Updated: December 08, 2020 05:58 PM
Created: December 08, 2020 04:56 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Sen. Tom Udall gave a 23-minutre farewell address to the U.S. Senate Tuesday.
"After 20-plus years, it's time for me to go back home," he said.
In his speech, Udall discussed the challenges he believes the country faces.
"Our planet is in crisis, facing mass extinction and climate change," he said. "Our people are in crisis, ravaged by a pandemic that has laid bare the inequities of our society. And our democracy is in crisis, as the people's faith in their government is shaken."
Udall leaves the U.S. Senate saying it's broken.
"It's not working for the American people," he said.
He also laid out his accomplishments, including his work to support Native American communities as the vice chair of the Indian Affairs Committee.
He also pointed to his work in getting the Great American Outdoors Act passed, which will give billions of dollars each year to conservation projects, and provide for maintenance of national parks and other public lands.
"The law is a model for how conservation and economic recovery can go hand-in-hand," he said. "It will help us achieve the urgent goal of protecting 30% of our lands and waters by 2030."
In his final words to the U.S. Senate, Udall urged collaboration, instead of division.
"We should never forget that we can do the impossible when we open our eyes to the challenge, and work together to meet it," he said. "So as I return home to the west, I am clear eyed about – even troubled by – how far away our destination is. But I am optimistic that we will get there, like we always have before."
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