The following article originally appeared on the website “Does New Mexico Know Tom Udall?”
Tom Udall has been in Congress since 1999 when he won election to the 3rd (northern) Congressional District in New Mexico. Udall was elected in 2009 to the United States Senate, taking Pete Domenici’s seat upon the long-serving Senator’s retirement.
Since arriving in Washington, Udall has consistently voted with the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. According to the fiscally-conservative National Taxpayers Union, Udall has been an unabashed supporter of increased spending and taxation in Washington. The organization ranks every vote in Congress based on its impact on the size and scope of the federal government and Udall has never scored anything but “F.” Worse still, Udall accumulated the worst track record on spending and taxes during 2012 (the second session of the 112th Congress).
During 2012, Udall voted only 6 percent of the time in the interests of the taxpayer. Also in 2012, National Journal named Udall the “Most Liberal Senator” of them all, tied with Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal.
For all the time he’s spent in Washington, Tom Udall has relatively few legislative accomplishments to his name. Having been in Congress since 1999 would usually result in some significant legislative items by a politician who clearly supports a large and growing federal government, but this has not been the case.
Udall has supported most of the left-wing domestic policies in Congress in recent years. He strongly supported and continues to support the ObamaCare health law as well as the Obama “stimulus” legislation known as American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which spent $831 billion in a failed effort to goose the American economy.
Despite New Mexico’s status as a top energy producing state, Udall has typically supported the cause of radical environmental interest groups above those of an industry that supplies 31 percent of New Mexico’s General Fund revenues.
The League of Conservation Voters, for example, gave Udall a 100% score during 2013 and Udall has a 97 percent lifetime score. Udall voted to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline which even Bill Clinton has endorsed, opposes expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling, and opposes oil and gas drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.
And, despite relatively depressed natural gas prices, the importance of natural gas to New Mexico’s economy, and the potential for exports of natural gas to generate thousands of jobs and millions of tax dollars for New Mexicans immediately, Udall voted against legislation that would have allowed export terminals to overcome efforts by Not in My Backyard (NIMBY) groups to site natural gas export terminals.
While his legislative track record is bad enough, Udall seems to believe that the federal government, not individuals, is the best steward of New Mexico’s lands. Udall strongly supported efforts to create the Río Grande del Norte National Conservation Area in Northern New Mexico which tightened federal control over 236,000 acres of land. The land was ultimately declared a national monument without Congressional approval by President Obama in early 2013.
Not satisfied with this massive expansion of federal control over lands in Northern New Mexico, Udall is actively supporting efforts to create the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument on 498,815 acres in Southern New Mexico. Udall has encouraged the Obama Administration to take unilateral action to designate the lands. Although the wilderness designation only deals with federal lands, private and state lands are interspersed throughout. These lands will be incredibly difficult for ranchers and others to use.
When it comes to economic policies impacting New Mexico, Tom Udall has clearly taken the side of those who wish to socialize control over our lands, reduce the capacity of private citizens to use our natural resources, and spend more of your hard-earned tax money. New Mexico needs better representation in Washington.