« IATSE Becomes 7th Union to Endorse Brian Colón for Lt. Governor | Main | 5/24: Sierra Club 'n Beer at O'Niell's in Albuquerque With Local Labor and Environmental Leaders »

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bill to Honor Former Secretary Stewart Udall’s Legacy Passes U.S. House

Stewart Udall as Secretary of the Interior, 1961

In a 409 to 1 vote, legislation to name the building that houses the U.S. Interior Department in Washington, D.C. after the late Stewart Udall passed the House of Representatives today. H.R.5128 was introduced by Rep. Martin Heinrich, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, on Earth Day last month to honor former U.S. Interior Secretary Udall’s legacy. Congressmen Harry Teague and Ben Ray Lujan signed on as original cosponsors of the measure. U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

The bill would rename the Department of the Interior Building the "Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building.”

“Though quiet and humble, his impact was that of a giant, and his defense of our nation’s environment will remain immeasurable,” said Rep. Heinrich of the late Stewart Udall yesterday during a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. “However, Secretary Udall’s lifetime of work will continue to be felt by every American. Thanks to his work, our national parks and public lands now belong to every American and will remain a treasured part of our nation’s spirit for generations to come."

Rep. Heinrich and Rep. Teague speak about bill on House floor

“Secretary Udall’s work to protect our most significant public spaces and his commitment to public service are renowned. Naming the Department of Interior building in his honor is a small step in helping preserve his legacy,” said Sen. Bingaman, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “I will work to ensure that this bill passes the Senate as quickly as possible, so that we can send it to the president for his signature.”

“Just as Secretary Udall’s legacy lives on in our national parks and protected lands, his memory will continue to be honored at the Department of Interior, the agency where so many of his accomplishments remain as policies today,” said Rep. Harry Teague. “He was truly one of the great stewards of our environment and it is more than appropriate that he and his accomplishments are remembered in this way.”

“Secretary Udall’s work is seen across the country, from our pristine wilderness to our clean rivers,” said Rep. Ben Ray Luján. “And his legacy is also seen in the people he impacted throughout his life -- from those in Indian Country who suffered the effects of uranium mining to young conservationists. In naming the Department of Interior building after Secretary Udall, we honor not only his incredible professional contributions—we honor a wonderful, compassionate person who tirelessly fought for both our resources and for the people who depend on them.”

Stewart Udall, the father of U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), was the U.S. Interior Secretary from 1961 to 1969, serving in the cabinets of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. He also served in the U.S. Congress from 1955 to 1961. Stewart Udall died on March 20, 2010.

The only House member to vote no was Rep. Donald Young (R-AK). H.R.5128 now moves to the Senate for consideration.

May 20, 2010 at 07:13 PM in Environment, History, Land Issues, Native Americans, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Sen. Tom Udall, Uranium | Permalink


Seriously? Donald Young of Alaska, you are my douchebag of the week...and I want you to know, the competition was intense.

Posted by: Cara Valente-Compton | May 20, 2010 7:43:36 PM

That's a long name. Will it come to be known as the Udall building?

Posted by: Ellen Wedum | May 20, 2010 9:56:14 PM

@Cara: Don Young has been a douchebag for a long, long time.

Posted by: Proud Democrat | May 21, 2010 1:16:03 PM