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Heinrich Seeks Justice For Service Members Discharged Due To Sexual Orientation

on February 2, 2014 - 7:41am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

  • Restore Honor to Service Members Act Would Help Correct Records of Service Members Discharged Before Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. is cosponsoring the Restore Honor to Service Members Act, a bill that would help service members discharged solely due to their sexual orientation correct their military records to reflect their honorable service and reinstate the benefits they have earned.

"Doing away with the discriminatory military policy of ‘Don't Ask Don't Tell' brought us closer to achieving

Valles Caldera Trust Recaps 2013 Challenges and Successes

on January 31, 2014 - 8:29am
The Valles Caldera. Courtesy/www.vallescaldera.gov

VALLES CALDERA News:

For the second time in less than 24 months, a downed power line dramatically changed the best laid plans of the Valles Caldera Trust. The Thompson Ridge Fire of 2013 burned more than 23,000 acres of the Valles Caldera National Preserve less than two years after the 2011 Las Conchas Fire scorched 30,000 acres.  

Both fires figure prominently in the trust’s Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2013 (Oct. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2013.) 

The 2013 Annual Report to Congress (RTC) details how post-fire flooding destroyed the

Udall, Heinrich Welcome PILT Extension in Farm Bill

on January 31, 2014 - 7:59am

U.S. SENATE News: 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced Wednesday that the Farm Bill conference report, made public last night, includes one year of funding for the critical Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Program. The news provides relief for rural counties in New Mexico, which face major budget cuts if PILT is not extended.

The senators were among a bipartisan coalition who wrote to Farm Bill negotiators to request an extension of the program, which expired at the end of last year with no plan for renewal.

Udall Urges Support for Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Recommendations

on January 30, 2014 - 6:39am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON – Wednesday U.S. Sen. Tom Udall urged support for the recommendations of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, issued as part of a report on the constitutionality of the NSA’s spying program.

Among other findings, the board, which was created by Congress, concluded that the NSA’s bulk telephone surveillance program is illegal and ineffective.

 In June, Udall led a bipartisan call for an independent review by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board on the impact of the NSA’s spying program on Americans’ constitutional

IRS Tax Tip: Who Should File 2013 Tax Return?

on January 30, 2014 - 6:31am

IRS News:

Do you need to file a federal tax return this year? Perhaps. The amount of your income, filing status, age and other factors determine if you must file.

Even if you don’t have to file a tax return, there are times when you should. Here are five good reasons why you should file a return, even if you’re not required to do so:

  • Tax Withheld or Paid - Did your employer withhold federal income tax from your pay? Did you make estimated tax payments? Did you overpay last year and have it applied to this year’s tax?
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Udall Statement on State of the Union Address

on January 29, 2014 - 10:04am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

 

U.S. SENATE News:

 

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Tom Udall issued the following statement after attending President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday evening:

 

“Like many New Mexicans, I’m frustrated by the tough economic recovery. People in our state are still working to pull themselves out of the recession. Now is a time for bold but practical ideas that will support middle class families and ensure they can afford to buy a house and educate their kids.

President Delivers State of the Union Address Tonight

on January 28, 2014 - 9:54am

President Obama's Chief Speechwriter Cody Keenan takes over the White House Instagram account to give Americans a look inside the process. See more behind the scenes photos here. Courtesy/WH

WHITE HOUSE News:

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET, President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union Address. Watch online with an enhanced version of the graphics and charts of the President's plan for 2014 at WhiteHouse.gov. RSVP here.

Including President Obama’s 2013 address, there have been a total of 92 in person Annual Messages/State of the Union Addresses.

Origins and Authorization

The formal

$3.7 Million Aimed at Turning Around New Mexico's Lowest Performing Schools

on January 28, 2014 - 8:02am

Rep. Ben Ray Luján

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third highlighted Monday that New Mexico has been selected to receive funding under the U.S. Department of Education's School Improvement Grant (SIG) Program. A grant of $3,754,213 will help in the effort to turn around persistently low achieving schools in the state.

"There is no better investment we can make in our young New Mexicans than providing them with a good education,” Luján said.

Alert: Tax Scams Using IRS Name

on January 28, 2014 - 7:24am

IRS News:

PHOENIXWith the start of the 2014 tax season approaching on Jan. 31, the Internal Revenue Service urged taxpayers to be aware that tax-related scams using the IRS name proliferate during this time of year.

Tax scams can take many forms, with perpetrators posing as the IRS in everything from email refund schemes to phone impersonators. The IRS warned taxpayers to be vigilant of any unexpected communication that is purportedly from the IRS at the start of tax season.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to be on the lookout for phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure.

Lujan Grisham Invites Unemployed New Mexican to State of the Union Tonight

on January 28, 2014 - 7:15am

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, N.M.-01, has invited Coby Messier of Albuquerque to be her guest at President Obama’s State of the Union Address tonight. Messier is a long-term unemployed sheet metal worker recently cut off from federal emergency unemployment insurance due to Congress’s failure to extend the program.

Since the program expired Dec. 28, 1.6 million Americans, including 7,492 New Mexico jobseekers have lost access to this vital economic lifeline.

“The House of Representatives has taken 25 roll call votes since emergency

More Than 1.6 Million Americans; 7,400 New Mexicans Have Lost Unemployment Insurance

on January 27, 2014 - 8:26am

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

SANTA FE - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District highlighted a new report on how many Americans have seen their unemployment insurance run out since Dec. 28, 2013.

The analysis by House Ways and Means Committee Democrats found that more than 1.6 million Americans, including 7,492 New Mexicans have lost these important benefits. Without Congressional action, on average, nearly 72,000 people are losing unemployment insurance every week.

"It was disappointing that once again Republicans recessed the House without addressing expiring unemployment insurance

Martin Luther King Day Highlights Equality; Nonviolence

on January 20, 2014 - 10:40am

Martin Luther King Jr. Courtesy/history.org

Staff Report

As the unquestioned leader of the peaceful Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was at the same time one of the most beloved and one of the most hated men of his time. From his involvement in the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 until his untimely death in 1968, King's message of change through peaceful means added to the movement's numbers and gave it its moral strength. The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is embodied in these two simple words: equality and nonviolence.

King was raised in an activist family.

Senators Respond to President's Directive on Surveillance Reform

on January 17, 2014 - 12:11pm

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), members of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, reacted to today's speech by President Obama outlining his directive on reforming surveillance powers. The senators have been advocates for reining in overbroad surveillance powers and protecting Americans' privacy.

They issued the following statement:

“After the long push to rein in overbroad surveillance powers, we are very pleased that the President announced his intent to end the bulk collection of Americans’

Udall Secures Support for Critical PILT Funding

on January 17, 2014 - 5:46am
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Tom Udall won a commitment from a powerful Senate committee chairwoman Thursday to work with him to find reliable funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, a critical source of revenue for local governments throughout New Mexico and the rural West. 
 
Udall secured her support after making his case for the program in a speech on the Senate floor. PILT funding expired at the end of last year, and Udall and others are fighting to find full funding.

N.M. Delegation Announces Federal Drought Assistance

on January 17, 2014 - 5:37am

CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON Wednesday, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján, and Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that 27 counties in New Mexico will qualify for emergency loan assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) due to losses caused by the ongoing drought. A full list of counties is included below.

The designation makes producers, farmers and ranchers in these counties eligible for Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans, provided eligibility requirements are met.

Pajarito Mountain Ski Patrol Member Garners National Recognition

on January 16, 2014 - 8:05am

Nathan Phillips

PMSP News:

Los Alamos High School senior Nathan Phillips is the runner up for Outstanding Young Adult Patroller in the nation. He received a Silver Merit Star and was recognized in the recent issue of the National Ski Patrol magazine.

Phillips has been a member of the Pajarito Mountain Ski Patrol (PMSP) for four years, helping provide safe snow sport recreation on the mountain. He and the rest of the local Young Adult Ski Patrol are attending the Rocky Mountain Division Young Adult seminar at Winterpark, Colo., in March.

Young adults ages 15-18 interested in more

Luján Votes for Government Funding Package that Rolls Back Sequester Cuts

on January 16, 2014 - 7:42am

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District voted Wednesday for the omnibus appropriations bill that funds the government for fiscal year 2014. As a result of the budget deal that was passed in December (see here), the appropriations bill rolls back the sequester cuts that have negatively impacted New Mexico.

"For too long Congress has had to legislate from one crisis to the next as House Republicans shutdown the government and used the appropriations process to make extreme demands," Luján said.

Udall Pushes to Undo Cut to Military Retirees' COLA

on January 10, 2014 - 7:34am

U.S. SENATE News:

  • Amendment filed to unemployment insurance legislation would protect benefits, close corporate tax loophole

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall is supporting an amendment to emergency unemployment legislation to protect military retirees from changes to cost of living adjustments (COLA) that were included in a bipartisan budget agreement.

 

The amendment mirrors legislation Udall helped introduce in December, the Military Retirement Restoration Act, which would reverse the 1 percent reduction in the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) for working-age military

Luján Addresses 50th Anniversary of War on Poverty

on January 10, 2014 - 6:13am

President Lydon B. Johnson

CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON D.C. – Rep.  Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., released the following statement Wednesday on the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty."

"Fifty years ago, in a State of the Union Address, President Johnson declared 'War on Poverty' and brought to the conscience of a nation the plight of millions of Americans who were suffering from hunger, unemployment, and a lack of economic opportunity.  He focused attention on those for whom the American Dream had fallen out of reach.

"Since that time, our nation has made

Luján: Senate Action on Unemployment Insurance Good First Step

on January 9, 2014 - 7:16am

Rep. Ben Ray Luján

CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep.  Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., applauded Senate action Tuesday that will allow for the consideration of bipartisan legislation to extend federal unemployment benefits that expired at the end of last month.

On Dec. 28, 1.3 million Americans, including 6,000 New Mexicans, saw their unemployment benefits run out at a time when the economy in New Mexico continues to struggle in the wake of the deepest recession in a generation.

"The Senate vote to move forward on legislation to extend unemployment insurance is a positive first step toward

Los Alamos Registers as NWF Community Wildlife Habitat™

on January 8, 2014 - 11:42am

NWF News:

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) announces that the community of Los Alamos, N.M. is putting out the welcome mat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife, by recently registering its Community Wildlife Habitat™ project with NWF. 

Los Alamos is sending a clear and powerful message to communities all over America that caring people, working together, can help wildlife, wild places and the health of the environment. The residents Los Alamos are making a difference in their own community and beyond.

Since 1973, NWF has provided millions of people with the basic guidelines for

Janet Yellen Makes History as First Female Federal Reserve Chair

on January 7, 2014 - 8:16am

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen

U.S. Senate News:

WASHINGTON–Monday, Sen. Tom Udall joined the Senate in confirming Janet Yellen to serve as Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve. He issued the following statement:

“Today’s vote was a historic moment for the Federal Reserve and for our nation. I look forward to seeing Dr. Yellen become the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve Board. As Vice Chair of the Fed, Dr. Yellen has proven herself to be a thoughtful and extremely effective leader," Udall said.

Frigid Temperatures Blanket Country

on January 6, 2014 - 5:51pm

2013 Year of Important Accomplishments, Improvements for NNSA

on January 5, 2014 - 7:05am

NNSA Washington, D.C. Courtesy/NNSA

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As 2014 begins, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) released a list of some of its most important accomplishments and improvements over the past year. NNSA reached significant milestones in the areas of nonproliferation and counterterrorism, made a host of significant achievements through its work with the United States’ nuclear weapons stockpile, and saw improved operations throughout the complex.

“In 2013, even with a challenging budget situation, NNSA’s successes ensured that the United States’ nuclear

Lujan Grisham Urges Renewal of Federal Unemployment Insurance

on January 5, 2014 - 6:56am

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham

CONGRESSIONAL NEWS:

ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, N.M.-01 continues to urge Congress to renew federal unemployment insurance following a report finding that the expiration of the program on Dec. 28 has already cost the New Mexico economy more than $1.7 million.  

The analysis, prepared by the House Ways and Means Committee Democrats, spells out how much federal funding each state is going without in the first week since the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program expired.

In New Mexico, 6,000 jobseekers lost an average

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