ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., has been named to the Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee, a key post with influence over spending on New Mexico’s national laboratories and water resources.
The post has somewhat less significance since 2010, when Congress largely eliminated earmark that allowed individual senators to insert line item spending demands into appropriations bills. But the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee still wields significant influence over spending at Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. The assignment should give Udall, New Mexico’s senior senator, more clout on lab-related spending.
The assignment also comes at time when President Barack Obama is signaling potentially deep cuts to the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
Former Sen. Pete Domenici, who retired in 2008, chaired the energy and water subcommittee for years and directed billions of dollars to New Mexico in that capacity.
Udall will also serve on the appropriations subcommittees on agriculture, rural development and FDA, financial services and general government, interior and environment, and military construction and veterans affairs.