Congressional Briefs, a report from Morris K. Udall

A Year-End Summary
December, 1979


Congressman Udall chats with a constituent during a busy visit to Southern Arizona. In the last year, hundreds of Southern Arizonans have attended the five Town Hall public meetings and a congressional mobile office went on the road to serve residents of 19 communities. Six more Town Halls are planned for 1980.
Public Enemies of '79
Are Persistent Villains
Unfortunately, the two major problems facing the second session of the 96th Congress will have familiar names. Inflation and energy -- the double-barreled Public Enemies of 1979 -- will be the villains of 1980.

No easy victories are in sight. But there has been progress.

On the inflation front, Congress moved again this year to trim the federal budget deficit (see related story,

page 3) to $29 billion. Since the last year of the Ford Administration, when the budget deficit stood at a record peacetime high of $66 billion, the deficit has been steadily cut. The White House now wants a deficit of $10 billion for 1981. It's a laudable goal, and one that we should be able to reach if the economy holds steady.

Trimming the federal deficit is one part of the answer, but not all of it. Tied as tightly to our economic future is the energy situation.

There is too little oil in the world at too-high prices, and the United States still is importing half of all the oil we burn. We are paying extortionist prices for it and find ourselves alarmingly dependent on countries with a political stability as solid as the bank of an arroyo in a flash flood.

And there has been work on the energy front as well. (See related story, page 2). Legislation dealing with solar energy, wind power and gasohol are out of committee and awaiting a vote by the House, and a geothermal bill is now before the House Interior Committee.
Energy Help

Two energy helpers for homeowners, an energy checklist compiled by the National Institute of Building Sciences and the Department of Energy, and a solar energy fact sheet, are available on request, free of charge. Address requests to the Southern Arizona Office, 300 N.Main Ave., Tucson, 85705. Please allow 10 days for delivery.

Udall Lists Key Legislation,
Proposals, During Past Session
Here are 10 important bills and legislative packages sponsored, co-sponsored or supported by Congressman Udall during the first session of the 96th Congress:

* Small Business Promotion Act. To encourage investments, encourage foreign trade, reduce the regulatory burden, revise some taxes and aid small businessmen generally. (Chief sponsor)

* Educational Opportunities Act. To establish a program to help communities find alternatives to forced busing as a solution to segregation in the public schools. (Co-sponsor)

* Mining. A bill to remove sand and gravel pits from the joint jurisdiction of OSHA and the Mining Safety and Health Administration, and place sole responsibility with OSHA. (Co-sponsor)

*  Equal Access to Justice Act. To authorize monetary awards for costs to organizations and citizens who successfully challenge federal regulations in court. (Co-sponsor)

* Consumer Checking Equity Act. To allow Credit Unions to offer

checking accounts, Savings and Loan Associations to offer Negotiable Order Withdrawals (NOW accounts) and banks to offer interest-bearing checking accounts. (Co-sponsor)

* Archaeological Antiquities Preservation Act. To help authorities bring a halt to the looting and vandalism of archaeologically-important areas in Arizona and elsewhere. (Co-sponsor)

* Solar Energy Development Bank. To help homeowners install solar equipment. (Co-sponsor)

* Gasohol. Two bills to promote production and marketing of gasohol through loan guarantees and other methods.

* Energy. Other bills to encourage research and development of wind power and to offer loans for the promotion of geothermal power.

* Senior Citizens. Supported legislation dealing with senior citizen problems, including bills to upgrade nursing home safety, to insure senior citizens' civil rights, to remove mandatory retirement legislation, and others.


Crash Aftermath
Area Move To Bolster
Air Safety, Cut Noise
Following the crash of an Air Force A7D jet near the University of Arizona in 1978, Congressman Udall asked military and civilian aviation officials to study ways to reduce aircraft noise and improve safety within the Greater Tucson metropolitan area.

Some developments from this task force:

Energy Front: Combination Of Solutions

In less than two years, our bill for imported foreign oil has jumped from $40 billion to $70 billion a year, and ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) promise more price increases.

When that much of our money is leaving the country, the effect, as we have seen, is serious. If the U.S. were to have only one goal in the 1980s, it should be to break the grip of OPEC on our economy and our national life.

Progress in this fight, as noted elsewhere in this report, has not been fast enough for most Americans, but there have been some victories.

As this is written, the Udall bills on solar energy, wind power and gasohol all have been approved in committee, and may come to a full vote of the House of Representatives at any time. Another bill, dealing with geothermal, is before the House Interior Committee, and faces action soon.

Coupled with the moves to find alternative energy sources are several approaches aimed at conservation -- everything from appropriations for research and development to the authorization of low-interest loans to assist homeowners in installing solar energy devices, to tax deductions for certain types of home weatherizing.

The problem was cheap energy, which disappeared. The solution will have more than one answer, a combination of the best alternative energy generating systems the U.S. can develop.

*  The group is now looking at the possibility of moving some area military aviation to Marana Air Park, to temporarily relieve local air congestion.

* Assuming environmental and legal restrictions are satisfied, Marana Air Park could become a permanent "satellite" airfield for some Air Force and Air National Guard operations.

* An attempt to upgrade Ryan Field is underway, to allow expanded use of that field by private aircraft.

* Meanwhile, the Air Guard has agreed to reroute two of its A7 squadrons from D-M to other bases, cutting the total number of flights over the city this winter by about 40 percent. Air Guard units from out of state normally fly from D-M from January to April of each year.

* Remaining Air Guard flights still operating from D-M will be doing so under new D-M rules that require them to reduce their total number of flights over Tucson's midtown area.

The group is expected to continue their work on noise abatement, air traffic congestion and air safety through 1980.

Hearing Sought On U.S. Plan For Ajo Land

Congressman Udall will oppose a move by the Bureau of Land Management to designate land in Ajo as wilderness unless there is community support for the BLM plan.

The BLM is required to study potential wilderness acreage in Arizona and report its recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior, who then is to transmit them to Congress.

There is concern about the inclusion of land in Ajo because the community already is virtually land-locked, being bounded on the east by the Papago Indian Reservation, on the north by an Air Force gunnery range, on the south by the Organ Pipe National Monument and to the west by Cabeza Prieta Range.

Action by Congressman Udall during the first session of the 96th Congress, of special interest to residents of the 2nd Congressional District:

* Took the case of the Florida-Arizona "Tomato War" to the White House and urged a ruling favorable to the Arizona produce industry. Treasury Department ruled in Arizona's favor in November, a major victory in this long fight.

* Followed through last year's effort to help Tucson build Kolb Road extension and aided local officials in obtaining $37 million from Secretary of Transportation to help pay for the project.

* With help of local co-sponsors, held a Small Business Seminar for Southern Arizonans, resulting in the Small Business Promotion Act, introduced in this Congress.

* Following crash of Air Force A7D jet in 1978, urged formation of study group to address a wide range of airspace problems. (See related story, this page.)

* Aided Pima County Parks and Recreation Department in gaining $224,000 to add 442 acres near Gates Pass to Tucson Mountain Park.

* Took Pima County-City of Tucson complaint about postal charges for mailing a double billing to area residents straight to Postmaster General. Ruling was overturned at considerable savings to both governments and to local taxpayers.

* Supporting Ajo residents in opposing a further expansion of Bureau of Land Management wilderness in the Ajo area.

* Instrumental in creation of the Papago-Tucson Foreign Trade Zone, dedicated in 1979 by Ambassador Robert Strauss.

* At the request of the City of Tucson, was instrumental in seeing that the Bureau of Land Management release 170 acres of federal land adjacent to Tanque Verde and Prudence Roads, enabling city development of a major regional park. The federal land was released without charge to taxpayers.

* Worked for continuation of Central Arjzona Project and for alternative studies to solve Arizona water problems.

The Federal Budget. . . 

Roughly 800 votes are taken on the floor of Congress in any single session, and virtually all of them involve money, but only a few involve the federal budget directly.

On this page, 24 of those budget votes have been compiled. These votes represent action on two phases of the budget process -- amendments to the appropriations bill itself, and votes on what are known as the First and Second House Concurrent Budget Resolutions.

These resolutions are adopted as part of the federal budget process. The first resolution sets guidelines, to give all of us an idea of where we're heading. The second resolution represents the spending limits that Congress has imposed on itself.

In this session, Congressman Udall

voted to add $6 billion to the federal budget -- but his votes against spending amounted to $28 billion.

Since the last year of the Ford administration, when the federal budget deficit hit a historic peacetime high of $66 billion, Congress has pared that bill to a current $29 billion. If the economy holds steady, the White House believes the 1981 deficit can be held to $10 billion.

Inflation hurts every American, and cutting federal spending can eventually affect all of us as well. It can sometimes amount to painful medicine, but by any measure of Southern Arizona public opinion, a leaner budget is the overwhelming favorite. In the legislative questionnaire mailed last January, 66 percent of the respondents favored a balanced federal budget.

There are no "maybe" or "kind of"

votes on the floor of any deliberative body, Congress included. In a way, the budget-cutting becomes a matter of displacement -- adding some here, and paring some there. But in the end, no program or agency is immune, and if a balanced budget is achieved by 1981, it's fair to guess that no sector of government will have the budget it wants.

Cutting spending -- when added to a tighter money policy -- is an important step in righting our troubled economy. If Congress can address energy as aggressively as it has spending, it can get the job done.

(A complete voting record for this session of Congress will be available in February. Write: Rep. Mo Udall, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515.)

. . .And the Udall Votes

("Yes" or "No" following each item is Congressman Udall's vote.)


Housing and Urban Development. Decrease revenue sharing to the states at a savings of $685 million. (Yes)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Decrease NASA supersonic transport research and development, at a savings of $14.7 million. (Yes)

Labor-Health, Education & Welfare. To increase the budget of the Community Services Administration $2 million. (Yes)

Marine. To increase the budget of the Maritime Administration to provide an additional $69 million for ship construction. (No)

Labor-Health, Education & Welfare. Decrease the HEW budget by $500 million. (No)

Office of Safety & Health Administration. To decrease the OSHA budget by $10.3 million. (No)

Department of State. To cut the State Department budget by 5 percent, or $66.3 million. (No)

Metric. To decrease the U.S. Metric Board budget by $1.6 million. (No)

Foreign Aid. To decrease foreign aid by 2 percent, at a savings of $90 million, except to the nations of Egypt, Israel and Jordan. (Yes)

Energy. Windfall profits tax, to collect an estimated $15.6 billion over 3 years, to be used to develop alternative energy sources for the United States. (Yes)

Department of Defense. To consolidate the training of military helicopter pilots at a cost of $63 million. Opposed by Army training officials. (No)

Transportation. Increase the budget for the Urban Mass Transit Administration for Fiscal Year 1979 by $125 million, principally for the upgrading of inner-city rail systems. (No)

Department of Defense. To increase expenditures by $10 million for Army graduate medical education programs. (Yes)

House Concurrent Budget Resolutions

Food Stamps. To decrease the food stamp program by $270 million. (No)

Department of Defense. To add $3 billion to the budget authority for unspecified programs and add $400 million in outlays. (No)

General. To order a 15 percent reduction of year-end budget balances for government agencies, bureaus and departments, at a savings of $10.8 billion. (Yes)

Taxes. To increase taxes on foreign tax credits, profits realized overseas by American companies, to add $1.2 billion to tax collections. (Yes)

Revenue Sharing. To increase general revenue sharing by $1.1 billion. (No)

Balanced Budget. To balance the federal budget. (Yes)

Department of Defense. To decrease budget authority by $1 billion and outlays by $355 million in defense. Increased outlays for education, training, employment and social services. (No)

Government. To cut $1 billion from all government agencies and departments for travel, filmmaking, paperwork and overtime. (Yes)

Grants. To decrease by $550 million, grants to states and others by the Economic Development Administration. (Yes)

Amtrak. To restore cuts of inefficient passenger train routes, at a cost of $150 million. (No)

Budget. To provide for an across-the-board reduction in the federal budget of $2.5 billion. (Yes)

Legislation Offers Break For Savings
One problem facing the American economy today is our low rate of savings. That factor has been a major ingredient in our inability to conrol inflation, our productivity decline and our reduced competition in the global marketplace.

The U.S. is the only major western industrial nation which does not provide a significant tax incentive for its savers. That may soon change.

Congressman Udall is supporting a bill known as the Tax Incentive for Small Savers. This legislation would exempt from federal income taxes the first $100 ($200 on joint returns) in interest earned on funds deposited with most financial institutions.

Why not a higher amount? Tax law already gives stock dividends a $100-$200 tax break. The savings bill will only give savings interest equal treatment, and ensures that the benefit of the savings tax break will go to the small saver. And it won't displace other forms of investment.

This measure can increase new savings more than it will cost the U.S. Treasury in lost taxes, and a new savings incentive can be helpful in creating new capital, which should eventually generate investment and put downward pressures on mortgage interest rates.

This type of incentive should help slow the trend to spend instead of save -- which has only added more trouble to our overheated economy.

At the end of each year, I like to put together a report that touches on the major issues, legislation and votes that are important to the people of Southern Arizona. This is that report -- a major departure from the usual newsletter format, and it's called "Congressional Briefs."

The federal budget, government spending and government waste have drawn renewed attention in the past year, and that's a healthy sign. Citizens should keep track as much as possible of what their government, and their elected representatives are up to. Many of you have taken the time to write and share your views throughout 1979. That mail is valuable, and a well-written, thoughtfully composed letter has, more than once, changed a vote.

The special report on the budget, in fact, was inspired by your mail. In this small space, there isn't room to go into the hundreds of votes Congress has faced this year, but there is room for a sample, and it's on page 3.

There has been real progress in 1979 in meeting the aviation concerns of those who share and use the air over Tucson and much of Southern Arizona, and the citizens who live and work on the ground. Planned improvements for Marana Air Park may divert as much as 40 percent of some traffic to that northwestern location. And Ryan Field may play an expanded role in accommodating civilian aircraft.

There has been work on energy, and

bills dealing with solar energy, wind power and geothermal are in varying stages of the legislative process, and Congress has okayed a windfall tax on oil profits.

A Small Business Promotion Act -- designed to help small businessmen with investments, foreign trade, taxes, and out of the regulatory jungle -- grew out of a Small Business Seminar held in Tucson in 1979.

To help people get to and from work, Tucson is working to build the Kolb Road extension, and Congress has helped.

In the rural areas, the people of Ajo don't want the Bureau of Land Management to "box them in" with more wilderness land. Unless there is community support for that BLM plan, I will kill it. That's what representative government is all about.

As the main story on page one of this report outlines, our two biggest problems -- inflation and energy -- are with us still. Congress seldom moves fast enough for any of us, but there have been important beginnings and important steps. This report outlines some of them.

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Congressional Briefs
by Morris K. Udall
The University of Arizona Library