U.S. SENATE News:
WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall will attend Senate Committee meetings on several issues important to New Mexico, including the Fiscal Year 2016 budgets for New Mexico’s national labs, military bases and the Department of Veterans Affairs; Indian water rights settlements; important safety updates at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that affect all airports; and expanding U.S. relations with Cuba.
Additionally, a bill that Udall recently introduced to create a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), will be considered by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Tuesday morning, Udall will discuss the FAA’s efforts to modernize its outdated and overloaded air traffic control system. Udall supports boosting federal investments in air traffic control system improvements, including the FAA’s switch to GPS technology, known as NextGen. He will urge the FAA to increase its outreach to New Mexico communities that will be affected by changes in flight patterns related to NextGen.
Also Tuesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will consider Udall’s RES bill to require utilities to generate 30 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Udall is not a member of the committee, but Franz Matzner of Natural Resources Defense Council will testify about Udall’s RES legislation, which would help create jobs, reduce consumers’ utility bills and reduce global warming-causing pollution.
Wednesday morning, Udall, who is a leader in the call to modernize relations with Cuba, will question U.S. State Department officials during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Udall will discuss opening the Internet in Cuba as a means to engage with Cubans, empower entrepreneurs, and improve U.S.-Cuba relations.
Wednesday afternoon, Udall will attend a hearing of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to address the needs of Native Communities through Indian Water Rights Settlements in New Mexico and across the country.
Thursday, Udall will attend a meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee to consider the 2016 funding bills for Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies, and Energy and Water Development, which includes funding for New Mexico’s national labs and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.