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Non-Local News Releases

This category will feature news releases from out-of-area government agencies and representatives, as well as events that are not taking place in the four-county area of Grant, Catron, Hidalgo or Luna. For those events please visit Local News Releases.

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today hailed the House of Representatives' passage of historic tax cuts and reforms as an important step toward providing much-needed relief to Americans, creating jobs, and boosting the economy. Perdue issued the following statement:

"We haven't had an overhaul of the burdensome federal tax code since the mid-1980s and it is well past time to provide needed relief to workers and families. The people of agriculture dedicate their lives to putting food on the table for their fellow citizens and they deserve to keep more of what they earn from their labors. I applaud President Trump for his leadership in driving the debate and clearing a path for historic and significant tax cuts and reforms, just as I am pleased to see the sense of urgency with which Congress is moving toward a solution. The result will be more money in people's pockets, more jobs created, and a more vibrant American economy."

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2017 – U.S. agricultural exports totaled $140.5 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2017, climbing nearly $10.9 billion from the previous year to the third-highest level on record, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today. As it has done for well over 50 years, the U.S. agricultural sector once again posted an annual trade surplus, which reached $21.3 billion, up almost 30 percent from last year’s $16.6 billion.

“U.S. agriculture depends on trade. It is great to see an increase in exports and we hope to open additional markets to build on this success,” Perdue said. “I’m a grow-it-and-sell-it kind of guy. If American agricultural producers keep growing it, USDA will keep helping to sell it around the world.”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Tom Udall released the following statement on Senator Al Franken:

"Sexual harassment is never acceptable at any time or any place. I fully support the Ethics Committee investigation into this matter, and I am glad that Senator Franken has agreed to cooperate.

"With regard to the conversation we have been having about sexual harassment on Capitol Hill: A workplace should be safe from harassment of all kinds. And my wish and my hope is that Congress can set an example for the nation and that harassment can be made a thing of the past."

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 16, 2017) – In a letter to incoming Secretary of the Army Mark Esper, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) urged him to consider White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) as a garrison host for a Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB), which could bring close to 500 Army officers to WSMR. Secretary Esper was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday afternoon. The delegation delivered the letter on Secretary Esper's first day on the job.

The delegation outlined that there is an immediate availability of $170 million worth of modern, battalion sized facilities that are vacant at WSMR, citing more than 130,000 square feet of brand new facilities from headquarters, to maintenance bays, a new dining facility and a 134,000-acre maneuver training area with close proximity to the personnel of the 1st Armored Division and Brigade Modernization Command at Ft. Bliss, TX.

"We appreciate Army's decision to accelerate the establishment and selection of the remaining five SFAB's. WSMR has a long history of hosting active-duty units, and the state of New Mexico would provide a warm welcome to the Army should it decide to station an SFAB at White Sands. In basing roughly 500 officers and senior noncommissioned officers at WSMR, the Army can take full advantage of the exceptional training capabilities offered at the post while making the best use of taxpayer dollars," wrote the members.

Members of the delegation met with Dr. Mark Esper this year and provided documentation citing the unique terrain, zero-to-infinity airspace, and expertise at WSMR that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the country. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Dr. Esper committed to give full consideration to WSMR and its modern facilities for the SFAB mission.

The letter is available here and below.

November 16, 2017

Hon. Mark Esper
Secretary of the Army
101 Army Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20310

General Mark A. Milley
Chief of Staff of the Army
200 Army Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20310

Dear Secretary Esper and General Milley:

First, as members of New Mexico's congressional delegation, we write to congratulate you on your confirmation as our nation's 23rd Secretary of the Army. The United States faces a number of global challenges, and your immediate leadership will be needed to ensure our military remains the most capable military in the world.

Specifically, we write to urge you to consider White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) as a garrison host for a Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB). As you know, Congress has provided a significant amount of resources toward training foreign security forces in recent years, so we welcome the Army's announcement to establish brigades who will specialize in this mission, while demonstrating the best use of taxpayer dollars.

There is an immediate availability of $170 million worth of modern, battalion sized facilities that are vacant at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). We are fully confident that the facilities available at WSMR have the capacity and capability to support an SFAB mission. The available facilities include the features described below and pictured in Figure 1:

  • One 17,715 sq. ft. headquarters building with 23 office spaces, five conference rooms, a secure room, vault and elevator.
  • Six company headquarters in one 65,969 sq. ft. building. Each company area has a vault, a ready room with over 100 personal equipment lockers, communications and supply storage rooms; along with three shared conference rooms and locker room type latrines/showers.
  • One 19,500 sq. ft. battalion level dining facility (DFAC) consisting of two offices, a drive-thru window, dry storage room, and public & crew latrines.
  • One vehicle maintenance shop consisting of 34,925 sq. ft., with 14 offices, five bays, a 10T overhead crane, 24x14 ft. doors, one elevator, POL & parts storage, and six 5,775 sq. ft. organizational storage buildings.
  • One parade field and a segregated parking lot.

wsmr layout rs

Figure 1: Modern and vacant battalion facilities at WSMR

From a training standpoint, WSMR is the largest overland military installation in the country, offering a 134,000 acre maneuver training area with close proximity to the personnel of the 1st Armored Division and Brigade Modernization Command at Ft. Bliss, TX. Stationing an SFAB at WSMR would also benefit from synergies with the Army Warfighter Assessment and Network Integration Exercise programs.

WSMR is a tri-Service joint post supporting U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force contingents along with a multitude of RDT&E organizations from defense industry and international partners. WSMR also frequently hosts allied and partner nation elements, offering one-of-a-kind opportunities for training and integrating joint forces.

We appreciate Army's decision to accelerate the establishment and selection of the remaining five SFAB's. WSMR has a long history of hosting active-duty units, and the state of New Mexico would provide a warm welcome to the Army should it decide to station an SFAB at White Sands. In basing roughly 500 officers and senior noncommissioned officers at WSMR, the Army can take full advantage of the exceptional training capabilities offered at the post while making the best use of taxpayer dollars.

We look forward to working with you on this issue, and New Mexico stands ready to support the U.S. Army on this critical mission.

Sincerely,
U.S. Senator Tom Udall
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich
U.S. Representative Steve Pearce
U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján
U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham

Albuquerque – State and federal trustees will host a public meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7688, 2597 State Highway 522 in Questa, New Mexico to discuss the recently finalized Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment ("Draft RP/EA") for the Chevron Mining Inc, Questa Mine ("Site").

The Draft RP/EA was finalized today by the New Mexico Office of Natural Resources Trustee (ONRT), the United States Department of Agriculture (represented by the Forest Service), and the United States Department of the Interior (represented by the Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management), (collectively, the "Trustees").
The Site is located in Northern New Mexico approximately five miles east of the town of Questa, adjacent to the Red River. The Site also includes mine tailing ponds located approximately nine miles west of the mine. The Site is the location of a large groundwater contamination plume that will require treatment in perpetuity to mitigate human health risks. That treatment will be conducted under the oversight of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to accomplish remediation.

david g m mitchell rsDavid G. M. Mitchell, New Mexico State University College of Engineering assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is conducting research to make the world of 5G communication possible.
(NMSU photo by Vladimir Avina)
WRITER: Linda Fresques, 575-646-7416, lfresque@nmsu.edu

The number of wireless devices connected to mobile networks is estimated to be three times the size of the global population by the year 2020. Smartphone traffic will exceed PC traffic. Global Internet traffic in 2020 is anticipated to be 95 times the volume of the entire global Internet in 2005. Some 250 million vehicles will be connected to the Internet and there will be 27 billion machines communicating with one another.

Washington, D.C. (November 16, 2017) Congressman Steve Pearce released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act:

"The current 70,000-page tax code is outdated and too complicated. It simply doesn't work for New Mexican and American families. Passage of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act provides relief for lower- and middle-income families and creates more, better paying jobs.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 16, 2017) - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement on Senator Franken:

"I am deeply troubled by the allegations against Senator Franken and I believe there should be an ethics investigation into the matter. Sexual harassment is not a joke and must always be taken seriously."

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