Kay Bailey Hutchison – Biographical Profile and Positions on the Issues

Previous Candidate for U.S. Senate, Texas

Republican Party of Texas
PO Box 9190Dallas, TX 75209
512.916.5834
71
Biographical
General (political statement of goals, objectives, views, philosophies)

In 1993, Kay Bailey Hutchison was elected as the first woman to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. Seven years later, more than four million Texans re-elected her to a second full term - at the time the largest number of votes ever garnered in the state. In 2004, she won a third term as Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, remaining the fifth-highest ranking Republican senator.

Senator Hutchison is a leading voice on foreign policy and national security issues and serves as a U.S. delegate to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe - commonly known as the Helsinki Commission.

As Chairman of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee and a member of the Defense Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Hutchison plays a vital role in shaping America's defense policies. In 2003, she enacted legislation to create an Overseas Basing Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the U.S. Military's global footprint to ensure we are prepared to meet 21st century threats.

As a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, the Senator has fought for funding and recognition of the Gulf War Syndrome so veterans can receive treatment.

In the 108th Congress, Senator Hutchison helped pass the National Intelligence Reform Act, which included provisions she authored to ensure greater screening of air cargo and a more comprehensive review of surveillance information. The final language orders the Transportation Security Administration to codify measures such as a database of known shippers, security plans at facilities and worker identification cards.

In the 107th Congress, the Senator served as Chairman and Ranking Republican of the Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Aviation, where she played a major role in drafting the landmark airline security bill passed by Congress after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

With the convening of the 109th Congress this year, Senator Hutchison will have an expan [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Personal (gender, age, marital status, spouse's name and age, children's name and ages, home town, current residence)

Born on July 22, 1943, in Galveston, TX, the Senator lives in Dallas with her husband Ray and their two children, Bailey and Houston.

Education (times and places of schools, colleges, major, degrees, activities, sports)

Senator Hutchison grew up in La Marque, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas and UT Law School.

Profession (professional and work experience outside politics)

Author, American Heroines: The Spirited Women Who Shaped Our Country, 2004

Co-Author, Nine and Counting: The Women of the Senate, 2000

Attorney

Co-Founder, Fidelity National Bank of Dallas

Owner, McCraw Candies, Incorporated

Political/Legal Correspondent, KPRC-TV, Houston

Senior Vice-President/General Counsel, RepublicBank Corporporation.

Military (branch, years of service, active duty experience, highest rank, medals, honors, type and date of discharge)

None

Civic (past and present organizations, charities involvement)

Development Board, SMU School of Business

Development Board, Texas A & M School of Business

Trustee, University of Texas Law School Foundations.

Political (dates and titles of previously held political offices)

She was twice elected to the Texas House of Representatives. In 1990, she was elected Texas State Treasurer.

Religion (current and past religious affiliations, beliefs)

Episcopalian.

Accomplishments (significant accomplishments, awards, achievements)

* Mr. South Texas 2005

* W.B. and Brandon Carroll Humanitarian Award 2004

* Alliance for Aging Research, Distinguished Public Service Award 2004

* Women's Foreign Policy Group Inaugural Congressional Leadership Award 2004

* U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise Award 2004

* Association of American Medical Colleges, Special Recognition Award 2004

* Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service 2003

* LULAC Legislative Recognition Award 2003

* U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce NAFTA Congressional Leadership Award 2002

* John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Lindy Boggs Award 2002

* International Multiple Myeloma Foundation, Ribbon of Hope Award 2002

* Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, National Leadership Award 2002

* Ladies' Home Journal Magazine 30 Most Powerful Women 2001

* MANA Hermana Award 2001

* National Military Family Association Award for Service to Military Families 2001

* Border Texan of the Year 2000

* Green Key Water Resources Environment Award 2000

* CLEAT Award for Support of Law Enforcement 2000

* Texas Women's Chamber of Commerce 100 Most Influential Texas Women of the Century 1999

* Advocate for Education Award from The College Board 1999

* Texan of the Year, Texas Legislative Conference 1997

* Inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame 1997

* Coastal Conservation Association's Silver Ingot Award 1997

* Republican Woman of the Year by the National Federation of Republican Women 1995

* Outstanding University of Texas Alumnus 1995

* Outstanding University of Texas Law School Alumnus 1995

* Named one of 20 Rising American Political Stars by USA Today Weekend 1990

Values, Religion & Family
Media Violence and Sex

The Indecency Act Protects Children from Inappropriate Material

America's parents have a hard enough job protecting their children without having to worry about the messages on television and radio. Even parents who closely monitor their children's music and television have been caught unaware by those who try to generate higher ratings - and are willing to violate standards on nudity, language or violence in the process.

There is no substitute for parental oversight in these situations. But government can sometimes assist, so my colleague Senator John Rockefeller of West Virginia, and I recently introduced the bipartisan Indecent and Gratuitous Violence Broadcasting Control Act of 2005.

Our bill seeks to curb indecency and violence on television or the radio. Our goal is to encourage production of more family friendly programs. A measure previously adopted was the V-Chip, which recognizes content ratings encoded in U.S. broadcasts. The ratings help parents determine the level of violence and/or sex in a particular program. The parent can then use the chip to block all programs which receive a specific rating as determined by the industry.

Since 2000, all newly-manufactured televisions with screens over 13 inches in size contain the chip. Our legislation requires the Federal Communications Commission to review use of the V-Chip to see if this technology has been effective in protecting our children.

If the V-Chip and other methods are not protecting children from excessive violence and sex, our legislation directs the FCC to create a rule requiring broadcasters to do more to protect children including, if necessary, changing programming times.

Our bill also requires broadcasters to double the amount - from three to six hours a week - of children's programming. It additionally mandates new and improved program labeling. If passed, before any program is aired, a full-screen warning of the specific content will appear for 30 se [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Food & Agriculture
Agriculture, a General Statement

THE FUTURE OF TEXAS FARMING

Texas farming has a long and rich history. Since prehistoric times, inhabitants have used a variety of agricultural methods to produce the necessary foods for survival. Caddo Indians in East Texas lived in permanent villages and prepared fields to cultivate corn, squash and beans. In West Texas, Pueblo Indians employed irrigation techniques to successfully grow cotton. The Spanish introduced the grapefruit to Texas, which was later adopted as the official fruit of the Lone Star State. After Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, the government encouraged settlement in the region north of the Rio Grande River by offering land grants.

Stephen F. Austin inherited a land grant from his father, Moses Austin and, together with 300 other families from the United States, helped to settle parts of Central, East, and Southeast Texas. Prior to the Civil War, Texas agriculture primarily consisted of subsistence family farms typically ranging in size from 120 to 160 acres. With the expansion of the railroads, Texas farming grew rapidly creating the opportunity for commercial production.

The Morrill Land-Grant College Act in 1862 established the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, known today as Texas A&M University, to advance research in the fields of farming and ranching. Despite the devastating setbacks caused by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, advancements in cultivation, irrigation, crop diversification and equipment modernization lead to improved agricultural productivity.

Today, groups such as the Texas Farm Bureau are advocating for the future of agribusiness in our state. Adding approximately $40 billion to the state economy each year, Texas is one of our nation's leading farming states. Numerous organizations such as 4-H and the Future Farmers of America are helping to teach Texas? youth the cutting-edge techniques that will keep Texas on the forefront of the international agricultural indus [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Government
FEMA and Hurricane Katrina

I am working to pass legislation to get Texas fully reimbursed for the expense of helping evacuees from Hurricane Katrina.

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Immigration
Immigration, a General Statement

Mr. President, I want to comment on what has happened over the last 2 weeks on a very important bill--maybe the most important bill for the future of our country that we will take up this year, and that is immigration reform.

I was very disappointed that we were not able to have a vehicle on which we can have amendments in the normal course of action that we have on the floor of the Senate. I cannot think of a more complicated, comprehensive issue that we could amend and make a better bill that would have the support of the vast majority of the Senate. Yet we have spent 2 weeks and were only able to have three amendments.

There are many differing views on what to do with the 12 million illegal immigrants that are in our country. But I think there is a consensus that we need better control of our borders, that we need security measures to know who is in our country, and that we need a guest worker permit program that would allow people to come into our country legally to work and earn a living for their families, contribute to the economy of the United States, and perhaps become citizens, if they decide to, or not become citizens if they wish to remain citizens of their home country.

However, the issue of what to do with the 12 million people was not able to be discussed, debated, or refined on the Senate floor. I think that is a mistake, and I think we have missed a very important opportunity. The negotiations got down to allowing 20 amendments--20 amendments--on one of the most complicated bills that we will take up this year. We take up appropriations bills that have 70 amendments. We take up authorization bills that have 40 amendments. The negotiation was down to allowing 20 amendments, and we were not able to get the consent of the minority to take up 20 amendments to try to refine a bill that would allow the Senate to speak with an overwhelming majority, or at least to have all the voices heard so that we could start beginning to craft a bill that wou [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Internet, Media & Communications
Internet, a General Statement

E-COMMERCE AND GOVERNMENT

The Internet is changing our lives in countless areas, molding our culture and our economy in ways undreamed of 20 years ago. The Internet economy is creating new jobs and new business opportunities. It has contributed significantly to the boom the stock market is now experiencing.

Americans are going online in record numbers, for information, entertainment and to shop. A study conducted by the University of Texas' Center for Research in Electronic Commerce reports that the nation's Internet-based economy produced more than $524 billion in business revenues last year and has created 2.5 million new jobs. The center also reports that the private sector is producing a 15 percent increase in revenues and productivity per employee as a result of Internet use.

Even in rural areas that sometimes miss out on the prosperity enjoyed in larger population centers, small businesses are beginning to flourish by being able to sell their products nationwide over the Internet -- and in some cases, worldwide.

Government, too, is learning to live with this transforming technology. While the Internet can put us in closer touch with government on the local, state and national levels than ever before, its use has also resulted in a whole new set of questions to be answered.

Local communities in Texas and many other states rely heavily on sales tax revenues to fund critical government services such as education, law enforcement and health care, so the issue of Internet sales transactions is critical. The states, which are enjoying the e-commerce benefits of substantial job creation and capital investment, have taken the lead in finding the answers.

In response to these ongoing efforts at the state and local levels, Congress has imposed a moratorium through October of next year on any proposed new taxes on interstate commerce conducted over the Internet. I am adamantly opposed to any new taxes on Internet transactions, an [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Jobs
Job Growth

CREATING NEW JOBS

This month, Congress passed and the president signed a $350 billion jobs and economic growth package to put Americans back to work and stimulate our economy.

The legislation provides tax relief to hard working people and has several provisions to help individuals and businesses during these challenging economic times. It accelerates the 2001 marginal rate cuts, lowers the taxation of dividends and capital gains and helps small businesses by increasing expensing and depreciation levels.

How Texas Wins

Texans directly benefit from the bill because $1.3 billion in aid is allocated specifically for our state. This assistance, part of $20 billion in overall aid for states, comes at a time when the State legislature is grappling with a paralyzing budget crisis. I worked closely with my colleagues in Congress to ensure Texas received its fair share. The funding will provide approximately $570 million for Medicaid and an estimated $710 million for essential government services and unfunded mandates, which I'm hopeful will help alleviate problems in our state.

The relief will enable millions of Texans to reap benefits from rate reductions, the child tax credit increase and lower taxes on capital gains and dividends. Texans with children will gain from an increase in the child tax credit (from $600 to $1,000) beginning this summer when the IRS starts issuing advance payment checks of $400 for each child under the age of 17.

Marriage Penalty Relief

Additionally, one of the most egregious provisions of our tax code, the marriage penalty, is addressed by this legislation. I have often said that penalizing couples for saying 'I do' is fundamentally unfair, and this bill takes steps to erase that inequity and help 2.4 million Texas couples. I originally introduced legislation to alleviate the marriage penalty and am pleased it is part and parcel of this important relief package.

Reduction of Double Taxation

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Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Science, Technology & Space
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

THE FUTURE OF NASA

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon and into the pages of history. As a reporter in Houston, I was privileged to cover that historic event which defined a generation. That moment also embodied the greatness and unlimited promise of America's space program.

The tragic fate of the Space Shuttle Columbia confronts us with a choice: renew our commitment to space exploration, or continue cutting NASA's budget and diluting its mission. The story thus far is bleak. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's budget has been cut to the bone in the last decade. In fact, the space shuttle budget has decreased by nearly 40 percent over that period. Year after year, we have watched the numbers dwindle and projects suffocate because of inadequate funds.

People have asked me why we still need a space program. We sent a man to the moon more than three decades ago ... now what?

Space exploration and research have improved our quality of life in ways that many Americans take for granted. The work conducted by NASA astronauts, researchers and engineers has yielded more than 30,000 developments in technology, medicine, and defense.

From satellites, which allow instant access to news and information around the globe, and cell phones, which forever changed the way we live, to every day amenities such as cordless appliances - all were developed through our space program.

NASA research has been an integral part of our nation's military efforts as well. Space-based and satellite imagery, as well as global positioning systems, have been critical to helping our Armed Forces pinpoint the enemy on the battlefields of Afghanistan, helping to bring a swift end to the Taliban and chase al Qaeda out of the country. NASA is also helping to develop the next generation of the unmanned aerial vehicle, the Predator, which allows us to see the battlefield, find the enemy and send in precision-guided munitions - all wit [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Space, a General Statement

SHUTTLE ANNIVERSARY CONTINUES ERA OF EXPLORATION

This month, the U.S. space program reached a landmark in its history, and it looks forward to a promising new era. On April 12th, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the first space shuttle launch. The last quarter century of human space flight was dominated by this amazing spacecraft. The passing of the baton from the shuttle to a new generation of vehicles is on the horizon. With these vehicles we will reach new destinations and view new vistas.

Late last year, Congress enacted my NASA authorization bill, the first in five years. The bill does more than simply authorize funds for the space program. It begins the transition to the new era of exploration.

That era will continue this July with the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery on the second Return to Flight test mission. During their mission to the International Space Station, Discovery's crew will test new equipment and procedures that increase the safety of space shuttles.

The successor to the shuttle program will embark on bold, new missions, including a return to the moon after a hiatus of more than 30 years. This time, it will be more than a brief visit; the moon will become a stepping stone for exploring the further reaches of space.

Our ultimate goal of this new era will be to set foot on the Red Planet. Incredible pictures from the Spirit and Opportunity rovers on Mars have given us a deeper sense of what it will be like to stand on the surface of Mars, climb its rolling hills and explore its craters and valleys.

This new journey must begin from where we now are. It must build on the solid base of knowledge and experience that we have spent many years and invested extensive resources to develop. That base will not be completed until we return the space shuttle to full flight status; and we must finish the Space Station to provide an essential laboratory for important research.

Current plans call for the end of space shuttle flight [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Science, a General Statement

SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING ARE CRUCIAL TO OUR NATION'S FUTURE

U.S. excellence in science and engineering is a top priority for me in the Senate. Since World War II, we have been unmatched in science and engineering, but today we are starting to lose our edge. We do not have the scientists and engineers needed to maintain our position, and other nations are threatening our lead.

Across the planet, other countries are increasing support for their research universities and substantially raising the amount of public funding they provide for research and development. China, over the past 11 years, has increased research and development spending by 500 percent. India is not far behind, and many Indian workers are well trained in engineering and speak fluent English.

To address this issue, we need to make changes to our country's education system. Too many of our teachers do not have the training they need to succeed, and we must do more to support them. As our future leaders pursue their college educations, not enough American students are getting their undergraduate degrees in science. America is 20th among nations in the proportion of 24-year-olds with degrees in a natural science or engineering. This puts our country below countries like Iceland, and just barely above Kyrgyzstan.

This is a situation that must be addressed, and I will continue to work in Congress to make sure education is a top priority. During my years in the Senate I have focused on strengthening Texas in medicine, science, and engineering. We have had some great successes: the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST); the Strategic Partnership for Research in Nanotechnology (SPRING); the Alliance for NanoHealth in Houston, the National Biocontainment Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and of course, NASA.

I have also sought to improve our educational system at the national level. In 1997, I cosponsored the College Affordability and Hig [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Space Station

A FOOTHOLD IN OUTER SPACE IS KEY TO AMERICA'S PLACE ON EARTH

The next time you look up into a dark sky and see a moving light, do not jump to the conclusion that it is an airplane. You might be looking at the International Space Station. At present, it is bigger than a three-bedroom house, and it will be at least twice that size when completed. Since it is 230 miles above the Earth's surface and moving at over 17,000 miles an hour (orbiting about 16 times a day), you might find it difficult to believe that you can see it from your backyard without a telescope or binoculars. But the Station has giant solar panels powering it, which reflect sunlight extremely well, making it one of the brightest objects in the night sky. The Station is also a key to keeping America's future bright.

The United States is facing increasing competition in high-tech industries. At present, just 32 percent of American undergraduates receive degrees in science or engineering compared to 59 percent of Chinese students. The advent of the internet has made it easier for people from other nations to compete with our workers. And other countries are increasing their investments in science research; China has even made significant strides in its own space program.

In order to maintain our leadership in science and science-related businesses, we need to keep our commitment to the Space Station. In crucial ways, doing pioneering work on the frontiers of space contributes to making our scientific community the best on the planet. Dr. Richard Smalley, a brilliant Texan who won the Nobel prize for his work in nanoscience, was first inspired to take science seriously by the Soviet Union's successful launch of Sputnik in 1957 and the response of the United States: an ambitious space program of its own. After several missions to the moon, the U.S. program became less captivating; and we have since lost the interest of many students during their formative years when they are making dec [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Social Security & Pensions
Long Term Viability of Social Security

When Social Security was created in 1935, the average lifespan of an American was about 64, and 54 percent of the workers in our country were expected to live to collect Social Security. So the system was sound and, of course, the actuarial table was sound.

So much has changed--all for the good--in our country. In fact, today our life expectancy is 79 plus for a woman and 74 plus for a man. Yet we know that is going to get better. People are going to live even longer than that and, furthermore, they are going to be healthy. They are going to be able to collect more than they invested in their Social Security.

Our President is looking at the facts. Our President is looking at the statements from the previous administration, President Clinton, who said: There is a red flag here and we better look at Social Security if we are going to start the process of determining what is the right thing to keep Social Security stable.

But it was before that that our President started seeing this looming crisis on the horizon. Today we know from the testimony of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, that in 2008, the baby boomers are going to start coming into the Social Security system. In 13 years, 2018, the Government will begin for the first time to pay out more than it is collecting. That means we are going to start seeing more encroachment on the deficit. By 2042, the fact is there will be an absolute bankruptcy.

By law today, what happens when that occurs, when bankruptcy is declared, benefits will automatically be cut without any further action of Congress or the President--drastic cuts, probably 25-percent cuts. So if we are going to keep our promise to the people in the system today, to the people in the system 10 years from now, we are going to have to take action to preserve those benefits in a fiscally responsible way. If we are going to keep the promise to people who are 20, 25, 30, 35, we are going to have to do something that is innovativ [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Pensions, a General Statement

PENSION PROTECTION

The recent financial collapse of Texas-based Enron has unleashed a flood of concerns over pension and retirement plans. Many Americans have invested their hard-earned dollars in their own 401(k) year after year, slowly building a nest egg for the future. That is exactly what thousands of Enron employees did, and now their futures are uncertain at best.

One former Enron employee wrote to me, "I have been left in financial ruin by the fall of Enron. My life's savings is gone and I have been laid off with a paltry severance worth less than my unused vacation time." We must ensure that this does not happen again. Hard-working people across our state and nation should not have to watch helplessly as their life's savings disappear.

Texas has suffered greatly from the collapse of Enron. Not only did many of our fellow Texans lose their jobs and retirement funds, but state pension funds were affected as well. There were $36 million in losses to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and $24 million in losses to the Employee Retirement System of Texas. Hundreds of other plans across the state and nation also lost millions of dollars.

Enron employees were left vulnerable because they lacked access to important information about their pension investments. Congress should act to protect American workers. I introduced the Pension Plan Protection Act in the Senate in early February. My legislation addresses some key concerns regarding our nation's pension systems and incorporates most of President Bush's recommendations regarding reform. It focuses on empowering employees with alternatives and information, improving accounting standards, and insisting on corporate accountability.

The bill will require employers to provide detailed, quarterly statements about the employee's account, as well as notification to plan participants when any one investment totals more than 25 percent of the employee's portfolio. This will empower wor [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Trade
Trade, a General Statement

PROMOTING TRADE

America has the most productive, creative work force in the world. Our industries are diverse and our products are second to none. Now it is time we expand our reach to bring more of these goods and services to the global marketplace.

Ninety-six percent of the world's consumers live outside the United States, representing a vast market for American exports. Unfortunately, other countries are moving forward and promoting trade while we are standing on the sidelines.

For America to increase trade opportunities around the world, Congress needs to pass the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill. TPA gives the president the ability to negotiate trade agreements with the knowledge that while Congress retains its right to approve or reject a treaty, it will not try to amend or delay it. Without TPA, foreign governments have not been willing to sit at the negotiation table with the United States - they do not want to waste time crafting a complex agreement, only to see it changed.

While we delay, other countries are entering into agreements that exclude us. Our competitors in Europe, Asia and Latin America have sealed more than 130 free-trade compacts, yet we are party to only three - with Jordan, Israel, and with Canada and Mexico through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Lack of free-trade agreements puts American exporters at a disadvantage. For example, a $187,000 tractor made in America and shipped to Chile incurs $13,090 in tariffs and duties upon arrival. The same tractor would face $3,740 in tariffs if it were made in Brazil - and none if it were made in Canada. American businesses, farmers and ranchers cannot compete effectively with this kind of disparity.

Our inability to negotiate agreements with foreign countries is hurting U.S. industry and limiting economic growth and prosperity. TPA offers the United States the chance to reclaim momentum in the global economy by opening additional foreign [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Unfair Trade Practices

FREE AND FAIR TRADE

What do Chile and Singapore have in common? The first nation is in South America; the second is halfway around the globe in Asia. Chileans speak Spanish; the language of Singapore is Mandarin. Fifteen million people live in Chile, while Singapore has only four million. Until recently these countries shared little. But this summer they became the most recent countries to engage in free trade agreements with the United States, an exclusive group of nations destined for economic prosperity.

The agreements were the first to be signed under the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) enacted by Congress last year. TPA gives the president the ability to negotiate trade agreements Congress can accept or reject, but not modify. Unfortunately, TPA lapsed in 1994 and was not renewed. As a result, trade negotiation has remained stagnant for nearly a decade. While other nations built partnerships, America largely sat on the sidelines as an observer. Foreign governments did not want to waste effort crafting a complex and far-reaching agreement, only to see it altered in the initial stages. Our economy - and our workers - suffered.

The Chile and Singapore agreements signaled an end to that era. This trade legislation was an important step to promote economic growth, bring lower prices to consumers and create jobs in America.

An Environment for Economic Growth

Trade is essential to our current and future prosperity. Texas exports everything from computer and electronic products to rice. The absence of favorable trade agreements imposes an invisible tax that Americans pay every time we shop, whether we buy tennis shoes or tractors. Economists predict that reducing tariffs by one-third would boost the U.S. economy by $177 billion each year. That's an average savings of $2,500 a year for a family of four.

Trade jobs are high paying jobs. One in 10 Americans work in industries that depend on the export of goods and services. Accoun [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Transportation
Highway Safety

Senate Floor Speech

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

July 23, 2001 -- Page: S8055

SAFE TRUCKS ON AMERICAN HIGHWAYS

MRS. HUTCHISON. Madam President, I commend Senator Murray and Senator Shelby for drafting an amendment that is attempting to address the issue of safe trucks on American highways. This is an issue that has caused a lot of disagreement. I know it is a very controversial issue. I want to speak about it because my State is most certainly affected. But I think every State is affected by whether we have safe trucks on our highways.

We do not yet have an agreement on this issue that everyone can live with, but I think we are a lot closer than anyone thinks. I ask Senators MURRAY, SHELBY, MCCAIN, GRAMM, and the administration to work together to try to make sure we come out with regulations that will assure that we have the facilities and manpower to inspect every truck coming into our country, whether it is from Mexico or from Canada.

Second, we must make sure we have foreign-owned trucks and drivers meet U.S. safety standards, while ensuring fair treatment for our trading partners. That is our responsibility and our commitment under NAFTA.

Third, I think it is very important that we commit to providing the financial resources for the inspection stations and other border infrastructure. The administration asked for about $88 million for this purpose. The Murray-Shelby committee report that is on the floor has more than $100 million to make sure we have the border inspection stations, without which we couldn't possibly comply with NAFTA.

If we have good regulations and the money to conduct the inspections, I think we can come up with language that will be acceptable to everyone and keep our commitment under NAFTA.

I voted for NAFTA. I support free trade. But there are provisions in the underlying bill that I think could keep the United States from keeping its commitment under NAFTA.

I also believe the Department of Transportation regulati [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

Veterans
Veterans, a General Statement

WASHINGTON, DC -- Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Chairman of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has removed Big Spring VA Medical Center from its Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services (CARES) list, keeping the VA facility open for the future.

"This announcement is welcome news for the dedicated staff, patients and the entire area," Sen. Hutchison said. "The Big Spring facility has many valuable assets that will serve the community for years to come. With the capacity for growth to enhance services and its central location to the veteran population in the region, Secretary Nicholson and the Veterans Administration made the right decision to keep it open."

Sen. Hutchison authored language that passed in the Fiscal Year 2006 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill that delayed the CARES process by encouraging further study of VA facilities. In seeking the delay, Sen. Hutchison argued the CARES process began just as our country was mobilizing to fight the War on Terror and the subsequent changes to veterans' health care needs must be considered before any decisions are made to close facilities.

Further study determined expanded needs can be best met for the region by the Big Spring facility. The VA also determined during the review that there are possible expansion opportunities for inpatient care and mental health services. VA regional offices are working to develop plans to expand these services. Options include adding a 35-bed domiciliary unit, which could be in coordination with the expansion of 18 psychiatric beds.

Source: Candidate Website (10/07/2006)

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