Press Releases

June 27, 2014

Udall Secures Resources for N.M. Wildfire Prevention, Border Security, FLETC in DHS Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall joined the Appropriations Committee in approving a bill that provides critical Fiscal Year 2015 funding to protect New Mexico's border; ensure our ports of entry operate smoothly; and address the use of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Artesia to detain women and children in removal proceedings. Udall also included an amendment that would help New Mexico communities prevent serious wildfires. The amendment would allow state and loc… Continue Reading


June 25, 2014

Udall Welcomes Passage of Government IT Reform in Key Senate Committee

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall commended the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for passing legislation that would require the first major overhaul of the government information technology (IT) procurement process in over a decade. Last year, Udall and Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced bipartisan legislation to help modernize the government's computer and technology systems, cut waste to save billions of taxpayers' dollars, and prevent management and ac… Continue Reading


June 25, 2014

Udall Votes to Improve Training & Education for New Mexico Workers Seeking Jobs or Career Advancement

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall joined the Senate in voting 95-3 to pass a bipartisan bill that will help New Mexico workers get updated workforce and skills training to better enable them to compete for new jobs and career advancement. The bill, which is expected to pass the U.S. House of Representatives soon, will also help employers find the qualified workers they need to grow and expand their businesses. "This bill is a critical investment in New Mexico's workforce. It will make m… Continue Reading


June 24, 2014

Udall, Senate Democrats Introduce Legislation to Crack Down on Secret Spending in Elections

WASHINGTON - With outside special interest groups spending untold millions to secretly influence this year's elections, a group of senators today introduced the DISCLOSE Act of 2014. The bill would crack down on so-called "dark money" by requiring organizations that spend money to influence elections to disclose their spending as well as their major sources of funding in a timely manner. The legislation is cosponsored by 50 senators, including Charles Schumer (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sheld… Continue Reading


June 19, 2014

Udall: Launch of VA Open Burn Pit Registry will Help Veterans get Care they have Earned

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall welcomed news that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has launched the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, which he was instrumental in creating through bipartisan legislation. Similar to the Agent Orange and Gulf War registries, the burn pit registry will enable the VA to track service members and veterans exposed to toxic chemicals and fumes from open burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will help the VA and doctors to better assess the… Continue Reading


June 19, 2014

For Veterans: The Open Burn Pit Registry

In 2013, the president signed into law a bill I wrote to create a registry of military service members and veterans who were exposed to toxic chemicals and fumes from open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have been working closely with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to get the registry up and running, and to ensure it meets the needs of our veterans. Today I'm pleased to report the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry has been launched and I'm encouraging all eligibl… Continue Reading


June 18, 2014

N.M. Counties Will Receive $37 Million in PILT Funding for Local Police, Fire and Schools

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich today announced counties in New Mexico are set to receive approximately $37 million as part of the 2014 Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, an over 8 percent increase from 2013. A full list of the funding by county is included below. PILT is administered through the Department of the Interior and provides funding for mostly rural counties that have a limited ability to levy taxes due to the amount of federal property in their jurisdi… Continue Reading


June 18, 2014

Udall, Heinrich, Luján Ask Forest Service to Resolve Concerns Raised by Acequia Associations

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján sent a letter to U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Chief Thomas Tidwell, asking that he work with them on a collaborative solution to ensure traditional users of Forest Service land can continue to manage and maintain acequias while staying within USFS guidelines. The lawmakers note in their letter that members of New Mexico's traditional land grants and acequia associations have raised a numbe… Continue Reading


June 17, 2014

Udall Secures Funding for Labs, WIPP, N.M. Water Projects in Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall joined the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee in approving a bill that provides critical Fiscal Year 2015 funding for New Mexico's national labs, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), and other Department of Energy (DOE) and water-related programs important to the state. The full committee will vote on the bill as early as this week. As a member of the subcommittee, Udall was instrumental in securing full funding for key DOE programs at L… Continue Reading


June 13, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Announce $6 Million Grant to Alamogordo for Flood Relief

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich today announced that more than $6 million in federal relief funding will be awarded to the city of Alamogordo to clear out debris and sediment that flowed into Bonito Lake when monsoonal rains caused heavy flooding and runoff from the Little Bear Fire burn scar. The lake, used for drinking water and recreation, is owned and maintained by the city of Alamogordo but located in Lincoln County. The funding from the Federal Emergency Manageme… Continue Reading


June 12, 2014

Udall Introduces Bill to Help New Mexico Farmers, Communities Address Drought, Water Scarcity

WASHINGTON - As New Mexico deals with the impact of several years of severe drought, U.S. Senator Tom Udall today introduced major legislation to help the state's communities use water more efficiently and address the impact of water scarcity. His bill, the New Mexico Drought Relief Act of 2014 is cosponsored by Senator Martin Heinrich and has the support of major water stakeholders throughout the state. "Water is critical to our economy and our ability to grow, but scientists predict that water… Continue Reading


June 11, 2014

Udall: Passage of Bill to Increase Accountability at VA a Strong Step Forward, but There's More Work to Do

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall welcomed the quick passage of a bipartisan bill to correct serious systemic problems that have plagued the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including lack of accountability for senior administrators, long wait times for appointments and a shortage of doctors and nurses. Udall joined the Senate in voting 93-3 for the bill. The Veterans Care Act would give the VA authority to immediately remove senior executives based on poor job performance, wh… Continue Reading


June 11, 2014

Udall: Filibuster of Bill to Help Students with Crippling Loan Debt 'Disappointing'

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall expressed his disappointment after Republicans blocked debate on a bill to help students struggling with out-of-control college loan debt. The filibuster of the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which Udall cosponsored, prevented the Senate from beginning consideration of a measure to allow students and graduates with existing loans to refinance at the same lower interest rates offered to new borrowers. "This bill would help our student … Continue Reading


June 11, 2014

N.M. Delegation Requests DOD Support for Development of Advanced Photonics Manufacturing Hub

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel underlining their strong support for the Department of Defense's (DoD) manufacturing innovation institute competition, and requesting the DoD choose the development of an advanced photonics manufacturing hub in the United States as they select the technical focus area of their next manufacturing institute. In the le… Continue Reading


June 09, 2014

Udall: Audit Shows 'Unacceptable' Wait Times, Confirms VA Provided Inaccurate Information

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall responded to the results of a nationwide audit of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health facilities, which found New Mexico's veterans wait an average of 46 days for primary care and identified New Mexico as being one of a select number of facilities that need a follow-up investigation. Udall called in May for the audit of the VA health care network covering New Mexico, Arizona and Texas (VISN 18), and former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki announced … Continue Reading


June 06, 2014

Udall, Heinrich, Lujan Grisham Secure Key Commitments from U.S. Air Force to Address Fuel Spill at KAFB

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham secured key commitments from the U.S. Air Force to address the impacts of a major fuel spill at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) that has been affecting the base and the region since the 1950s and threatens the city's water supply. They also urged the Air Force to move quickly to develop a final remediation plan for the spill. While several studies have been done, they have reached conflicting conclusions a… Continue Reading


June 06, 2014

In Senate Floor Speech, Udall Honors Contribution of Last Original Navajo Code Talker, Chester Nez

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Tom Udall paid tribute in a speech on the Senate floor to the life and service of Chester Nez, the last of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers, who died Wednesday morning. AUDIO: http://www.tomudall.senate.gov/files/mp3/06052014CodeTalkerSpeech.mp3 VIDEO: http://www.tomudall.senate.gov/?p=video&id=1682 "Today, we say goodbye to this great hero, this humble man who served our country with such devotion," Udall said in his speech. "We say goodbye with sadness. But also w… Continue Reading


June 05, 2014

Udall, Barrasso Bill Would Renew and Improve BLM Energy Permitting Program

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced a bipartisan bill to extend a pilot program that has helped the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) balance complex demands, including oil and gas permitting and environmental management, in New Mexico, Wyoming and other parts of the West. Created as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the pilot program was designed to help the agency deal with a backlog of permit applications while balancing other duties. The … Continue Reading


June 05, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Work to Increase Accountability at VA

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that they have joined several Senate colleagues in introducing a bill to correct serious systemic problems that have plagued the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including long wait times for appointments and a shortage of doctors and nurses. The Restoring Veterans' Trust Act of 2014 would give the VA authority to immediately remove senior executives based on poor job performance, while maintaining due process for… Continue Reading


June 04, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Urge President To Revise Budget To Address Required Changes In Design And Operation At WIPP

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich urge President Obama to send Congress an amendment to his Fiscal Year 2015 Budget to ensure that the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) has the funding it needs to continue implementing the recommendations of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Accident Investigation Boards, including required changes in design and operation. A fire and radiation release earlier this year have left WIPP closed while the Department of Energy investigates the r… Continue Reading

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