Pete Domenici dies at 85, leaving unique Senate legacy
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. » Pete V. Domenici, the son of Italian immigrants who rose to become a power broker in the U.S. Senate, died Wednesday in New Mexico. The Republican was known for reaching across the partisan divide and his work on the federal budget and energy policy over a career that spanned more than 30 years.
Domenici was surrounded by family when he died at an Albuquerque hospital after a setback from a recent surgery, his family said. He was 85.
The Albuquerque-born Domenici carried a consistent message of fiscal restraint from his first term in 1972 until leaving office in 2009 — regardless of which party was in power.
Former Democratic U.S. Sen. Bennett Johnson of Louisiana called Domenici “the consummate legislator.”
As chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Domenici oversaw part of the debate on a national energy policy, including decisions about oil and gas drilling, nuclear power and renewable energy.