Sen. Mark Udall (left) and his cousin Sen. Tom Udall look at family photos as they talk about their familys legacy and their efforts to foster changes in the Senate.
In the House, their biggest joint effort was on legislation boosting the use of renewable electricity. While the House passed their measure several times, it never cleared the Senate, and they now are hoping to push similar clean-energy legislation in the chamber.
The cousins face some daunting non-legislative challenges, too. Mark, who worked for the Outward Bound program for 20 years, has scaled all 54 “14-ers” — mountains with peaks above 14,000 feet — in his home state and now is working on the 13-ers.
“We’ve got to plan another trip,” says Tom, an avid climber himself.
Mark has even bigger plans than heading to Colorado.
“You know what?” he says with a gleam in his eye. “We should try Antarctica.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.