My commitment to New Mexico
Despite what can seem like impossible gridlock in Washington these days, I am proud of several landmark accomplishments we achieved for New Mexico in 2019.
Last month, I was thrilled to join local community leaders in Alamogordo to celebrate the establishment of White Sands National Park--our state's first new national park since 1930! That we were able to create a new national park is testament to a steadfast commitment to delivering results for New Mexico no matter who is sitting in the Oval Office.
Earlier in the year, I led the effort to pass the largest public lands bill in a decade, creating 13 new wilderness areas in New Mexico, completing the community-driven conservation plans for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte National Monuments, and permanently authorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund. That legislation also included my bipartisan bill, the Every Kid Outdoors Act, which allows every fourth-grader in America to visit our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and public lands free of charge and bring their families with them.
I helped author the annual national defense bill and secured major funding and support for the national security missions at New Mexico's national labs and military installations. I successfully fought for military construction projects that will modernize infrastructure at Holloman Air Force Base, White Sands Missile Range, and Kirtland Air Force Base. I also championed major reforms to fix the military housing crisis, legislation to prepare the military's digital workforce for technological advances, and provisions to hold the military accountable for PFAS contamination at dairies outside Cannon Air Force Base.
We should be investing in a better economic future for all of us. Over the last year, I built a bipartisan coalition in the House and Senate that finally repealed a heavy tax on employer-provided health coverage that unfairly punished middle-class families. I introduced the Degrees Not Debt Act to make college affordable for families by bringing the Pell Grant into the 21st century. I supported the effort to permanently fund New Mexico's minority-serving colleges and universities. And I worked to find real solutions and common-sense reforms to the soaring cost of prescription drugs.
I am always looking for opportunities to steer federal funding and resources to help our state confront its most pressing challenges. Last year, I helped bring a nearly $5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the New Mexico Department of Health to more effectively combat the opioid overdose epidemic. I welcomed the announcement of a milestone $83.7 million construction contract for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project that will bring clean and reliable water to tribal and rural communities in northwestern New Mexico. I also fought hard to deliver a $12.5 million Department of Transportation grant to repair U.S. Highway 285 in southeastern New Mexico, which has seen significant damage and increased traffic resulting from growing oil and gas activities in the Permian Basin.
In addition, my office helps constituents on a one-on-one basis when they are having trouble with federal agencies, including keeping our promise to our veterans and service members. This year my staff held Mobile Office Hours events in local communities throughout the state and processed over 1,100 individual cases that resulted in over $1.2 million recovered for New Mexicans.
I am proud to work every day to stand up for our nation's values and make a real difference in the lives of New Mexicans. Please stay in touch with me, let me know which issues you care most about, and contact my office if I can ever be of assistance to you and your family.
United States Senator