HON. MORRIS K. "MO" UDALL
family extends special gratitude to Speaker Foley, Congressman Owens and
Congressman John J. Rhodes III for their leadership in making it possible
for Mo's colleagues to honor him so eloquently on his retirement from his
The words of admiration and friendship expressed on the floor and in the Congressional Record by both House and Senate members represent a treasured gift which only Congress can give to one of its own.
Thursday, May 2,1991.
He pointed out that under Mo's leadership, the Interior Committee became an engine for a series of environmental accomplishments. He said:
MO UDALL--LAWMAKER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
(Remarks of Peter Berle)
it can be said, of Mo, Udall's 30-year career in the U.S. Congress, that he not only preserved many of America's most treasured natural resources, but that, through his efforts, the United States is a more beautiful and healthful nation.
Mo has set a new standard for national environmental leadership, and he has done so with grace, a compassionate heart, and a wry humor. All his political efforts have been characterized by a commitment to fair play, which led him to look always for the possibility of accommodating the legitimate needs of adversaries, and thus to bring them into the fold. Yet, when the chips were down, this fairness has also been Mo's greatest source of strength. The historic victories he has won--to save Alaska's wildlands, to force coal strip miners to reclaim the land they exploit, to block the give-away policies of Interior Secretary James Watt, to preserve wilderness and parklands in virtually every state in the Union -- did not come easily. These battles required courage, risk-taking, and fortitude. But he took them on, and he prevailed.
Under Mo's leadership, the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs has been the engine of many of the modern Congress's most significant environmental accomplishments. Over the years, of course, Mo, has had invaluable help from other leaders on the Committee, including Phil Burton, John Seiberling, and George Miller, who will succeed Mo as Chairman. Without the team effort that Mo, led, the enactment of complex and far-reaching laws, such as the Surface Mining Act of
Federal Coal Leasing Amendments, the Alaska National Interest Lands Act,
and a multitude of park and wilderness acts would never have happened.
We at Audubon will always be grateful for Mo's openness, for his deep concern for the environment, and for his intense love for our land. We are dedicated to the achievement of what is perhaps the single piece of unfinished conservation work most dear to him--the protection of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness. We celebrate his achievements, and will miss his leadership. We wish him well.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Utah (Mr. Owens) is recognized for 60 minutes.
Mr. OWENS of Utah. Mr. Speaker, this afternoon we are meeting in this extraordinary special order to pay tribute upon his retirement this coming weekend of our colleague and close friend, Morris K. Udall. Mo will retire from the House after 30 years of distinguished service.
Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent and general leave that Members may have 20 days in which to revise and extend and insert remarks of tribute to Mo Udall, and that all such remarks and any delivered in the other body be compiled, printed, and made available to Members for their distribution.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Utah?
There was no objection.
Mr. OWENS of Utah. Mr. Speaker, Mo Udall was first elected to this body 30 years ago today. So we are met, first, to celebrate the anniversary of that election.
How is it possible that a man could serve in this body for 30 years, be a crusading and controversial idealogue who challenged its systems and perks, yet became one of its most productive and creative legislators, and finished his service without any enemy, thousands of devoted friends, and millions of admirers?
It doesn't explain the phenomenon of Mo Udall to say that he was a brilliant wit of unchallenged integrity who understood both man's frailties and mankind's potential. All that is true, of course; but like everything else written and spoken, it seems inadequate.
I ask that Members be forgiven for exaggerations and inordinate use of superlative adjectives and phrases which they will use in describing Morris King Udall, pointing out that many such apparent exaggerations will, in fact, be accurate. And I ask Mo's forgiveness on behalf of his many colleagues for exaggerations of their closeness to him; such should not be taken as efforts of self aggrandizement so much as expression of admiration and because each one of us does feel special closeness to this great man.
|I also ask
that words not otherwise normally used in House proceedings may be used
in limited circumstances today, where such are required in retelling anecdotes
attributed to him, because otherwise the real spirit and genius of his
humor may not be communicated.
We are all genuinely sorrowful that the object of our remarks cannot be present today because of his injury. If he were here, he would complain about being forced to be present at a funeral while still very much alive, and he would tell self-deprecating stories, and would be uncomfortable at ours. Though he wouldn't take our praise seriously, he would love it, and I wish with all my heart that it were possible for him.
We all share the sincere hope that Mo's convalescence will continue, and that he will have a fruitful retirement. A rich contribution is still to be made by him if he is able to write, to speak, and to share his remarkable insight into government and policy, and his unmatched wit. We all join in hoping and praying that such will be possible.
Mo Udall called me his bishop, as well as his friend. Our common Mormon heritage and small town upbringing did provide a unique bond, I suppose, but in a much larger sense so did our common political philosophy. And I flatter myself by believing that I share some of his gentle politics and love of life.
No higher honor ever came to me than the opportunity to help officiate, 2 years ago, when Mo married Norma Gilbert, sharing that responsibility with Dr. James Ford, the House Chaplain.
Some of Mo's family and friends have encouraged him to retire over the last couple of years as his Parkinson's disease worsened and made his performance here as a Member difficult. Until very recently, I did not share that belief, and I encouraged him to continue. Some 2 years ago, Mo sat down by me on the House floor, and I offered encouragement for him to continue, after which he said he didn't want to hang on if it became impossible for him to carry his own weight.
I assured him then that if conditions ever came to that point, that he should be reassured that I would find the way to communicate that information. His own decision to retire next year, then his accident in January and decision to leave now, made that painful obligation unnecessary, but his sensitive concern about perpetuating himself beyond usefulness reflected his love and respect for the institution of the House.
Everyone has a favorite Mo Udall story. Mine has no point whatever, except that it illustrates the depth of this special man's wit. Its retelling on the floor of the House may challenge established rules, but if it does, so be it, because it will thereby, coincidentally,
Mo's belief that House rules should be periodically challenged and tested
Upon his entry into Congress 30 years ago, Mo was elected to the Post Office and Civil Service Committee, and he was immediately assigned the issue of whether children fathered outside marriage by a Federal employee should be allowed benefits upon the employee's death. Mo introduced and achieved passage of legislation conferring such benefits on illegitimate children of Federal employees and was invited to the White House for a formal signing ceremony. In an affectionate gesture, Mo called it his poor bastard's bill.
Shortly thereafter, campaigning in a small town near his own hometown, a service station operator complained to him: "When are you big boys in Washington going to do something for the poor bastards of the world?" Mo's response to him was: "Sir, we took care of you just last week."
I first met Mo Udall in 1968, when I was Western State coordinator in the Presidential campaign of Senator Robert Kennedy, and Mo was in his seventh year in the House and already recognized as a leader here. Four years later I ran for Congress myself, and Mo responded to my request to help me. He was to come to Utah to campaign for me in every election I have run, including losing races for Senator and Governor, except for last year, when he was physically unable to do so.
From that relationship came a comparable one with Mo's brother Stewart, with whom I associated in the practice of law for several years, principally sharing representation of cancer and leukemia victims of uranium, mining, and fallout from America's atomic bomb testing of the 1950's and 1960's. No two brothers in the history of this country have shared greater love between them, and more selfless commitment to public service than Morris Udall and his brother Stewart--from close association with both I can so testify.
Stewart chaired Mo's campaign for President in 1976, and history will record that had 15,000 voters in 5 primary States voted for Mo rather than Jimmy Carter, the history of this country and, indeed, of the world could have been very different.
A side benefit from Mo's candidacy, incidentally, was that he first made Presidential candidacy by a House Member credible.
Senator Ted Kennedy commented, early on during Mo's campaign for President, that:
|But for his
illness, Mo would probably have run for President in 1984, and in this
Member's view, would have been a formidable candidate. The disease which
he believes had already begun to work on him when he first ran in 1976
denied the followup effort, which might have succeeded.
So our country lost the challenge and integrity and leadership which a Udall Presidency would have given us, and today we express our gratitude that we had 30 years of Mo Udall's work in the House. All in all, his has been a formidable and unsurpassed contribution to our national well-being, and all his friends--and that's everyone in the House and the Senate--wish him well in his retirement years.
Mr. Speaker, I am inserting in the Record a historical account of Mo Udall's legislative accomplishments taken from the Phoenix Gazette of Saturday, April 20, as well as a selection of editorials and stories about him taken from various newsletters and newspapers.
[The articles and editorials begin on page 227.]
Mr. OWENS of Utah. Members will all have stories, and that is just to get us started in a special spirit of tribute.
Mo is still very much alive and with us, and we are very grateful for that.
Initially I am delighted to yield to the gentlewoman from Hawaii (Mrs. Mink).
Mrs. MINK. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman very much for yielding to me.
I appreciate the efforts of the Members of this House in setting aside this special time to express our deeply felt feelings about our colleague, Mo Udall.
While I have just recently returned to this Chamber, I would like to say that I served here from 1965 until 1977. I remember so vividly the warm and cordial reception that I received as a nervous freshman from Hawaii, and the wise counsel that he continued to offer me, and our special relationship grew as I served under him in the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.
We had some very complex problems that affected the people out in the Pacific. I became more or less a personal ambassador to the interests of the people of the Trust Territory. Mo's constant and wonderful advice that he offered me during those years made it possible for me to advance the cause of the people of the Pacific. Therefore, today, in special recognition and as a representative of the people of the Pacific, I want to say to Mo if he is watching the telecast of the special order, that we think of you as really one of
champions of the people of that part of the world. You shall always be
remembered in that context.
I have had the remarkable opportunity, also, I would like to say, to serve on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, and eventually because of my tenure on that committee, to become the chair of the Subcommittee on Mining and Natural Resources. I was harassed to a point of almost delirium in undertaking the responsibility of writing and marking up the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act. I was harassed constantly because Members said that there was no coal in Hawaii, how could I possibly understand what it was like, to understand what it is like to mine it, to understand the economic conditions that States have to undergo in this very, very complex industry. However, I endured, and it was only possible for me as the chairman of that subcommittee to come up with the bill, to mark it up, and to report it to the full committee, under the chairmanship of Mo, because of his constant guidance and endurance and reassurance and support that he gave. It is today one of the most remarkable pieces of legislation in which I have had the privilege of being connected.
I am ever so proud of the leadership that he has provided on so many like issues affecting scores and scores of communities across the country. His deep abiding understanding of the aspirations and feelings in these countries, and what national legislation in that regard meant. So it is with a very special, warm sense of Aloha, as we say in Hawaii, that I want to say to Mo that you will be missed, and I shall always remember the leadership and guidance and warm feeling of association that we had during the years of our tenure. I wish you well, and I want you to know we will be thinking of you and holding your words of wisdom constantly to our heart as we continue to do our best for the people, for the resources, and for the environment of this Nation, in your memory. Thank you.
Mr. OWENS of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Slaughter).
Ms. SLAUGHTER of New York. Mr. Speaker, it is a little hard for me to put into words the deep affection I have for Morris Udall. I met him in 1975 when I was a candidate for the county legislature in Monroe County, NY. He was just doing exploratory work to be a candidate for President in 1976. My county was headed heavily toward Jimmy Carter because the great Midge Costanza lived there. As I usually had done, I was going a different way and I decided after meeting Mo that I would very much like to run his Presidential campaign in two congressional districts. Scoop Jackson was running that year, and they had lots of money and resources,
|and Mo was
only able to give me $5,000 for two congressional districts. I often said
that was the only Presidential primary that has ever been won by word of
mouth. We did very well.
He earned affection and love in my county that will exist forever. We also said if we had just been lucky enough to elect Mo Udall President, we would surely have had another Lincoln. To show Members the kind of man he was, when I ran for reelection again to the county legislature, Mo came all the way up from Washington to campaign for me. We had a strong friendship throughout all the years. Whenever I had an opportunity to come to Washington, he always made time for me and always called me "Lady Lou," and every now and then he would write a note to see how I was doing. He always cared so deeply, and so grateful for everything that people had done. I think he was surprised how well we had done with our word of mouth Presidential campaign too.
I remember telling him once how pleased I was that a man who had come from a State that had only ossified forests, and was basically covered with Kitty Litter, could have so much feeling for my part of the country, where I was born, where strip mining was killing the State. I apologize to all Arizonans for having said that, but it was typical of Mo, even though it was not the kind of land he grew up in, he cared enough about the country from one end of it to another. When he saw environmental degradation taking place, Mo was the person who led the fight to stop it. I think he set a standard for everyone of intelligence and integrity and courage throughout his time in this House. The words that he said on this floor, and the bills that he has passed, and like most people who serve here in this Congress, hundreds of thousands and even millions of people in this country who will never know his name benefit from the work that he did here. He knew a thing or two about friendship. He always was there to give a little advice and a little help and to cheer everyone up with a little joke,
We serve with many giants in this House, and we look out on the marble steps we go up and down, and the footprints that have worn down those steps, and we know the kinds of people that have served here over the years, but no one looms larger, leaves such footprints, and leaves such a space here, and yet so fills our hearts, as Morris Udall. I miss him, and I do not hesitate to say that I love that man.
Mr. OWENS of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield to the distinguished gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Bevill).
Mr. BEVILL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of the finest colleagues I have ever had the privilege to serve with. Mo Udall has been one of my closest friends in Congress, despite
|the fact that
he borrowed my mule joke. I won't tell it here, but just remember that
it's my joke when you do hear it.
Mo Udall is retiring from Congress with one of the most outstanding records of anyone who has ever walked these Halls. Generations from now, people will remember what he did for this Nation by setting aside vast wilderness areas to be preserved for posterity.
As chairman of the House Interior Committee, Mo Udall dedicated himself to producing a wide range of environmental and wilderness-protection legislation. It is to his credit that so much of the splendid wilderness in Alaska has been preserved. He also tackled environmental issues such as strip mining reclamation and nuclear waste disposal.
For almost 30 years, Mo Udall has served in Congress with dignity and statesmanship. He has been one of the best-loved and most widely respected Members of Congress.
He has been one of those unique public servants who can focus on the broad, national issues, while doing an excellent job serving his constituents at home in Arizona.
I had the privilege of working with him on the monumental Central Arizona Project. He worked tenaciously to obtain the funding for that water project and it was quite an accomplishment.
In closing, I would like to say that I will miss having Mo here. I will miss his good humor and great spirit.
It has been a genuine pleasure to know him and work with him, even if he did borrow my joke. I'm sure I'll borrow some of his one day. I just wish I could tell them as well as he does.
All in all, his has been a formidable and unsurpassed contribution to our national well-being, and all his friends -- and that's everyone in the House and the Senate--wish him well in his retirement years.
Mr. OWENS of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield to the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe), a colleague of Mo's.
Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from Utah for yielding. Let me say at the outset that the Members of the Arizona delegation will also have a special order next week in which we will pay tribute to our colleague. I know that some other Members who were not able to be here today will want to join at that time.
Arizona clearly has been blessed, as this Nation has been blessed, as this House has been blessed, by the presence of Mo Udall and what he has given to this Nation. But those Members that come from Arizona have perhaps seen it first and seen it longest, and have the strongest sense of what he has given to the United States,
that part of the State that Mo Udall also represented before, before the
last change in districts, representing that part of the State has been
represented by Mo Udall for nearly 40 years in Congress.
I know the strong impact the Udalls have had on our State, both sides of the Udall family, Republicans and Democrats; not too many people perhaps in this body realize that at least half the Udall family, a very strong half of the Udall family in Arizona are Republicans; in fact, the chief justice of the Supreme Court in Arizona was a Udall, an uncle of Mo's, was a Republican.
You know, it is true that Mo and Barry Goldwater and others who have served in this body and in the Congress of the United States from Arizona, and I think of Carl Hayden, John Rhodes, the Republican leader, and Barry Goldwater and Mo Udall, many of them have left such a strong imprint, and two of them at least, Mo Udall and Barry Goldwater, were candidates for President.
Mo Udall sometimes liked to say that Arizona is the only State where mothers cannot raise their children to grow up and say, "You can run for President someday," because in Arizona it does not seem to work; but that is OK, because Arizona has been blessed by the fact that Barry Goldwater and Mo Udall stayed in the Congress of the United States and we had their strong leadership in this body and in the Senate.
The achievements of Mo Udall for our State and for our Nation are almost too many to enumerate. Certainly one thinks in terms of land and the very special things Mo Udall has done to preserve land, perhaps nationally the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge will go down as the greatest achievement that Mo Udall left legislatively in this body.
I think just last year of the wilderness bill, the first BLM wilderness bill to be passed in this Nation which we got through because of the leadership that Mo Udall was able to provide and to bring the Arizona delegation to a consensus, a very difficult, hard-fought consensus to bring about, and that Mo Udall was able to achieve that; the Central Arizona Project, its authorization nearly 20 years ago, now coming close to its completion, the political reforms that he brought about in this House, the campaign finance reform legislation that he enacted.
I think, too, in Arizona of the
Indian water settlements which have been so vital to Arizona's future.
Without those Indian water settlements, facing years and years of litigation,
Arizona would not have had the opportunity to grow into the kind of State
that it is today, so it is in a very quiet way those complex, difficult
Indian water settlements have been vital to the future of Arizona.
|But most important,
what Mo Udall has brought to this body is the grace, the wit and the integrity
that we like to think characterizes this body. There is no Member who has
strode across the Halls of this Congress and left such an imprint as he
has. It is by virtue of the personality, of the integrity and the character
of the man himself, rather than the legislative achievements that he has
done so much.
I am privileged to represent a part of Arizona that he has represented. He and I did not agree on lots of national issues. In fact, we probably disagreed on a lot more than we ever agreed on, but when it came to things that affected the future of our State, the future of the West, Mo Udall, Jim Kolbe and the other Members of the delegation, whether they were Republicans or Democrats, did agree.
We will miss him. We will miss him in this body. I will miss him personally. The State of Arizona will miss him, and we all wish him well. We want him to get well quickly. We want to see the wit that he has brought so much to this House grace the Nation as he gets better.
Mr. OWENS of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased now to yield to the gentlewoman from Colorado (Mrs. Schroeder), and then to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Bennett).
Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Utah for yielding to me.
I must say, it is a great honor to come down here in the well. As I was listening to the speeches, I am thinking that if Mo is watching this, he is probably about to gag at this point, and he certainly has a great twinkle in his eye as he listens to all this; but I must say, Mo, we really mean it, and I mean, we really do mean it, because here we are standing in a city where people take themselves so seriously. Part of the charm and the attraction and the warmth of Mo Udall was he came here and he did not lose his western reality. He did not lose his humanity and he did not take himself so seriously. He took his job very seriously. I do not think any of us who will take this well will have the legislative achievements that he has had, that we could ever, even match; but he never really bought into this whole ego center of America that is Washington, DC. You remember Harry Truman who said if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. Well, Harry Truman was partially right, but I guess he did not know Mo Udall, because if you know Mo Udall, you would not have needed a dog.
Now, those of us who are environmentalists
always look to Mo Udall as the great leader of the Tree Hugger Caucus,
and he really was one of those who taught us all what being an environmentalist
really meant. He was there whether it dealt with water, whether it
Main | Contents | Illustrations | Book Cover | Title Page
Addresses and Special Orders Held in the U.S. House of Representatives
and the Senate, Presented in Honor of The Honorable Morris K. "Mo" Udall,
A Representative from Arizona, One Hundred Second Congress, First Session
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993