June 10, 2005 E-Newsletter
My office is publishing this electronic newsletter as a way to keep you informed about what is happening in Washington and in the Second Congressional District in Colorado. You can also log onto my website at www.house.gov/markudall for more information about constituent services, upcoming events or to read recent statements on various issues. Please feel free to share this newsletter with friends or direct them to my website. I hope you will find this newsletter to be helpful and informative.
1. HOUSE APPROVES AGRICULTURE SPENDING BILL
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Agriculture Appropriations Act of 2006. The measure provides $100.3 billion for agriculture programs and the Food and Drug Administration. The bill also prohibits the FDA from preventing individuals, pharmacists, and wholesalers from importing prescription drugs that have been approved by the FDA. The provision is intended to permit the importation of prescription drugs that are sold for a lower price abroad than they are in the United States. The bill also prohibits funds in the bill from being spent to implement country-of-origin labeling for meat or meat products, delaying a 2002 law for an additional year.
Congressman Udall voted for the bill because it includes funding for many programs and projects important to Colorado, particularly Colorado State University. The bill includes
$778,000 for the Economically Important Infectious Animal Diseases Program at CSU, $291,000 for Russian Wheat Aphid Research Program at CSU, and $250,000 for CSU's participation in the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium. Also, the bill includes $2.1 million for the Ultra Violet-B Monitoring and Research Program, a joint effort between CSU and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that provides important information on the negative impacts of UV levels on crops, livestock, ecosystems and forests.
2. UDALL OPPOSES PLAN TO CLOSE DENVER U.S. CIVIL RIGHTS OFFICE
In a letter sent to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Congressman Udall voiced his opposition to the proposed closure of the Rocky Mountain Regional Office (RMRO) for the United States Commission on Civil Rights based in Denver, Colorado.
"This very small office of three people helps numerous victims of civil rights violations and provides extensive outreach and education," said Udall. "The office serves many rural and isolated communities, including sixty Indian reservations. The people in this region do not have the same degree of access to the civil rights organizations that exist in more urban areas. To further isolate those served particularly the more than 60 Indian reservations in the region would be a mistake."
The RMNO supports Colorado and six other states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and New Mexico. The office serves as the "eyes and ears" of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and documents civil rights violations. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights plans to close two of its six regional offices, Denver and Kansas City, because of budgetary problems.
3. COLORADO LAWMAKERS PRESS SECRET SERVICE FOR ANSWERS IN DENVER 3 INVESTIGATION
Congressman Udall, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Denver) and Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Manassa) have asked U.S. Secret Service Director M. Ralph Basham for an update on their investigation into who was responsible for removing three individuals from President Bush's Social Security town hall in Denver on March 21.
"Each of us has called on the Secret Service to conduct an investigation to determine if the individual who removed these three persons unlawfully posed as an agent or a law enforcement official. Even though the Secret Service has conducted an investigation, the American people still do not have answers," said the three lawmakers in their letter. "The lack of information from the Secret Service and the White House and their unresponsiveness toward this matter gives the appearance of either disinterest or a cover up."
The Colorado lawmakers also asked the director for a meeting in the next week to get a briefing on the findings of the investigation.
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