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Leonard C. Burch Post Office Building

Rep. John J. Duncan Jr.

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Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 5051) to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1001 Williams Street in Ignacio, Colorado, as the ``Leonard C. Burch Post Office Building''.

The Clerk read as follows:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

(a) Designation.--The facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1001 Williams Street in Ignacio, Colorado, shall be known and designated as the ``Leonard C. Burch Post Office Building''. (b) References.--Any reference in a law, map, regulation, document, paper, or other record of the United States to the facility referred to in subsection (a) shall be deemed to be a reference to the Leonard C. Burch Post Office Building.

Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Duncan) and the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Davis) each will control 20 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Duncan).

Rep. John J. Duncan Jr.

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Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on H.R. 5051, the bill under consideration.

Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Tennessee?

There was no objection.

Rep. John J. Duncan Jr.

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Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the distinguished gentleman from Colorado, the sponsor of H.R. 5051, I rise in support of the Leonard C. Burch Post Office Designation Act.

Leonard Burch was chairman of the Southern Ute Tribal Council for more than 32 years. He was the first elected tribal chairman in 1966, making him the youngest ever at age 32. Chairman Burch was an effective, ambitious leader for the Southern Utes and helped to economically develop this tribe based in the Rocky Mountains.

Mr. Speaker, Leonard Burch died in August 2003 after suffering a heart attack. This post office will be a deserved honor for Leonard Burch, and I know it will make his family very proud.

I thank the sponsor, the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. McInnis), for bringing this bill to the floor today. I am pleased to urge passage of

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Rep. Danny K. Davis

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Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I might consume.

Mr. Speaker, as a member of the House Committee on Government Reform, I am pleased to join my colleague in consideration of H.R. 5051, legislation naming a U.S. postal facility in Ignacio, Colorado, as the ``Leonard C. Burch Post Office.''

The gentleman from Colorado (Mr. McInnis), a Republican, introduced this measure which enjoys the support and cosponsorship of the entire Colorado delegation on September 9, 2004.

Leonard C. Burch was the long-time leader of the Southern Ute tribe of Colorado. He is credited with bringing his tribe from the brink of bankruptcy and into solvency. Through his efforts, the tribe became a major player in the energy development market with assets of $1.5 billion.

As part of the Council For Energy Resource Tribes, Burch was instrumental in improving energy development in tribes throughout the country. Mr. Burch was also regarded as a skilled diplomat and testified before Congress on numerous occasions advocating for greater tribal control over its own resources.

Mr. Burch passed away last year after suffering a heart attack at the age of 69. We join the Southern Ute Tribe in their loss, for not only have they lost a great leader, but also the United States has lost a truly great man. I urge swift passage of this resolution.

Sen. Mark Udall

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 5051, the Leonard C. Burch Post Office Building Designation Act.

Leonard Burch served as chairman of the Southern Ute Tribe for 30 years. He became the youngest chairman of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in south-western Colorado in 1966. Although it was criticized at the time, his decision to reinvest tribal royalties back into the tribal corporations has proved to be far sighted. Through this reinvestment the Southern Ute Indian Tribe is one of the wealthiest Indian tribe in the country.

In an effort to regain the rights to the resources on their land, Chairman Burch taught himself the intricacies of the oil and gas business. As a result, he was instrumental in the Southern Ute Tribe becoming the primary beneficiary of their own mineral rights. Under his leadership the tribe was able to acquire several commercial buildings, multiple energy companies, including the largest natural gas company in the state of Colorado, a real estate company, and a casino.

Chairman Burch championed the cause of tribal sovereignty. He was able to bring the Southern Ute Indian Tribe from relative obscurity into one of the most prominent and wealthy tribes in the country. The Southern Ute Tribe's business success can be used as a positive example for Native American tribes throughout the country. Chairman Burch was the driving force behind this success story.

Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me and the Colorado delegation in honoring the life and accomplishments of Chairman Leonard Burch and support the designation of the Ignacio Main Post Office as the Leonard C. Burch Post Office Building.

For more information about the life of Chairman Burch, I am attaching an obituary published in The Durango Herald on August 2, 2003.

Leonard Cloud Burch, the longtime leader of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe who advocated economic self-sufficiency, died Friday, Aug. 1, 2003, at Mercy Medical Center. Mr. Burch, 69 who died after suffering a heart attack on Thursday, served as chairman of the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council for more than 32 years. He was first elected tribal chairman in 1966. Under his leadership the Southern Utes became an economic force in the Four Corners and the largest employers in the country. Starting with interests in natural-gas wells, the Utes used revenues from businesses to fund improvements in tribal education, health and social services. He was invited by five separate U.S. presidents to conferences on American Indian policies at the White House. He received numerous awards, including: the Durango Citizen of the Year Award (1997), the 15th annual Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award (2000) and the Council of Energy Resources Tribes' Achievement Award (2002). He was also recognized for his commitment to regional water resources development. To settle various water claims by regional tribes, including the Southern Utes, Mr. Burch advocated development of the Animas-La Plata Project, a water-storage project now under construction south of Durango. He was born on Dec. 24, 1933, to Sam and Clara (Cloud) Burch. Upon graduation from Ute Vocational High School in Ignacio, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, and he served four years. After his return from service, Mr. Burch worked for five years with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He married Irene Coolidge, who had also attended school in Ignacio. He is survived by his wife; seven daughters, Leonora Bravo of Ignacio, Leona Burch of Ignacio, Lena Mae Burch of Missoula, Mont., Lisa Burch-Watts of Ignacio, Leora Lucero of Ignacio. Laurena Burch of Albuquerque, and Lynnette Sage of Ignacio; 14 grandchildren; a brother, Anthony Burch of Two Rivers, Alaska; a sister, Bertha Grove of Bayfield; a half- brother, Everett Burch of Bayfield; and a half-sister, Judy Lansing-Burch of Ignacio. A viewing and a visitation will be from noon to 8 p.m. Monday at Hood Mortuary. A public memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the SunUte Recreation Center in Ignacio. Donations honoring Mr. Burch should be made to the Leonard Burch Scholarship Fund, PO Box 2717, Durango CO 81302 or to the American Heart Association.

Rep. Danny K. Davis

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Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. John J. Duncan Jr.

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Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, I urge passage of this bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. John Shimkus

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The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Duncan) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 5051.

The question was taken; and (two-thirds having voted in favor thereof) the rules were suspended and the bill was passed.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.