wilderness, whether it dealt with protection of Federal lands, any of these
things, there was nobody who could ever match that.
I always wondered why he was so big in this area. I suppose if you grew up in a place where there was nothing around you but cactus and you tried to hug a cactus, a tree would look very soft and cuddly by comparison, so maybe that is where he came from.
Nevertheless, he has always been a great role model for every one of us in respect for other creatures, other than just bulldozers. He was saying that we need a balance here and that America must always be the lungs of the world -a place where people can go and breathe and still have open space.
He also had a great, unique contribution to my State of Colorado where he started out as a one-eyed basketball player, and believe me, that is one tough job. It is hard enough to be a basketball player, but with one eye, that is really hard. Of course, we in Colorado feel very fortunate because we have some of the Udall offspring there, so we really hope that great heritage and those great genes that they have inherited will go on and continue to benefit the West and, in particular, our State of Colorado.
On a serious note, I must say, this is a time where public service and those who are public servants, I think, all feel a little bit like they are fireplugs and the whole rest of the world is made up of male dogs.
I really think that the one thing that Mo Udall was to people was that he showed the great dignity that public servants could have. He showed what integrity really meant. He showed what having character meant was so important and having the respect of your peers was so important.
When you think of the range of things he dealt with, he dealt with public financing and political campaigns. That scandal is still around. Had we taken what Mo was out preaching earlier on, we would not have so many scandals probably circulating and people still trying very hard to get big money out of big government.
We look at some of the issues we have in Washington. I remember as a young Member he helped me with the whole House of Representatives fair employment thing. He said we must practice what we preach here and we must live by the same rules that we impose on others.
Of course, we had great fun working on civil service issues, civil service reform and trying to make public service a great honor, a career that it was supposed to be rather than what it has sadly become in the last few years.
But Mo knew that to work for this
great Federal Government you wanted people's toes to tingle. You wanted
them to be excited
service. He wanted them to be out there really trying to solve the problems
needed to be solved so desperately by the world and by young Americans
coming in; so he was a great role model for the young Americans coming
in. He was a great role model for Congressmen coming in and Congresswomen
coming in. He really was the best of what public service is all about.
So Mo, I want to tell you, hurry up and get better. We need you over here. We need your presence over here. We need your ideas continuing to go forward and we thank you very much for the great service that you have rendered, but now come back and schmooz with us, so we hope that the twinkle in your eye over there can come back over here and you can say you have seen it all before and you are going to straighten us out one way or another.
Mr. OWENS of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Bennett).
Mr. BENNETT. Mr. Speaker, today I have the profession of being a legislator. Years ago I was a lawyer.
We have an expression in the legal profession that some lawyers are lawyers' lawyers, meaning that they are people to whom lawyers go for advice about legal matters.
Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that Mo Udall was a legislators' legislator in the sense that he was a man of wisdom and good judgment and gave advice when asked for it, always good advice, and therefore this country is richer and better in every respect because of him.
Not all people in Congress are able to look around and see the results of the good work that has been done in the lifetime of service to your country. Luckily for all of us, Mo Udall produced a lot of things which are going to be here for thousands of years to come. He preserved a lot of the beautiful land and buildings and animals and flora and fauna. He did all this with great joy in his life. He was a man of tremendous competence, very great confidence, a strange anomaly, you might say. Here this man of such great competence, also probably the most humble man in the House of Representatives. Maybe that is because he had self-confidence.
He knew he did not need to brag about anything. Most of us have to strut a little bit to impress our constituents and lead them to think we are better people than we are.
I am sure I have had to do that. I do not think Mo ever had to do that because he obviously was a man of tremendous ability.
So he approached life in a very
humble way, and I guess best illustrated by the fact that he knew how to
laugh at himself.
|Lots of people
can tell jokes, but most people's jokes are directed at other people, at
embarrassing situations which they create, shocking in a way, humorous
in a way, but they do not look to the inner spaces of the person who is
talking about himself.
Mo Udall had the humility, the kindness and the ability to have humor directed at himself in a way which he did not exactly run himself down but laughed at himself, at the foibles he had in his life, that we all have.
I would like to conclude by an illustration that happened one time to me. I was before a very large audience, and a lady in Jacksonville, which I represent, a black lady introduced me to an audience of many thousands of people. I had just not voted the way she wanted me to on some program. She said, "Now I am going to introduce Congressman Charlie Bennett. Congressman Charlie Bennett is a friend and the definition of a friend is somebody you know all about and you still love."
Well, Mo Udall shared his life with all of us. The fact that he shared his life with us in such a warm way, and still does as far as that is concerned -- I hope he gets well and comes back--he shared his life in a way which makes us feel there is really a true friend there, a man of competence, a man of humility, a man of humor, a man who is forward-looking in the things that made so much for our country and for the world.
We are all much, much greater and much better off because of Mo Udall being with us.
Mr. OWENS of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Bennett) and I also thank the gentlewoman from Colorado (Mrs. Schroeder) for her remarks.
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to yield to our colleague, the gentleman from California (Mr. Mineta).
Mr. MINETA. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you, the majority leader, the minority leader, and the gentleman from Utah (Mr. Owens), for requesting this time in tribute to our good friend and colleague from Arizona, Mo Udall.
I am going to resist the temptation to tell a funny story about Mo Udall, or repeat one of his often repeated jokes, because I know what I'm up against in Mo's wit and wisdom.
What I'd like to do instead is talk about family. And the family I have in mind is the American family--but the family member I have in mind is Mo Udall.
Mo Udall is cousin to us all. His
ordinary humanity with its extraordinary grace makes us wish we could spend
all the more time in his company.
his retirement this Saturday from this family, the House of Representatives,
all the greater loss.
In Mo Udall, we have a man who is not afraid to lead and to speak his mind plainly with a congenital flair for humor.
We have seen in Mo Udall a man unafraid to change his mind in public when gripped by an innate sense of right and wrong in private. The Vietnam war was such an occasion.
Mo Udall opposed the war before many others in this Chamber had begun to question it. What makes that important is not the position he took, but his intellectual and personal honesty that made no other course possible.
Throughout his career in public life, Mo Udall has actively encouraged that level of debate about who we are as Americans. And as a Member of this Chamber, Mo has been particularly concerned about what that debate should mean to the officials elected to mind the people's store.
Here again, Mo Udall brought his eloquence to bear for a larger purpose.
Mo Udall's work to reform the committee system and House procedures was ahead of its time.
The new members caucus I had the privilege to chair in 1975 -- the so-called Watergate class--often receives credit for spearheading efforts to make the Congress more accountable to its Members and to the public.
The caucus did in fact help reshape the House of Representatives, but this new sunshine and accessibility would have been impossible to achieve without more senior Members like Mo Udall who had already staked out that terrain of reform.
Mr. Speaker, we will all miss Mo Udall for his humor, his legislative skill, and his conviction.
We will continue to be inspired by a man who has fought the good fight all his life--for decency, for human values, and for ordinary people.
And in that, Mr. Speaker, Mo Udall will hardly be allowed to retire from this Chamber.
So. we wish Mo and Norma well, we wish him to recover and regain his good health, and we wish them Godspeed.
Mr. OWENS of Utah. I thank the gentleman from California for his remarks.
Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Olin).
Mr. OLIN. I thank the gentleman from Utah for yielding to me.
Mr. Speaker, I am awfully proud
and happy to be able to speak tonight regarding Mo Udall. Let me tell a
little story. I do not have any deep things here. It is a story about my
first project with Mo.
|I came here
in the 98th Congress, not knowing anything about a legislature at all,
having been in business most of my life.
Well, it did not take long before I began to get some people in my district asking, "How come we don't have any wildernesses in Virginia?" They said, "We would like to have that."
So Rick Boucher and 1, who both have national forests in our districts -- we have most of the national forests in Virginia--began to look into it. We went over to Mo and said, "Mo, how do you go about this?" He said, "Well, we do it all the time. Here is our staff, here is John Seiberling over here. He runs the subcommittee. We will tell you how to put together a bill. You have to decide what you want, what your people want. When you get ready to put in a bill, let me know, and I think we can get it through." Well, it took us quite a while to get this bill put together. We had a lot of support for it in Virginia. We had some opposition. There was one big industry that really felt this might be some kind of an impediment to them, and they got the chamber of commerce in Virginia to set a line up and see whether they could not keep this bill from going through.
We let Mo know about it. He said, "Well, I think we can help you with that. You wait until you get the bill ready, and then when you are ready to turn it in, let me know."
We finally got the bill put in in the spring of 1984, and he said, "You know, in a situation like this, you don't want this bill to be around too long. It would be nice if we can get it to the floor fairly quickly." I said, "What do you have in mind?" He said, "John can probably have a hearing on it in the next week, we can get it out of the subcommittee, and it shouldn't take us long to move it out of the full committee."
So, this occurred. And I do not know, I forget exactly how it was. It was not long. Then it came to the floor.
I wondered what in the world was
going to happen because several of the Members here had been tipped off
that they were supposed to stand in the way of this bill, and object to
everything possible that could be objected to and hold it up. Well, Mo
ran the thing, and he did a beautiful job, and it turned out that Manny
Lujan was the ranking Republican, and he thought it was a good idea, and
he supported the bill, and somebody asked for a recorded vote after we
had had a little debate, and it was a recorded vote, and, by gosh, if I
remember it right, Mo was able to get a vote of 360 to 20. Well, that put
that bill on a pretty good path. Took us longer to get it through the Senate,
and Mo stuck with us, and it was not until the very last day of the 98th
Congress; I can remember October whatever it was, some day in October,
we finished it, the very last day we were able to get the conference with
out, and the bill was sent up to the President, but Mo stuck with it all
Mr. Speaker, I know he has done this for so many States. Virginia would not have a wilderness system of 15 nice wilderness areas had it not been for Mo Udall, had he not helped us get that bill through, and both Rick and I got to be very close with Mo. We have enjoyed him all the rest of the time he was with us here, and it just was an awfully nice experience for a new Member to have. He knew how important it was to us to get that bill passed after we made all the noise about it in the district that we did, and it was just a nice thing for him to do, and I think it was very typical of the kind of thing that he has been doing for people all of his life, and he keeps on doing them.
Mr. Speaker, I say, "Mo, if you're listening to this, we wish you the best. We hope you get well, and get a little bit more active again and keep on doing these fine things you've done for us and so many others."
Mr. OWENS of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I am going to yield to three close friends of the chairman from his beloved Interior Committee: the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Vento), the gentleman from Montana (Mr. Williams), and the gentleman from American Samoa (Mr. Faleomavaega).
Mr. VENTO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Utah (Mr. Owens).
I think all of us have mixed emotions about rising to speak about Mo Udall. It is an honor to certainly recognize his work and to say a few words of appreciation for the leadership, the character, of Congressman Mo Udall as provided during his work in the people's House during the past three decades, but it is also of course with a heavy heart when we look at that record and the fact that these circumstances have occurred, but I think that he has been a winner all of his life in terms of facing a lot of problems, and I know that each of us feel that he is a winner and will be a winner for whatever endeavors he is involved in. He really is a Representative's Representative, Mr. Speaker.
My personal service in the U.S.
Congress began in the midseventies. It coincided with Mo Udall's assuming
the chairmanship of the Interior Committee, and frankly, as my colleagues
know, I think in the process of his work there he has obviously won the
hearts and certainly the love of many Americans, and in the process he
has probably saved the souls of a lot of Members of Congress by forcing
us and bringing us to the decision making in terms of our roles and issues
that we had to face up to.
Speaker, Chairman Mo Udall had of course aspired to House leadership posts,
and the Democrats had a chance to say no to him in this House a number
of times, and I think he probably made this House a lot better and the
leaders that were elected a lot better.
Mo Udall was never afraid of risk. I think his motto was that, when someone is all done with taking chances or taking risks, they are all done, but he was not afraid to face the consequences of perhaps not being successful, and he bucked a lot and proposed a lot of reforms around here.
Of course when he in the midseventies, when he assumed the chairmanship in 1976, he had, of course, aspired in that historic 1976 campaign for the Presidency, and when he took the chairmanship, he had perhaps many reasons to be disappointed in a sense or, as my colleagues know, bitter, but he never looked back. He has never looked back, and I think that is one of the hallmarks of why he has had the success that he had. Rather he dug in with all of his might; the Mighty Mo I might say, and the fact is at that time coincidentally, when he assumed the chairmanship, he had two broken wrists suffered from his handyman antics and chores, working on a home in Virginia, but that did not hold him back. He took over, and he has led the Interior Committee and the Congress on environmental and social issues for the past 15 years that I served with him, and frankly much of the framework in environmental law, the generic provisions, were really work that he constructed under often adverse conditions when the rules of the House, the leadership in some of those committees, were not exactly neutral or fair, I might say, or sympathetic to Mo Udall's outlook as regards those issues.
However, Mr. Speaker, adversity was not something that held Mo Udall back. He came out of an environment, out of a political environment in the West, obviously that was less than happy about someone that was an environmentalist, but again he won the hearts and minds of the people of Arizona because of his fairness, his temperament, his humor, because of his ability, and most of all because he was often right about these issues. I mean Mo Udall set the stage of what is today conservation and environmental political views in this country. I think today it is almost a preconceived notion. Anyone who runs for the Presidency has to be an environmentalist, and one of the reasons is because of a guy by the name of Mo Udall.
Often when we hear the name Udall
we think of the great Secretary of the Interior in the 1960's, but where
he left off in the House of Representatives, Mo Udall picked up three decades
ago, and while Stewart served well and did good things as the Secretary
believe me, without the carrythrough that is associated with a Member of
the House, Mo Udall, we would not be the Nation we are today in terms of
many of our public policies.
I think many of my colleagues know the record of his work on the Wilderness Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the very generic laws in which the entire foundation of land use planning in this country is taking place. It is the handiwork of Mo Udall. Most notable of course is his work with the Alaska lands, that odyssey that went on for many, many years, starting out with ANCSA, ANILCA, working its way through of course along with his strong right hand worker, Congressman John Seiberling from Ohio, and of course many of us cannot do anything without a majority, and Mo is fond of telling the story of Adlai Stevenson who was approached by a campaign worker in Iowa when he was running for the Presidency, and the woman said, "You have of course the vote of every thinking man and woman in this community," and of course Governor Stevenson said, "It's not enough. You need a majority."
Mr. Speaker, that is the key. One needs a majority, and Mo Udall knew how to put that majority together and get people to work together whether they were Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, wherever they came from in this country and in this Congress, and, believe me, getting 435 Members of this House to move all in the same direction is no easy task, but Mo Udall showed us and demonstrated how to do that.
Land use questions and debate, of course, engender very strong emotions. Very often the Interior Committee has been divided concerning measures before the committee, and it is especially in such an environment that Mo Udall brought out and brought to our deliberations a character of civility and consideration, good humor, and at such time he gained again and again the respect of all of us, which I think demonstrates the love and affection that is an outpouring of which is demonstrated on this floor today.
As chairman of one of the subcommittees, of course, I benefited from Mo Udall's counsel the last several years, an example. We have all benefited from his leadership, and I am proud to have been able to work beside him for these past 15 years in the committee.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to continue
longer in expressing my affection and respect for Mo Udall and my sincere
regret that our committee, that the Congress, the Nation, will be denied
his continued service here in the House of Representatives, but I know
that others should speak today. So, I will simply end by expressing my
personal hope that Mo Udall's health will continue to improve, that America
will once again be the beneficiary of his talents, and his example of leadership
for the Nation's good in whatever en-
Udall may pursue. I wish him a good experience in the future with his spouse
Norma and the wonderful Udall family.
Mr. Speaker, for inclusion in the Record I am attaching to my statement a letter from my predecessor as chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands, our former colleague from Ohio, John F. Seiberling.
John Seiberling, of course, worked closely with Chairman Udall on the Alaska Lands Act and other matters, and I concur completely in his remarks when he says, "Morris Udall stands head and shoulders above all" of the outstanding leaders here in the House in our times.
Akron, OH, April 30,1991.
I doubt that there is anything I can say about "Mo" Udall, the legislative leader, that has not already been said many times. His career in the House is truly legendary. His contributions to the Nation's laws, and particularly those directed to preserving our land and its wildlife, are literally monumental. So I will simply offer a few personal words.
It has been my good fortune to have worked closely with Mo in some of his major undertakings--such as the 6-year struggle that produced the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 and the decade-long campaign that gave us the magnificent Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980. I remember not only the late night strategy sessions but the far-flung field trips--hanging out of open helicopters over mining areas in the Mountains of Appalachia and the plains of Wyoming, and camping out on the shores of pristine lakes in the glorious splendor of Alaska's arctic mountains.
Without Mo's generous support, I would not have been a subcommittee chairman on the Interior Committee, and without his wise counsel I would have been a less successful chairman.
Above all, I think of our colleague Mo, as I am sure many of us do, as a leader who helped us raise our own sights and as a warm, generous, ever patient, ever humorous friend. If there is anyone in the Congress who comes close to practicing the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, surely it is Mo Udall. If there is anyone whose presence always seemed to uplift the spirits of his associates, it is Mo Udall.
And so it is another rare privilege to be able to join with you and your colleagues in honoring our dear friend Mo for the many years he has given us of his friendship and his inspiring leadership.
JOHN F. SEIBERLING.
building blocks in the 20th century, the effects of which are going to
carry through for a long time.
I am pleased to be here on the House floor today, pleased to have worked with him and work in the future based on that effort.
Mr. OWENS of Utah. I yield to the gentleman from Montana (Mr. Williams).
Mr. WILLIAMS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Utah for reserving time for me. Mo Udall is our hero. One of the pleasant things about serving in the Congress is serving with your hero. It was not only fun to serve with Mo Udall, but it was a lesson. It was informative.
Mo Udall is a teacher, and as we work with Mo, we find that we not only are successfully able to craft and pass legislation but in the process, we learn as well. And not just those of us who were fortunate enough to serve with him in this body, but I believe all Americans, including, of course, Mo's constituents in Arizona, learned from him.
One of Mo's greatest lessons was that a person's civility could bring extraordinary reason to bear, even on the most contentious and polarized of issues. Mo Udall has great civility, great moderation, and reason. And he has always been able to bring together opposing forces to compromise.
Mo was willing to compromise up to that point, of course, where his principles would be compromised. And then he was willing, in the most reasonable of ways, to stand and fight. So he taught us about civility.
He is an extraordinarily successful politician, even though he did not achieve one of his goals, and that was to be President. But in failing to reach that goal, Mo taught us something as well, and that is that sometimes we may come across a Presidential candidate who is a little too funny, who is a little too lanky, who does not look just quite right on television, whose speech pattern is either too slow or too fast.
Mo's failure to gain the White House might serve to all of us a lesson that perhaps we should put this thing called charisma or this matter of being photogenic on television aside when we choose our Presidents, and give a bit more consideration, than perhaps we have in our recent history, to the candidate's wisdom, moderation, and ability to sort through to the marrow of the issue and truly understand it.
Finally, let me say to my colleagues
and to Mo and his family that one of the greatest things he taught us and
continues to teach us is the use of wit. Mo used it, I suspect, purposely
and extraordinarily well.
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