[Congressional Record Volume 166, Number 207 (Tuesday, December 8, 2020)] [Senate] [Pages S7253-S7257] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] Tribute to Tom Udall Now, let me tell you a little bit about our senior Senator, Tom Udall. One of the first times I ever spent any serious time with Tom Udall was actually on horseback. Tom was serving at the time as the Congressman for northern New Mexico's Third Congressional District, and I was leading a group called the Coalition for New Mexico Wilderness. Together, we rode into rugged mesas and canyons east of Las Vegas, NM-- that is the original Las Vegas--that I hoped would soon be designated as the Sabinoso Wilderness. It was clear right away that Tom shared my sense of wonder in the outdoors and wild places and a strong commitment to protect those precious landscapes for future generations, and despite his day job walking the Halls of Congress, he was pretty comfortable on that horse of his--much more so than myself. More than a decade later, Tom and I would repeat that horseback ride in Sabinoso, alongside President Trump's then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. We were both serving in the Senate by this point. We had successfully [[Page S7254]] worked together to establish not just the Sabinoso Wilderness but also the Ojito Wilderness, the Columbine-Hondo, the Valles Caldera National Preserve, the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, and the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Now we were working to convince Secretary Zinke--someone I might describe as a bit of a wilderness skeptic--to sign off on the Bureau of Land Management's acceptance of a generous land donation by the Wilderness Land Trust. This land donation would finally open up public access to the spectacular opportunities in the Sabinoso, which was then actually completely landlocked by private lands, and it would substantially grow the Sabinoso Wilderness area. A couple of hours of both of us riding into Canyon Largo alongside Secretary Zinke, alongside local sportsmen and public lands advocates and community-elected leaders, accomplished what months of testy congressional hearings and office meetings and phone calls here in Washington, DC, could not. Just days after his visit, Secretary Zinke announced that his reservations over accepting new wilderness were assuaged and that he would approve the donation at the Department of Interior. Thanks to those efforts and that horseback ride, for years to come, all New Mexicans and all Americans will be able to visit this stunning wilderness that we all own together. This story is but one example from Senator Udall's long career that demonstrates how bringing people together, even those who may have major disagreements--especially about politics--can still help to find common ground and forge a path forward. That is one of the main lessons that I will always take with me about the example that Senator Udall has set as such a principled leader. Tom has devoted his entire career to serving the people of my State. As our State's attorney general, Tom took on major challenges, from curbing pervasive drunk driving to domestic violence, to prosecuting unethical and corrupt elected officials and protecting consumers and seniors from all manner of predatory scams. Then, during his 10 years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives, Tom fought to deliver for northern New Mexico's communities. He stood firmly against the Bush administration's tax cuts for the wealthy. He opposed the misguided invasion of Iraq. He called on Congress to rein in the civil liberties abuses in the PATRIOT Act. Tom was first elected to serve our State in the U.S. Senate in the exact same year that I was first elected to Congress. It has been a privilege to sit in a front-row seat during this time while he led our State's congressional delegation. I believe that all of us in this body can agree that there are few greater examples than Tom Udall in embodying the best of what it means to be a Senator. Over his two terms in this Chamber, Tom has showed us all how to act--to act with decency, to act with integrity; how to stay true to your principles but also how to find the deliberative compromises that have become all too rare in today's Senate. Tom knows that to get anything done, especially in this era of extremely polarized party politics, you need to be able to bring people together, to break bread, to have the patience to work through disagreements, and to focus on results, not politics. That was perhaps best demonstrated in his ability to pass a landmark, bipartisan overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act--likely one of the greatest environmental law achievements in the last decade. TSCA is just about the most complicated piece of law that you can possibly imagine; however, the powers that it grants to the Environmental Protection Agency are some of the only things protecting us, standing between us and many harmful chemicals. In the last decade, it became increasingly clear that the original law, which had passed back in the 1970s, was simply no longer effective and required significant reforms, but getting a new law passed had proved to be practically impossible for many Senators who had tried for years to get this done. Because of all the major industry interests, disagreements from various groups, TSCA reform had become one of the many things that conventional wisdom simply said would never get done, especially in today's gridlocked Congress. But Tom did not take no for an answer. He took on the years-long, daunting challenge of convening an incredibly wide range of stakeholders to get the details right and successfully steered a new law all the way to final passage. I believe Tom Udall was successful in this precisely because of the way that he stands up for his principles with moral clarity. At a time when our democracy has felt fragile, Tom has led the way in fighting the corrosive effects of dark money in our politics. He championed voting rights, and he called for rules reforms to make this body, to make this Senate work for ``we the people'' once again. Through his role on the Foreign Relations Committee, Tom has held administrations from both parties accountable for responsibly exercising American power overseas. He has been a steadfast champion and ally for Indian Country, fighting for water access, education, healthcare, and law enforcement resources for Tribal nations. For years, Tom has called on us to finally confront the climate crisis that threatens New Mexico's land and water and, frankly, the future of our country and our planet. I have been so proud to partner with Tom over these last years to pass landmark protections for the natural resources and public lands that we in New Mexico all treasure. Our children and future generations will see the legacy of Tom's conservation work for years to come. Finally, it goes almost without saying, but I am confident that Tom's leaving the Senate will not mean leaving behind his lifetime commitment to service--in fact, far from it. Whatever his next chapter brings, I am certain that Tom will never stop looking for ways to help the people of New Mexico, although I do hope he will find the time to get outside, to spend time in a remote mountain pass from time to time or on a fast flowing river. It has truly been the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside Senator Udall for these last 12 years and to fight together to deliver resources and results for New Mexicans. Thank you, Tom, for everything that you have taught me and for everything that you and Jill have done for New Mexicans and for Americans. Julie and I certainly wish you the best in this next chapter in your life, and it has truly been my honor. Thank you. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah Mr. LEE. Madam President, I stand today to give tribute to my friend and colleague, the senior Senator from New Mexico, Tom Udall, who was assigned to be my mentor when I first arrived in the Senate nearly 10 years ago. Over a series of meetings we had over breakfast, lunch, and in our offices, Tom mentored me and tutored me on the rules of the Senate. He took the time to explain the nuances of the filibuster and how the Senate has deviated from the rule as it was originally designed. The concept is not a familiar one, nor is it intuitive, and yet Tom was able to explain it to me in a way that was simple and easy to understand and helped me grasp the passion that he has for addressing that issue and for reforming the Senate for the better ever since then. He had a way of doing it that didn't make anyone feel demeaned but made them, rather, more enthusiastic about making the Senate a better place in which to work, operate, and legislate. I have no idea whether the person who assigned Tom as my mentor knew that Tom and I were related, that we are second cousins, that his grandmother and my grandfather were brother and sister, or that my grandmother on the other side of the family was his U.S. history teacher at James Fenimore Cooper Intermediate and Junior High, but our paths seemed destined to cross. I didn't know Tom well growing up, although I knew his father Stewart, and I knew his Uncle Morris. Tom was already off to fame and stardom by the time I came along, but I knew his family long before I got to know him. In many ways, they saved the best for last. Even though I got to know your dad and your Uncle Morris before I got to [[Page S7255]] know you, I tremendously enjoyed getting to work with you. You and I come from similar parts of the country, from some of the same ancestral pioneer stock, and we have very different ideas. Yet Tom Udall has always been someone with whom I have been able to communicate freely and frankly and from whom I have always heard positive, uplifting communication, even when we disagree, which happens from time to time. Thank you so much for your service. It has been a pleasure getting to work with you as a colleague. I wish you and Jill the very best success and happiness in your future endeavors. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon. Mr. MERKLEY. Madam President, Senator Udall and I came here in the same class 12 years ago. It is hard to believe that 12 years have passed. How can that happen so quickly? We have seen the Senate in various chapters as it sought to address the big challenges facing America. Colleagues have already noted Tom's intense advocacy for the wildlands of the West and the poetry that he brought to it in his speech today with Mr. Stegner's reflections on the majesty and importance of the wildlands of the West and all of his efforts to protect those lands. Colleagues have mentioned how, when folks thought it couldn't be done, he dived into this partnership with Senator Vitter to drive the Lautenberg Toxic Substances Act and got it accomplished through months and months of intense negotiations. He cares about the function of this body and has shared with us idea after idea on how we might make it work better--ideas that we should still work to consider in the months and years ahead. As he thought about protection of lands, he thought about protection of the oceans and the role of plastics in the oceans. He spearheaded efforts for us to reconsider how we produce so much plastic waste and where it ends up and the damage that it does--a vision that others will have to carry the baton on after his departure. He has stood up fiercely for the constitutional vision of a nation and a government of, by, and for the people, that money is not speech, and that corporations are not people. Tom, thank you. Thank you for fighting for the vision of our Constitution, for a government that can and will take on the issues facing us. We will miss you. I personally hope that you will have a major role in continuing to advance the protection of those wildlands in the West in the near future. All my best, and take care in your next chapter. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Blackburn). The Senator from Wyoming. Mr. BARRASSO. Madam President, just a little reflection on Tom Udall and working together on the Indian Affairs Committee that I chaired, and he was the ranking member. I will tell you that I will miss my friend Tom Udall. Bobbi and I will miss your life partner Jill as well. We are so grateful for your friendship and your leadership in this body. When Senator Udall started today on the floor, he mentioned that he was a son of the West and mentioned that it is something that runs in the family. Madam President, Tom's father, Stewart Udall, was Secretary of the Interior of the United States. If you go to the Interior Department office, you will see it is the Udall name on the building because of this ongoing commitment and love that the Senator has spoken about today. What many don't know is the relationship between Wyoming and the Udall family. It was Stewart Udall, Secretary of the Interior, who came to Wyoming with a young President a number of years ago. That President was John F. Kennedy. It was September of 1963. I went back to the archives at the University of Wyoming and found photos of Tom's dad and the President at the time, John Kennedy, and a number of Wyoming leaders at the time. I gave copies to Tom and to Jill to share the bond of our States. It would surprise many, I think, in this body to know that I have a picture, actually, of John Kennedy hanging in my office up in the Dirksen Office Building--John Kennedy addressing the crowd at the University of Wyoming Arena-Auditorium in September of 1963. As Tom this morning talked about conservation, John Kennedy talked of conservation that very day that he gave that speech with your father on the stage, together so many years ago. At the time, John Kennedy talked of the living balance between man's actions and nature's reaction to it and the living balance that must exist. So, today, I come and thank my friend for his stewardship, for his leadership, and for his friendship, and I say this with a great deal of appreciation and admiration and respect. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan. Ms. STABENOW. Madam President, I rise today to honor someone whom I have had the good fortune of working with both in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. Senator Udall and I spent a long time together, and I am very, very grateful. I want to take a step back just for a moment and say that in American political history there are certain names that carry a legacy. There are the Roosevelts, a family of great means who, nonetheless, understood the deeply personal pain of the Great Depression and helped bring a nation through it. There are the Kennedys, a family that for generations has been near the center of American power and popular culture. And there are the Udalls. Now, the Udalls have never been flashy. They might not be the equivalent of political royalty. You might find the Udalls more likely to be in cowboy boots and jeans than expensive suits, but they are a family that is deeply rooted in public service, protecting the people and the places of the West, and just being some of the kindest, hardest working, most decent folks you could ever meet, period. Senator Tom Udall has certainly lived up to his family's legacy during his long career in public service. New Mexico is so fortunate to have been represented by him, and I feel so fortunate to have him as my friend. Tom, it has been such a pleasure to work with you on so many different issues. You talk about the land, and I talk a lot about water. And even though you are not surrounded by the Great Lakes, as we are, you have been as passionate in working with us to protect our beautiful water, as you have with other natural resources. So thank you for protecting the funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Also, I thank him for ensuring that our community health centers receive full funding, for strengthening rural communities, and for improving services for our veterans. I appreciate so much your leadership in the bipartisan efforts, and I was proud to support you and help on tax reform. I have been so impressed by your work on clean energy and on protecting the wild places that make our States so special, and, of course, your work on reforming the Senate and shining the light of day on money and politics. I am so grateful for your strong leadership on the Indian Affairs Committee and your hard work and advocacy--so effective in advocating for our Nation's Tribes. You have also set yourself apart through your work on Foreign Relations and on keeping our Nation safe. I will never forget our trip to Vietnam and South Korea last year. We were, over the Easter weekend, flying in Southeast Asia, and it was such a wonderful moment when Jill organized a Passover Seder for everyone on the plane--what a special moment on this bipartisan trip. It brought everybody together to focus on our common humanity and what we are each called to do, which is to serve others. Whatever the future holds for you, I have no doubt that you will continue serving the people of New Mexico and this Nation, and I believe we have more than benefitted from your leadership. Public service, that is what Udalls do. Senator Udall, congratulations on your retirement. Thank you for a job well done, and so many best wishes to you and your life partner Jill and your entire family. You have been a real blessing not only to New Mexico but to our country. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland [[Page S7256]] Mr. CARDIN. Madam President, I just really want to thank Senator Udall for his commitment to public service. When I think of a person of his talent, his expertise, and his effectiveness, he has devoted his entire life to public service to make New Mexico better, to make America better, and for global justice. I just really want to thank him for his many years of public service. I know that he has not finished his commitment to try to help our community, but we are going to miss him on the floor of the U.S. Senate. I had a chance to work with Senator Udall when he and I were in the House of Representatives, and we worked on so many issues--from the environment to justice issues, to integrity in the process to make sure our system of justice, our system of law, and our system of legislating meet the high expectations of our democracy. We know that we can do better to form a more perfect union. We are on that path, and we can do better. And thanks to Senator Udall, we have done better, but we still have a road ahead of us. So, you are an inspiration to all of us. We want you to know that. We love you. We greatly admire your service to this body and to our community. As has been said by others, we are not only going to miss your relationship on working with issues here; we are going to miss the friendship and seeing you on a more regular basis. We know that your life partner Jill has been a steady supporter of what you have done. So on behalf of your colleagues in the U.S. Senate, we say thank you for a job well done. We are proud to have called you our friend and associate, and we will continue to work with you. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois. Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I had the privilege of knowing Tom Udall's uncle when I served in the House of Representatives. He was not only a great leader, but he was a funny man. I have repeated some of his lines and jokes so often. I don't even give him credit anymore. I hope his family and his memory will forgive me. I have often repeated his prognosis for politicians. Morris Udall said: Once you get politics in your bloodstream, only embalming fluid will replace it. I have often thought of what drives us, the men and women of the Senate and the House, to continue to engage in this life's work of politics, with all the cost that it incurs in our lives. Clearly, we are driven by something more than just comfort. To my friend, Tom Udall, let me say I am glad you proved your uncle wrong. As much as I wish you were staying with us for a while longer, I know that you are not leaving public service. You never will. You are just leaving this chapter. In the Udall family, public service is a noble tradition. Your uncle always served with honor in the House for three decades. Your cousins-- Mark Udall, Mike Lee, and Gordon Smith--have all served in the Senate. Your father, Stewart Udall, answered President Kennedy's call for the best and brightest and served as President Kennedy's Secretary of the Interior. I want to mention one footnote that should never be forgotten, particularly at this moment in history. When we watch the NFL and their dedication to the notion of Black Lives Matter, they should remember that over 50 years ago, it was your father, as Secretary of the Interior, who said to the NFL football team that was using RFK Stadium that they had to integrate and bring in their first Black player or he wasn't going to renew their Federal lease on that premises. He changed, overnight, the fate of that Washington football franchise when it came to the issue of race. That shows the kind of leadership which 50 years later looked so visionary. But when it comes to preserving America's national treasures in the 20th century, the Udall name ranks right up there with Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt was a giant of conservation. He believed that we have a moral obligation to preserve our planet and the treasures of it for future generations. I have no doubt that your father and your mother would be proud of your service in the Senate. You have carried on this legacy with such perfection by preserving America's irreplaceable national treasures. I have vivid memories of two majestic national monuments that are in Utah--Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. President Obama showed real leadership in creating those monuments, and you have led the fight to preserve them through the current administration. The passion with which you spoke about the history and importance of these treasures is something I will never forget. I was proud to cosponsor your proposal, the ANTIQUITIES Act, to make clear that only Congress can alter the list of protected national monuments. Thank goodness we have public servants like Tom Udall, who is willing to fight to preserve a piece of this world so that future generations can see it as God created it. Your ``30 by 30 Resolution,'' which you cosponsored with Senator Bennet of Colorado, is another example of creative, innovative Udall ``conservationism.'' Your efforts to preserve America's most sacred treasures do not end with open spaces and a healthy environment. You have also been a brave and tireless champion of the need to preserve the fundamentals of our democracy. Along with your efforts to protect national monuments, you also led to preserve the delicate balance of powers envisioned by our Founders. You were the lead sponsor in this Chamber in the For the People Act to protect voting rights, strengthening government ethics, and changing the way congressional campaigns are funded--a bill that I have built on myself to try to protect our body politic Our goals were always the same: to break the grip of special interests on our politics and government while making it more affordable for men and women with good ideas but without massive wealth to run for Congress. These last years have shown us how fragile our democracy can be and how much work we have to do to restore people's faith in government. I want to point out one particular bill--TSCA. Tom, I will never forget what you did with that. I don't know how many months--maybe even years--that you weathered on despite opposition, not only from the other side of the aisle but sometimes from our side of the aisle, to get this issue into perspective. There were chemicals that were being put into things as basic as furniture that American families had no idea would be dangerous. I have never forgotten this image. You told this story on the floor. To think that that cushion on your couch is treated with some chemical that could be harmful to individuals and that every time you, as a father, sat down on that couch and pulled that baby close to you, you could have been spraying chemicals in that baby's face. I thought about that ever since you gave that speech and how much work you did to make sure that we remedy that wrong and that we gave notification and clearance before these chemicals were being used in products that American families didn't even know about. I gave you my word that I would push hard with you on that. I was just one of the soldiers in the back of the ranks, but I was proud of every moment of it. I wish you and your wife Jill a special happiness in the next chapter. Jill, of course, is originally a native of St. Louis, and I grew up across the river. We had many fun times talking about her youth and reminiscing about mutual friends. She is just an exceptional person herself, and you know it and I do too. To your daughter Amanda, I wish an equally happy and healthy future. As our friend John Lewis might say, may you continue to find ways to get into good trouble. In this Senate, you have been the voice for so many people who had no voice. You have chosen to be an advocate for Native Americans. And if there is ever a cause which every single Member of the Senate and the House should take as their own, it is to bring justice to this group of people who were here before us and were not treated well by this government. I will close now with a thought from one of their great leaders, Sitting Bull. In negotiations with the Federal Government, Sitting Bull advised: Let us put our minds together and see what future we can make for our children. This is the spirit which Tom Udall has brought to the U.S. Senate in every aspect of public service. It has been an honor to work with you, Tom. I wish you all the best because you are the best. [[Page S7257]] The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont. Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I know we are about to vote, and I will speak further at another time about Senator Udall, but I just want to tell him what I told you--all of you--what I said to him when he finished speaking: In my 46 years here, it is one of the finest and most moving, heartfelt, honest speeches I have heard. I have also sent a note, I say to Senator Udall, to Jill Udall to tell her how great you are, but I think she probably knew it. But I will speak further at another time. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware. Mr. CARPER. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to complete my brief remarks before the vote. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. CARPER. Madam President, I want to say a few words about leadership. When I think of the word ``leadership,'' I think of Tom Udall. Leaders are humble, not haughty. Leaders have the heart of a servant. They realize that our job is to serve, not to be served. Leaders have the courage to stay in step when everyone else is marching to the wrong tune. Leaders unite, not divide. They build bridges, not laws. Leaders surround themselves with the very best people they can find. When the team does well, the leader gives the credit to the team. When the team falls short, the leader takes the blame. The best leaders among us realize they don't build themselves up by tearing other people down. Leaders are aspirational. They appeal to our better angels. Camus--a Frenchman--used to say that leaders are purveyors of hope. Leaders seek to do what is right, not what is easy or expedient but what is right. Leaders embrace the Golden Rule: Treat other people the way they want to be treated. The Golden Rule is in every major religion on the planet. He embodies it. Leaders believe that we should pursue excellence in everything we do. If it isn't perfect, let's make it better. And when a leader knows that he or she is right, they just won't give up. They don't give up. Those are the qualities that we all admire in leaders. To be totally honest, I fall short on a number of them. And I guess if we are all truthful, we would all say the same thing. He doesn't fall short on any of them. Tom Udall is the personification of what a leader should be and a friend as well. I just want to say thanks to his parents for raising him, bringing him into the world, and putting him on the right path, giving us a chance to serve with him. I also thank Jill, his wife, for being just a terrific partner with him. When we were stuck on TSCA--the Toxic Substance Control Act--she came to the hearings in the committee. He was no longer on the committee, but she came there, and everybody could see on her face that we better get this right or we were in trouble. The reason we had to pass the Toxic Substance Control Act is that the Federal law that we passed a quarter century ago before didn't work, and every other State stepped in and decided to have their own State version. It was a patchwork quilt. It just didn't work. He pointed it out and made it happen, made a change, and I just will always be grateful for that. The other thing I want to say is that he is a friend. I think if you talk to anybody here, they would say that he is a friend. I don't care if you are a Republican or a Democrat; he is a friend. My wife and I and our sons, Christopher and Ben, had the opportunity at the end of an Aspen Institute seminar in Tanzania, which was just an incredible experience, to stay for 4 or 5 days afterward and just travel throughout, go on a safari, and have a chance to see amazing things--amazing things. When it was all over, we went back to the airport in Tanzania, the Kilimanjaro airport, to catch a flight back to the States. I will never forget. Our son Ben, who is our younger son, said to his mom and dad and his older brother: That was the best vacation we have ever had. We talk about things we share with one another, but that is one that is especially close to my heart. Godspeed. God bless you. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cruz). The Senator from Idaho. Mr. CRAPO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the mandatory quorum call be waived. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.