive Loan Contracts

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he and several colleagues sent a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, urging them to close a loophole in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) that leaves service members vulnerable to abusive loan contracts. The letter follows a ProPublica report on USA Discounters, a business that appears to be using an FDCPA loophole to sue t… Continue Reading

August 20, 2014

Udall Welcomes Secretarial Order Affirming American Indian Trust Responsibilities

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Today U.S. Senator Tom Udall welcomed news that Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has issued a Secretarial Order reaffirming the department's trust responsibilities to federally recognized Indian tribes and individual Indian beneficiaries. The order also provides guidance for Interior agencies in carrying out their obligations. According to the department, the Secretarial Order provides seven principles that apply to all Interior agencies, including supporting tribal sovereign… Continue Reading

August 18, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Announce Funding for New Mexico Space Grant Consortium's Student Launch Program

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that NASA has awarded the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium $500,000 to support the Community College Technical Schools (CCTS) Student Launch Program and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in New Mexico. The Student Launch Program, which began in 2009, enables students to create and design experiments and launch them into space from Spaceport America near Las Cruces. The program seeks to attr… Continue Reading

August 12, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Host Energy Secretary at WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M. -- Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for an "all hands" employee meeting and surface tour of the site. Moniz and the senators also attended a townhall with Carlsbad residents on Monday evening. PHOTO LINK: WIPP operations have been halted since the radiation release at WIPP earlier this year. Following the release, Udall, Heinrich and Congressman Ste… Continue Reading

August 08, 2014

Udall, Heinrich, Lujan Grisham Join Interior Secretary Jewell to Announce Completion of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham stood with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to announce that a diverse group of federal, state, and local partners and conservation groups have acquired the lands needed to complete the 570-acre Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, the Southwest's first urban national wildlife refuge. PHOTO LINK: The refuge was made possible thanks to the federal Land and Water… Continue Reading

August 06, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Voice Concerns about Plan to Reduce Hours at U.S. Post Offices in New Mexico

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich sent a letter to U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe to express their concerns about the Postal Service's multi-year "Post Plan" to reduce costs and streamline operations, which may impact over 140 post offices in New Mexico. USPS announced the Post Plan in 2012 in response to financial challenges it was facing at the time, which included declining revenues and mail volume. The Post Plan cuts operating c… Continue Reading

August 04, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Receive Response from MSHA about Missed Inspections at WIPP

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced the Department of Labor has responded to their March request for an explanation detailing why the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) failed to conduct legally required regular safety inspections at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The senators asked for the information after an investigation into a February truck fire at WIPP revealed that MSHA had done only two inspections during the three years before th… Continue Reading

July 31, 2014

Udall: VA Reform Bill will Improve Care for New Mexico Veterans

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall joined the Senate in approving a bipartisan measure to reform veterans' care and begin to restore accountability and transparency at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in New Mexico and across the country. The bill, which passed by a vote of 91-3, was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week. It now goes to the president, who is expected to sign it into law. The bill will address barriers that have led to long wait times for… Continue Reading

July 31, 2014

Udall Statement on Senate's Failure to Advance Funding to Address the Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement after Republicans blocked a final vote on emergency supplemental funding to address the Central American immigration crisis: "We face a humanitarian crisis at the border involving young children, and regardless of how each of us feels about whether they should be returned home or granted asylum, we have a responsibility to provide them with clean, humane housing while we make that determination. Ultimately, I believe the … Continue Reading

July 31, 2014

Udall: Passage of Highway Funding Bill Supports New Mexico Jobs, but Long-term Fix Needed

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall joined the Senate in voting 81-13 to pass the Highway and Transportation and Funding Act of 2014, which supports thousands of construction jobs in New Mexico, and prevents an immediate cut to an estimated $350 million in funding for construction projects on roads, bridges and transit systems across the state. The bill guarantees funding to continue work on these important improvement and maintenance projects is available through May 31, 2015. Udall issu… Continue Reading

July 30, 2014

Udall Disappointed in Filibuster of Bill to Protect New Mexico Jobs

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement after Republicans blocked the Bring Jobs Home Act, which he supported to protect and create jobs in New Mexico and across the nation by offering incentives for companies that insource jobs and eliminating a tax loophole that benefits companies moving offshore: "Today, we had an opportunity to do right by workers in New Mexico and across the country by moving forward on legislation to help build up communities and create j… Continue Reading

July 29, 2014

Udall Joins Senate in Passing Extension of Highway Funding for New Mexico

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement after joining the Senate in voting 79-18 to extend critical highway funding for construction on roads and bridges in New Mexico and across the country through Dec. 20, 2014. "This is a bill that matters to every New Mexican - extending highway funding is critical to sustain hundreds of jobs in our state and to ensure that transportat… Continue Reading

July 29, 2014

Udall Supports Confirmation of New VA Secretary, Urges Approval of Bipartisan VA Reform Bill

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall joined the Senate in voting unanimously to confirm Robert McDonald, a West Point graduate and former Procter & Gamble CEO, as the new secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The position was vacated in May when former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned in the wake of the veterans' scheduling scandal that has impacted the Albuquerque VA. Udall recently met with McDonald to discuss the immediate need for changes within the VA so it can … Continue Reading

July 29, 2014

Udall Urges Chevron's Support for Questa Mine Employees and Community

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall wrote to Chevron's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John S. Watson, urging the company to support the employees and community of Questa as Chevron closes its molybdenum mine. Mining operations have sustained the local economy in the Village of Questa for generations, and the mine's unexpected closure - which affects more than 300 employees - raises concerns about the community's future economic stability. Udall pressed Chevron to offer assistance an… Continue Reading

July 25, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Request Restored Border Crossing Hours for Export Vehicles at Santa Teresa Port of Entry

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich sent a letter to the Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., Eduardo Medina Mora, asking him to work with the Mexican Federal Customs Agency to restore crossing hours for export vehicles at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. Earlier this month, the Mexican Federal Customs Agency dramatically reduced the hours of operation for processing vehicles being exported from the U.S. to Mexico, creating a traffic backup along New Mexico's highways that generat… Continue Reading

July 24, 2014

Udall, Heinrich, Pearce to Host Energy Secretary in Carlsbad for Discussion about WIPP

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce announced that U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will visit Carlsbad, N.M., on Aug. 12 for a discussion about the ongoing recovery at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Last month, the lawmakers invited Moniz to visit to get an update on cleanup efforts and to talk with workers and local officials about WIPP's importance to the community and to our national defense, as the only deep geo… Continue Reading

July 23, 2014

Udall Speaks out for Workers Affected by Mine Closure in Questa, N.M., Urges Support for Bill to Create Jobs

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall pledged his support for workers in Questa, N.M., who will be impacted by Chevron's decision to close its molybdenum mine, which has employed hundreds of New Mexicans for many years. Udall visited with workers in Questa on Sunday and has been leading efforts to get Trade Adjustment Assistance and other help to enable the community rebuild its economy after the mine closes. In his speech, Udall said he is working to do all he can to support new jobs in Ne… Continue Reading

July 23, 2014

Udall Urges New Law to Crack Down on Secret Money in Elections

WASHINGTON - As the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United continues to allow corporations and other groups to spend unchecked secret money to influence elections, U.S. Senator Tom Udall spoke out in favor of a new law to require such organizations to disclose their spending and major sources of funding in a timely manner. During a hearing of the Senate Rules Committee on the DISCLOSE Act, which would turn back the effects of Citizens United, Udall said new laws are needed to return c… Continue Reading

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