U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today reported that the Senate gave final passage to legislation to honor the late Stewart Udall. The measure had already cleared the House of Representatives with the support of Representatives Martin Heinrich, Ben Ray Luján, and Harry Teague.
The bill, which is headed to the White House for President Obama's signature, names the U.S. Department of Interior building in Washington, D.C. the "Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building."
Stewart Udall, the father of U.S. Senator Tom Udall, was the Interior Secretary from 1961 to 1969, serving in the cabinets of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. Stewart Udall died earlier this year.
"Stewart Udall was among our nation's the most effective interior secretaries. He was an outstanding public servant and a lifelong advocate for our country's public lands and waters. His legacy will live on in the landmark environmental laws he helped develop. So I am pleased that the building where he once proudly worked will bear his name," said Bingaman, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
"Though quiet and humble, Secretary Udall's impact was that of a giant, and his defense of our nation's environment will remain immeasurable," said Heinrich. "Thanks to Secretary Udall's work, our national parks and public lands belong to every American and will remain a treasured part of our nation's spirit for generations to come. Naming the Department of Interior building in Secretary Udall's honor is a small, but significant way to acknowledge his legacy."
"Naming the Department of Interior building after Secretary Stewart Udall's is a fitting tribute to his work and his lasting contributions to our country," said Luján. "It is an honor to join this effort to recognize Secretary Udall and his legacy."
"Secretary Udall was one of the great champions of our environment and a great public servant. In New Mexico, his accomplishments live on as we continue to treasure and protect our public lands, wilderness and National Parks. I am pleased to be able to honor the legacy of one of the great champions of the environment in this way. The Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building will serve as a timeless reminder of his many achievements," Teague said.