Contact: Suzanne Eisold
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WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2002 -- Congressman Joe Skeen, R-NM, said today he will make his Congressional and campaign papers available to the public when he leaves office at the end of this year. Congressman Skeen's collection of papers will be housed at New Mexico Tech in Socorro, New Mexico.

"The collection of documents from my service in the U.S. House of Representatives will provide historians and researchers with an opportunity to review public policy issues and decisions from a congressional perspective," Skeen said.

Skeen is retiring after 22 years in Congress. He was first elected in 1980 after a write-in campaign, becoming only the third person in U.S. history to win a seat in Congress without being on the ballot. He easily won re-election every two years since.

He is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and is Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior. As such he is known as one of the Cardinals in the House of Representatives because the appropriations subcommittee chairmen preside over the legislation that funds all measures that go through Congress.

"Future historians may be able to use the documents to see how a Congressional office operated in the last part of the 20th Century and the first part of the 21st," Skeen said. " I want to thank New Mexico Tech in Socorro for taking on the logistics of this project."

The papers range from letters of congratulation sent to New Mexicans over the years to correspondence between Skeen and several Presidents. There are also papers dealing with the details of legislation Skeen worked on in Congress as well as letters explaining his position on countless measures considered by the House during his tenure.

Boxes of documents and memorabilia will begin being shipped to New Mexico Tech in the near future.