July 6, 1961

CONGRESSMAN'S REPORT

By Morris K. Udall

THE 'YOU' ANGLE

(Ed. Note: If newsletter too long for publication, please delete items which are of little interest in your area.)


Newspaper publishers tell me that local news, although it may not grab the headlines, provides much of the meat in the reading bill of fare. They say it's because of the "you" angle---events in our own community seem to affect each of us more closely than happenings in West Virginia or South Africa.

For a congressman too, the local items loom large. Except occasionally in a local paper, the items won't draw headlines. But they affect people he knows, people he represents.

Here's a status report on some Items of interest to Arizonans:

Creation of Fort Bowie as a national historic site---I've been talking to staff members of the Interior Committee about my bill. The plan is to include the remaining historic structures of Fort Bowie and nearby Apache Pass in Cochise County in a 900-acre national site to commemorate an important part of the history of the United States. For 10 years after the fort was built it was in the midst of the bloody campaign against Cochise and his Chiricahua Apaches. The Interior Department backs the bill but economy forces are strong and passage may be tough.

Hubbell Trading Post---This bill would set up a National Historic Site at Ganado, in Apache County, embracing the site of the earliest trading post (1874) established in what is now Arizona. Present buildings were erected in 1900. A similar bill was killed on the House floor last year.

A bill to right a wrong---On May 9, 1951, a Tucson postal carrier was in charge of a satchel containing 20 registered letters. The mail was believed lost from his truck. Later another employee was convicted of stealing the mail. Failing to make recovery from the defendent, the Post office insisted that the carrier make restitution of $1,917.05. He did so by installments over a period of years. I have introduced a bill to have the Treasury pay him back.

Leasing authority for Colorado River Indians---There's a boom in recreation ahead on the Colorado. At present, the Colorado tribe at Parker lacks authority to make long-term leases on the west side of the river.


 
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Planned resort developments which would provide the Indians with jobs and tribal income are held up. Pete Homer, tribal chairman, and I testified in support of a bill to give the tribe the needed authority. I am hopeful Congress will act.

Tucson Mountain lands---The Pima County Board of Supervisors now supports legislation to add about 16,000 acres to Saguaro National Monument, and to lease another 14,000 acres of federal land to the county for recreation purposes. The county would purchase its leased areas a section at a time. Progress is being made towards getting the necessary agreement from local groups by the Arizona delegation here.

Yuma Airport---Yuma County would like its airport to have international status. This requires customs officers. At present, the airport does not meet all requirements for customs service. I've introduced in the House a bill to let the county pay salaries of such officers and, thereby, to achieve international status. The bill is now before the Committee on Ways and Means.

Wupatki National Monument---I testified on my bill to allow an exchange of land to improve this Coconino County area of prehistoric red sandstone pueblos. The bill would also improve accessibility of the area.

Father Eusebio Francisco Kino---Arizona's entire delegation has joined in an effort to place in Statuary Hall, in the Capitol Building, a statue of Father Kino. Each state is allowed two statues --- Arizona now has only one, of General John Campbell Greenway. As our resolutions assert Father Kino "was one of Arizona's most eminent pioneers, illustrious for his early missionary work, exploration and cartography..."

Needles Bridge---I was the only witness to testify recently on a bill which would turn over a temporary Colorado River bridge a mile east of Needles, California, to Mohave County, Arizona, and San Bernardino County in California. I am hopeful the Interior Committee will report favorably on this bill. The bridge saves river area residents a forty mile trip and turning it over, under this bill, would cost nothing and would assure its continued availability.

A couple of national notes...

I supported the effort of Senator Neuberger to continue bonus payments to
states which restrict billboards on interstate highways. The billboard industry had asked me to fight the restrictions, saying "proper controls of billboards should remain with the same (state or sign industry) and local governments without interference or pressure from Washington."

I voted for the bill to encourage the self-employed to set up their own pension plans. This bill, passed by the House, would eliminate tax discrimination against the self-employed in the realm of retirement plans. Last year the Senate killed a similar measure so it is anybody's guess what will happen this year in the Upper Chamber.

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Previous Report: June 22, 1961 -- Aid to Education -- Some Arizona Facts and Figures
Next Report: July 20, 1961 -- Postal Rates and Politics


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