U.S. Senator Tom Udall has announced he will assume the role of the lead Democrat (ranking member) on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies. The U.S. Department of the Interior manages America’s vast natural and cultural resources, and holds important jurisdiction in New Mexico through its leadership of the Bureaus of Land Management, Indian Affairs and Reclamation; the National Park Service; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As ranking member, Udall will hold a key position to push for funding for New Mexico priorities. The subcommittee also has jurisdiction over the U.S. Forest Service, a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Indian Health Service, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among other agencies. The subcommittee is charged with producing one of the 12 annual appropriations bills to fund the federal government’s responsibilities and programs each year.
“From natural resources development on public lands to national parks, to clean air and clean water, to supporting Indian tribal programs, this subcommittee covers many integral parts of New Mexico’s economy and communities. This new leadership position on the Appropriations Committee gives me a strong platform to fight for funding to develop infrastructure that creates jobs and promotes tourism,” Udall said. “Some of our priorities include funding for clean water and safe drinking water programs; new National Park Service properties like Valles Caldera, as well as established national parks, like Bandelier National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns; ensuring adequate wildfire budgets; and providing funding to enable the BLM to manage recreation, conservation, resource management and energy leasing. I look forward to continuing to push for the resources to strengthen New Mexico communities.”