Morning Business: Better Together

Posted October 28, 2009 at 6:17pm

Congress last week passed legislation to add former Congressman and Interior Secretary Stewart Udall’s name to the foundation that was created to honor his brother, the late Rep. Morris Udall (D-Ariz.).

[IMGCAP(1)]Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) introduced the bill in the House, while Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) shepherded its passage in the Senate.

Created by Congress in 1992, the Morris K. Udall Foundation is a small executive branch office based in Tucson, Ariz., that offers educational programs, scholarships and conflict resolution for environmental disputes.

According to Libby Rodke Washburn, a spokeswoman for the Udall Foundation, the foundation’s Board of Trustees has been pushing Congress for the name change since the beginning of this year.

Stewart Udall preceded his brother in Congress and then was tapped by President John F. Kennedy to serve as secretary of the Interior — a post he held until Lyndon B. Johnson left the White House in 1969. Now 89 years old and living in Santa Fe, N.M., he is the only surviving member of JFK’s Cabinet.

Morris Udall succeeded his brother in Congress and served until 1991, when he was forced to step down because he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. He died in 1998.

“I think that the Board of Trustees felt that it really was a joint legacy,— Rodke Washburn said. “The lasting impact that they had was together.—

The legacy of the two brothers lives on in Congress, with Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Mo’s son, and Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Stewart’s son. Both will be present at the official name change ceremony on Nov. 13.