Press Releases

July 30, 2015

Udall at Appropriations Hearing: VA Must Restore Accountability, Protect Whistleblowers

WASHINGTON - Today, during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, U.S. Senator Tom Udall continued to press for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to improve care for New Mexico veterans in the wake of the appointment scheduling scandal and unacceptable delay in processing a backlog of benefit claims. Udall questioned two VA whistleblowers about consequences they suffered after coming forward and the need for a strong VA Inspector … Continue Reading

July 30, 2015

Udall Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall released the following statement in honor of the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson signing Medicare and Medicaid into law on July 30, 1965: "Fifty years ago today, President Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law. These landmark programs now help protect the health, well-being and financial security of more than half of New Mexico's families. They allow children, seniors and people with disabilities to see a doctor when they're sick, … Continue Reading

July 29, 2015

Udall, Wyden Introduce Bill to End Sweetheart Deals for Coal Companies

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today introduced legislation to ensure American taxpayers receive the full value of coal produced on public lands. The Coal Royalty Fairness Act would require the Interior Department to collect royalties for coal mined on federal lands based on the actual market value of coal. Currently, some private mining companies sell coal to their own affiliated companies at a lower cost than market value, and pay federal royalties based on t… Continue Reading

July 28, 2015

Udall, Heinrich Call for Hearing on Need to Expand Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to Include Tularosa Downwinders, Post-1971 Uranium Workers

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that they have asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on their work to amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to expand compensation for victims of radiation exposure in New Mexico as well as several Western states and Guam. Udall, Heinrich and Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) introduced legislation earlier this year to amend RECA to cover victims of… Continue Reading

July 23, 2015

Udall Objects to GOP Rider on Appropriations Bill Gutting Campaign Finance Protections

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall stood up for campaign finance protections by objecting to an effort to roll back longstanding limits on coordinated spending between political parties and candidates. During the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee markup of the fiscal year 2016 spending bill for Financial Services and General Government, Udall led an amendment to strip a provision that would gut current spending limits on coordinated expenditures by political parties. "The American pe… Continue Reading

July 22, 2015

Members Of NM Delegation Seek to Restore Honor to Service Members Discharged Due to Sexual Orientation

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham cosponsored the Restore Honor to Service Members Act, S. 1766 in the Senate and H.R. 3068 in the House. The legislation will help service members discharged due to their sexual orientation correct their military records to reflect their honorable service and reinstate the benefits they earned. "I was proud to vote to end the discriminatory 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy, which forc… Continue Reading

July 21, 2015

Udall Reaffirms Call for Action on Child Well-Being

WASHINGTON - Following a new report that shows New Mexico still ranks 49th in the nation for child well-being, U.S. Senator Tom Udall reaffirmed his call for local, state and national collaboration to improve the health and education of New Mexico children. The new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which used 2013 data, found that New Mexico's child poverty rate increased to 31 percent from 29 percent the year before. Udall released the following statement: "New Mexico's children deser… Continue Reading

July 20, 2015

Udall Welcomes Formal Restoration of Diplomatic Relations between United States and Cuba

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement as the United States and Cuba formally re-established diplomatic relations after 54 years: "The re-opening of the embassies in Havana and Washington marks a turning point in a relationship fraught with mistrust and Cold War antagonism. While both our countries have many differences to resolve, the best diplomats of American values are Americans themselves, and I believe … Continue Reading

July 20, 2015

NM Lawmakers Call on Administration to Curb Natural Gas Waste Causing Methane Hot Spot Over San Juan Basin

WASHINGTON - In a letter this week to Office of Management and Budget (OPM) Director Shaun Donovan, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham called for prompt action on upcoming federal standards to curb natural gas waste. New Mexico is the nation's leading producer of oil from onshore federal land, and second for natural gas production. Yet too much of the state's natural gas goes to waste through venting, flaring and leaks - causi… Continue Reading

July 17, 2015

Udall, Heinrich Announce $3.3 Million for Support Services at College Campuses across New Mexico

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced 13 grants totaling more than $3.3 million to fund the TRIO Student Support Services program, which helps provide additional support for low-income and first-generation college students, as well as students with disabilities. College campuses across New Mexico will receive funding to provide services designed to help students stay in school and graduate, such as tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, and financial guidan… Continue Reading

July 16, 2015

VIDEO: Udall Honors Tularosa Downwinders on 70th Anniversary of Trinity Blast

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall honored New Mexico's Tularosa Basin downwinders during a speech on the Senate floor for the 70th anniversary of the Trinity test. Trinity is the codename for the first detonation of a nuclear weapon, which occurred in Southern New Mexico at what was then called White Sands Proving Ground. Many residents living downwind of the test have since suffered from cancer and other health issues due to radiation exposure. Udall is working to ensure the government… Continue Reading

July 16, 2015

Udall, Heinrich Announce $6.1 Million In FAA Grants For New Mexico Airports

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced today that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), an agency under the U.S. Department of Transportation, has awarded more than $6.1 million for rehabilitation and development projects for airports across New Mexico. These grants will be used for the construction of a new airport at Zuni Pueblo, runway rehabilitation, airport planning, and perimeter fencing. "These grants will improve and expand airports thro… Continue Reading

July 16, 2015

Udall: Comprehensive Bipartisan Chemical Safety Reform now Supported by Over Half the Senate

WASHINGTON ­- Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) announced the addition of three new bipartisan cosponsors for comprehensive legislation to overhaul the nation's broken chemical safety law, bringing the total number of senators supporting the bill to 52, representing 33 states. This week, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and GOP Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis of North Carolina signed on as cosponsors - joining Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.),… Continue Reading

July 16, 2015

Udall Votes to Reform No Child Left Behind, Vows to Continue Fighting for New Mexico Students

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall joined a bipartisan majority of senators to pass a bill to make much-needed reforms to the nation's controversial No Child Left Behind education law. The Every Child Achieves Act passed the Senate 81-17, and takes steps to expand access to high-quality K-12 education. Udall worked to include several New Mexico priorities in the bill, including measures to strengthen Native American schools, expand access to health and physical education, improve STEM ed… Continue Reading

July 14, 2015

Udall Welcomes New Public-Private Partnership to Extend Hours at Santa Teresa Port of Entry

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is partnering with Dell Inc. to extend hours at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry (POE). Dell Inc. will be funding four additional hours for southbound commercial traffic Monday through Friday for one year. Udall backed Dell Inc.'s application for the partnership in a letter with Senator Martin Heinrich last month, and also invited CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske to visit the Santa Teresa POE to s… Continue Reading

July 14, 2015

Udall Statement on Historic Iran Nuclear Agreement

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the agreement to limit Iran's nuclear program: "Today's announcement is a historic step for international cooperation and our shared goal of reducing the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. I have always believed that constructive diplomacy is the best way to achieve a safer Middle East, and I congratulate our team of negotiators on reaching this agreement. "The next cri… Continue Reading

July 09, 2015

Udall on Education Reform: The Stakes are High for New Mexico Students as Senate Works to Reform No Child Left Behind

WASHINGTON - Today, as the Senate debates reform of the nation's controversial No Child Left Behind education law, U.S. Senator Tom Udall highlighted the impact the Senate's bill -- called the Every Child Achieves Act -- could have on New Mexico students. In a speech on the Senate floor, Udall urged the Senate to improve the law and ensure it supports New Mexico students and teachers, as well as all students across the country who deserve a fair shot at success. Udall has already worked to inclu… Continue Reading

July 09, 2015

Udall, Growing Coalition of Supporters Call on Senate to Bring Up and Pass Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act

WASHINGTON - Today, in a letter to Senate leadership, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and 13 of his Democratic colleagues urged Senate leaders to begin debate as soon as possible on their comprehensive chemical safety reform proposal, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. The letter comes as support continues to build among a diverse group of stakeholders and as two more senators cosponsored the bipartisan legislation to reform the nation's broken chemical safety laws… Continue Reading

July 09, 2015

Udall, Heinrich Welcome Construction on a New Road at the Columbus Port of Entry

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich welcomed the beginning of construction on a new road to improve traffic flow and safety at the Columbus Port of Entry (POE). The new road will be east of the existing vehicle entry to the Columbus POE and is expected to be completed in November 2015. The Columbus POE was built in 1989 to screen visitors entering the United States. Today the facilities are outdated, prone to flooding and hinder economic growth. Udall and Heinrich ha… Continue Reading

July 08, 2015

Udall, Heinrich Announce New $8.2 Million Grant to Expand Las Vegas Head Start

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that West Las Vegas School District is receiving more than $8.2 million for Head Start programs to serve 172 children. The funding is provided through a new grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to be awarded over a period of five years. West Las Vegas School District plans to use the funding to support 10 Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms, sustaining more than 30 jobs. Head Start is one of… Continue Reading

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