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Kay Bailey Hutchison

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Collection: 1943 Births, American Bankers, American Episcopalians, American Women in Business, American Women Journalists, American Women Lawyers, Businesspeople from Texas, Female United States Senators, Journalists from Texas, Living People, Members of the Texas House of Representatives, People from Dallas, Texas, People from Galveston, Texas, Republican Party United States Senators, State Treasurers of Texas, Texas Republicans, United States Senators from Texas, University of Texas at Austin Alumni, University of Texas School of Law Alumni, Women State Legislators in Texas
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Kay Bailey Hutchison

Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator
from Texas
In office
June 14, 1993 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Bob Krueger
Succeeded by Ted Cruz
Treasurer of Texas
In office
January 15, 1991 – June 14, 1993
Governor Ann Richards
Preceded by Ann Richards
Succeeded by Martha Whitehead
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
In office
Preceded by ???
Succeeded by Brad Wright
Personal details
Born Kathryn Ann Bailey
(1943-07-22) July 22, 1943
Galveston, Texas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) John Pierce Parks (1967–1969)
Ray Hutchison (1978–2014)
Children Kathryn (Adopted)
Houston Taylor (Adopted)
Brenda (Stepdaughter)
Julie (Stepdaughter)
Alma mater University of Texas, Austin
Religion Episcopalian

Kay Bailey Hutchison (born Kathryn Ann Bailey; July 22, 1943) is a former United States Senator from Texas. She is a member of the Republican Party. In 2001, she was named one of the thirty most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal. The first woman to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate, Hutchison also became the first Texas U.S. senator to receive more than four million votes in a single election.

Hutchison was the most senior female Republican senator by the end of her tenure, and the fifth most senior female senator, having assumed office in June 1993 behind Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD, 1987), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA, 1992), Barbara Boxer (D-CA, January 1993), and Patty Murray (D-WA, January 1993).

In 2012, she joined the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani.[1]


  • Early life 1
  • Early career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • United States Senate 4
    • Committee assignments 4.1
    • Caucus memberships 4.2
    • Elections 4.3
      • 1993 4.3.1
      • 1993 indictments for misconduct as Texas Treasurer 4.3.2
      • 1994 election 4.3.3
      • 2000 4.3.4
      • 2006 4.3.5
  • 2010 gubernatorial election 5
  • Political positions 6
    • DREAM Act 6.1
    • Abortion 6.2
    • DC Personal Protection Act 6.3
    • Education 6.4
    • Environmental record 6.5
    • Term limits 6.6
    • Earmarks and appropriations 6.7
    • Financial reform 6.8
    • Bailouts 6.9
  • Recent political activity 7
  • Electoral history 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Early life

Hutchison was born Kathryn Ann Bailey in Galveston, the daughter of Kathryn Ella (née Sharp) and Allan Abner Bailey, Jr.,[2] an insurance agent. She has two brothers, Allan and Frank. Hutchison grew up in La Marque, Texas.

She married her first husband, John Pierce Parks, a medical student, on April 8, 1967 (age 23); they divorced in 1969.[3] She married her second husband, Ray Hutchison, in Dallas on March 16, 1978.[4] They have two adopted children: Kathryn Bailey and Houston Taylor, both adopted in 2001. She also has two stepdaughters, Brenda and Julie, from her husband's previous marriage. Ray Hutchison is a former member of the Texas Legislature, a former state Republican chairman, and ran an unsuccessful bid for the Texas governorship, having lost the Republican nomination in 1978 to Bill Clements, a senior partner with the law firm of Vinson & Elkins, of Dallas.

Hutchison and her family have their primary residence in Dallas, where her children attend school.[5] She has a second house in Virginia, where she lives when the Senate is in session. In August 2009 she put her Virginia house up for sale, and her campaign stated, "She's no longer going to be in the United States Senate. She's coming home to Texas. That's why it's for sale."[6] She has also purchased a house in Nacogdoches, Texas. She is a supporter of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation where she is an honorary board member.[7]

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1962 (age 19). She was also a sister of the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity. She received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1967 (age 24). Following her graduation from law school, she was the legal and political correspondent for KPRC-TV in Houston. Hired by Ray Miller, host of the long-running The Eyes of Texas anthology series, Hutchison was among the first onscreen newswomen in Texas.

Early career

In 1972 (age 29), Hutchison was elected to the Texas House of Representatives from a district in Houston. She served until 1976. She was vice-chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board from 1976 to 1978. She was a candidate for the United States House of Representatives in 1982 for the Dallas-based 3rd District, but was defeated in the primary by Steve Bartlett. She temporarily left politics and became a bank executive and businesswoman.

Kay Bailey Hutchison was a bank executive of a failed bank in Texas and met and married her second husband Ray Hutchison who was the chairman of the Texas Republican Party in 1976 but left in 1977 to pursue his gubernatorial campaign.[8] In 1978, Ray Hutchison lost the nomination to Bill Clements by a vote of 115,345 (72.8 percent) to 38,268 (24.2 percent). Kay met Ray when they were both Texas legislators, and Kay's interest in politics grew exponentially.

Personal life

Hutchison’s husband, Ray Hutchison died on March 30, 2014. He was 81. Ray Hutchison was the chairman of the Texas Republican Party from 1976 to 1977 and ran in the following year's GOP primary for governor but lost to Bill Clements. He served as a state representative for Dallas' district 33-Q from 1973 to 1977. While serving in the state Legislature, he met wife Kay Bailey, then a representative from Houston. They married in 1978 and had two children. He already had two children from a previous marriage. Ray Hutchison was senior counsel with the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.[9] His principal area of practice is public finance, making slightly less than a half million dollars a year in combined salary and deferred compensation.

In addition to her husband's compensation as an attorney, records provided by her campaign show that the couple has a large financial stake in ExxonMobil, valued at between $250,000 and $500,000, along with other stock holdings and equity investments, which have also provided them with a yearly dividend income of about $60,000 a year since 2001.[10] The Hutchison family reported assets of between $2.8 million and $6.7 million in 2008, not including homes used for residential purposes, Senate records show. The Senate records give ranges of asset value, making an exact calculation impossible.[11]

United States Senate

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships



Hutchison was elected Texas State Treasurer in 1990 and served until June 1993 when she ran against Senator Bob Krueger for the right to complete the last two years of Lloyd Bentsen's term. Bentsen had resigned in January 1993 to become Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration. Krueger had been appointed by Texas Governor Ann Richards to fill the seat until a replacement was elected.

A field of 24 candidates sought to fill Bentsen's unexpired term, in the May 1993 special election.[12] The top two vote-getters were Hutchison (593,338, or 29 percent) and Krueger (593,239, also 29 percent). Two conservative Republican congressmen, Joe Barton of Dallas (284,135 or 13.9 percent) and Jack Fields of Houston (277,560, or 13.6 percent) split pro-life voters, but even their combined totals, 561,693, would have placed neither in the runoff. A fifth candidate, Democrat Richard W. Fisher, son-in-law of Republican former U.S. Representative James M. Collins, polled 165,564 votes (8.1 percent); the remaining candidates had about 6 percent combined. Running far behind the pack was the Houston conservative political activist and former crusading journalist Clymer Wright, father of his city's 1991 term-limits initiative. Lou Zaeske, an engineer from Bryan, who in 1988 had spearheaded the English-only movement in Texas, polled barely 2,000 votes.

During the campaign Krueger charged that Hutchison was a "country club Republican" and insensitive to the feelings of minorities.[13] In January, the Houston Chronicle reported that both Hutchison and Fields had promised to serve a maximum of two six-year terms in the Senate as part of her support for term limit legislation for members of Congress. In April, the Dallas Morning News reported that Hutchison had repeated her pledge to serve only two terms in the U.S. Senate, if elected, and had also said term limits ought to cover all senators, including Senator Phil Gramm (Republican), who had been elected in 1984 and re-elected in 1990. (He would stay in the Senate until 2002.) The term-limits legislation never passed, and Hutchison has said that she would not leave the Senate in the absence of such legislation, because doing so would unilaterally hurt Texas at the expense of other states in the seniority-driven institution.

After the initial voting, most of the Barton and Fields voters switched to Hutchison, who won the runoff, 1,188,716 (67.3 percent) to 576,538 (32.7 percent). Lower turnout in the runoff resulted in a decrease in Krueger's vote total, by 17,000. Hutchison became the first woman to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate.

Following Hutchison's election in 1993, Texas has had two sitting Republican U.S. senators.

1993 indictments for misconduct as Texas Treasurer

On June 10, 1993, shortly after the special election victory, Travis County authorities, led by Democratic district attorney Ronnie Earle, raided Hutchison's offices at the State Treasury. The search was conducted without a warrant, as incident to service of the indictments in the case.[14] Subsequently, after two other grand jury indictments were thrown out, Hutchison was indicted a 3rd time [15] by a Texas grand jury in September 1993 for official misconduct and records tampering. Hutchison stated that she was the innocent victim of a politically motivated prosecutor. Earle acknowledged that he had sought appointment by Democratic Governor Ann Richards, to the same U.S. Senate seat which Hutchison was ultimately elected to, but he has denied that his legal actions against Hutchison were politically motivated.[16] The case against Hutchison was heard before State District Judge John Onion in February 1994. Pre-trial motions included a Motion to Quash evidence Earle obtained without a warrant when raiding the Treasurer's office. During pre-trial proceedings, the judge did not rule on admissibility. Following the lack of a ruling, Earle declined to proceed with his case.[14] Onion swore in a jury and directed the jury to acquit Hutchison, since Earle chose not to present evidence.[14] The acquittal barred any future prosecution of Hutchison.[15]

1994 election

In 1994, the election for her first full term, Hutchison received 2,604,281 votes (60.8 percent) to 1,639,615 votes (38.3 percent) cast for Democrat Richard W. Fisher, the son-in-law of the late Republican Congressman James M. Collins, who had also run in the special election the year before.


In 2000 she defeated Democrat Gene Kelly, with 4,082,091 (65 percent) to 2,030,315 (32.2 percent). She carried 237 of the 254 counties, including one of the most Democratic counties, Webb County (Laredo). This was the only time since the early 1900s that Webb County had supported a Republican candidate for any office on a partisan ballot. More than four million Texans voted for Hutchison that year — still the record highest number of actual votes ever cast in Texas for a non-presidential candidate (George W. Bush received 4,526,917 votes in Texas in the 2004 election).


Speculation began in 2004 that Hutchison would run for Governor of Texas in 2006, challenging current Governor Rick Perry in the Republican primary. However, on June 17, 2005, Hutchison announced that she would seek reelection to the Senate instead, reneging on an earlier promise to a two-term limit. Many political analysts speculated that she did not believe she could defeat Perry in the GOP primary because of his popularity among Christian conservatives, while her Senate seat was unlikely to face a serious threat.

Hutchison's Democratic opponent in the November 2006 general election was former Houston attorney and mediator Barbara Ann Radnofsky (born July 8, 1956), who had not previously run for public office. Radnofsky received 44 percent of the vote in the primary and won a runoff election against Gene Kelly with 60 percent of the vote. Kelly had been the unsuccessful Democratic nominee against Hutchison in 2000. Libertarian Scott Lanier Jameson (born July 1, 1966), a real estate consultant from Plano, also ran for the seat.

Radnofsky faced an uphill battle in a state that has not elected a Democrat statewide since 1994, as

Political offices
Preceded by
Ann Richards
Treasurer of Texas
Succeeded by
Martha Whitehead
Party political offices
Preceded by
Beau Boulter
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Texas
(Class 1)

1993, 1994, 2000, 2006
Succeeded by
Ted Cruz
Preceded by
Paul Coverdell
Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference
Succeeded by
John Cornyn
Preceded by
Jon Kyl
Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee
Succeeded by
John Ensign
United States Senate
Preceded by
Bob Krueger
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Texas
Served alongside: Phil Gramm, John Cornyn
Succeeded by
Ted Cruz

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^ Ancestry of Kay Bailey Hutchison
  3. ^ Lawrence Kestenbaum. "Index to Politicians: Hutchison to Hyche". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  4. ^ [4] Archived April 14, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Manu Raju, "Hutchison pressured to stay in Senate", Politico, January 15, 2009.
  6. ^ "Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison puts Virginia house on the market | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Texas Regional News". 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  7. ^ MMRF Honorary Board
  8. ^ "Kay Bailey Hutchison". Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  9. ^ "Bracewell & Giuliani Welcomes New Public Finance Practice | Bracewell & Giuliani". 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  10. ^ "Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s wealth fueled by investments, husband’s income, records show". 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  11. ^ "Kay Bailey Hutchison: Campaign Finance/Money - News Items - Senator 2000". OpenSecrets. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Senator Trails in Texas, and Slugs Alone New York Times 1993-06-03
  14. ^ a b c Fight Over Evidence Results in Acquittal Of Senator in Texas, New York Times, February 12, 1994
  15. ^ a b Fight Over Evidence Results in Acquittal Of Senator in Texas, New York Times, February 12, 1994
  16. ^ Trial To Begin For Texas Senator, Los Angeles Times, February 6, 1994.
  17. ^ [5] Archived August 23, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "SurveyUSA News Poll #9993". Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  19. ^ The Wall Street Journal 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Kay Bailey Hutchison kicks off run for Texas governor".  
  22. ^ "SurveyUSA News Poll #12245". Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  23. ^ Tinsley, Anna (4 December 2010). "Tea Party candidates vow to take on Hutchison is she seeks another term". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 
  24. ^ Tea Party groups protest Hutchison's moves on health care bill BENNING, TOM and GILLMAN, TODD J. The Dallas Morning News December 22, 2009. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  25. ^ [6] Archived December 25, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ a b Hutchison switches to calling herself ‘pro-life’ but doesn’t elaborate | - News for Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  27. ^ "Why "pro-life" Voting Records are Not Enough - May 6, 2005". 2005-05-06. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  28. ^ "The WISH List-Your Partner In Politics!". Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  29. ^ "Federal Legislation - Legislative Action Center". Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  30. ^ Hu, Elise (2010-01-21). "Kay Bailey Hutchison Struggles With Abortion Issue — 2010 Texas Governor's Race". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  31. ^ U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 108th Congress - 1st Session, On the Amendment (Harkin Amdt. No. 260 ).
  32. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison - Interest Group Ratings". 2010-05-14. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  33. ^ Big Oil's 10 favorite members of Congress - MSN Money
  34. ^ Public Theology: Senate Vote on Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  35. ^ Kay Bailey Hutchison on the Issues
  36. ^ Rice University | News & Media
  37. ^ Environmental Zeroes and Heroes of the 104th Congress
  38. ^ "2009 National Environmental Scorecard". Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  39. ^ Schwartz, Barry (2009-11-13). "Hutchison and the Republican Hypocrisy on Term Limits". PERRspectives. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  40. ^ a b Embry, Jason (2009-09-28). "Austin news, sports, weather, Longhorns, business". Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  41. ^ "Citizens Against Government Waste: porkerofthemonth". Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  42. ^ Simberg, Rand. "Blame Congress and Pork, Not NASA". 
  43. ^ Wilkinson, Everett. "TEA Party Catches Congress Hiding Earmark In Space". Tea Party Wire. 
  44. ^ Gasser, Andrew. "Are Republican Senators Trying to Kill NASA?". Tea Party in Space. 
  45. ^ McClintock, Tom. "Letter to Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States" (PDF). 
  46. ^ Alan, Boyle. "SpaceX fans and foes speak out". Cosmic Log. MSNBC. 
  47. ^ "Prime Cuts Summary: June 2011" (PDF). Citizens Against Government Waste. 
  48. ^ "Newt Gingrich calls Space Launch System "disgraceful" pork". Space Frontier Foundation. 
  49. ^ “” (2010-04-28). "Kay Bailey Hutchison on Fox Business Discussing Financial Reform". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  50. ^ The Washington Post 
  51. ^ "Hutchison set to declare for governor today".  
  52. ^ "Cathie Adams refuses to withdraw endorsement of Rick (Perry)"., October 26, 2009. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  53. ^ Root, Jay (November 13, 2010). "Hutchison won't resign seat before Texas primary". The Seattle Times. The Associated Press. 
  54. ^ "Texas GOP Sen. Hutchison to stay in Senate". News 8 Austin (TWEAN News Channel of Austin, L.P.). March 31, 2010. 
  55. ^ Benning, Tom (May 28, 2010). "Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison undecided on running, but foes aren't". ( 
  56. ^ Janda, Greg (January 13, 2011). "Sen. Hutchison Won't Run for Re-Election in 2012".  
  57. ^ Zernike, Kate (May 18, 2008). "She Just Might Be President Someday". New York Times. 
  58. ^ Hardball with Chris Matthews. MSNBC (2012-06-04). Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  59. ^ "Zac Crain, Is Jason Villalba the Future of the Texas GOP? Meet the only political candidate that Mitt Romney has endorsed".  
  60. ^ "H.R. 2289 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  61. ^ "H.R. 2289 - Legislative Digest". House Republicans. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  62. ^ "Public Law No: 113-22". Government Printing Office. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  63. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  64. ^ Senatorial election results, for the special election in 1993


*Lloyd Bentsen resigned his seat to become Secretary of the Treasury; Hutchison won the runoff special election in 1993 to fill out the remainder of his term.

Texas Senator (Class I): Results 1988–2006[63][64]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 4th Party Party Votes Pct
1988 Lloyd Bentsen* 3,149,806 59% Beau Boulter 2,129,228 40% Jeff Daiell Libertarian 43,989 1%
1993 Bob Krueger 576,538 33% Kay Bailey Hutchison 1,188,716 67%
1994 Richard W. Fisher 1,639,615 38% Kay Bailey Hutchison 2,604,218 61% Pierre Blondeau Libertarian 36,107 1%
2000 Gene Kelly 2,025,024 32% Kay Bailey Hutchison 4,078,954 65% Douglas Sandage Green 91,329 1% Mary Ruwart Libertarian 72,657 1%
2006 Barbara Ann Radnofsky 1,555,202 36% Kay Bailey Hutchison 2,661,789 62% Scott Jameson Libertarian 97,672 2%

Electoral history

In 2013, during the 113th United States Congress, the House of Representatives passed a bill to rename IRC section 219(c) as the Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal IRA.[60] Getting married women working from home the ability to contribute to IRAs was one of her accomplishments in Congress that she was the most proud of.[61] On July 25, 2013, the bill became Public Law 113-22.[62]

In 2012, when she was not seeking reelection, Hutchison endorsed the young Hispanic lawyer Jason Villalba, whom described at the time as "the future", for the District 114 seat in the Texas House of Representatives vacated by Republican Will Ford Hartnett. Villalba defeated former Representative Bill Keffer, brother of Representative Jim Keffer, in the Republican runoff election. A lawyer for Haynes and Boone in Dallas and a member of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, Villalba thereafter won the general election and took his seat in January 2013.[59]

In 2008, she was cited by The New York Times to be among the women most likely to become the first female President of the United States.[57] On June 22, 2011, Hutchison told Chris Matthews on Hardball with Chris Matthews that she had pondered running for president, but said she could not run in the 2012 election because of the needs of her two 10-year-old adopted children.[58]

On January 13, 2011, after some discussion about whether she would change her mind,[55] Hutchison announced she would not seek re-election in 2012.[56]

On November 13, 2009, Hutchison announced that she would not resign from the Senate seat until after the March 2, 2010 primary.[53] On March 31, 2010, she announced her intention to serve out her third term.[54]

Hutchison announced her intention to resign her Senate post in the autumn of 2009 in order to challenge Texas Governor Perry for the Republican Party nomination.[51] State Republican Chairman Cathie Adams later called upon Hutchison to clarify when she would vacate the Senate so that other Republican candidates can make preparation for their races.[52]

Kay Bailey Hutchison at the LBJ Presidential Library.

Recent political activity

Senator Hutchison voted for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.,[40] which authorized the creation of the Troubled Assets Relief Program.


When questioned on Fox Business Network whether she was worried about her constituents turning on her for continuing to block financial reform of banks and financial institutions, Hutchison said, "If we just vote by polls that's wrong, we have to do what's right. This is not a Wall Street Bill this is a mainstream Bill that needs to cover throughout the financial industry. The problem was not mainstream banks. We need to make sure that we don't over-regulate the mainstream banks so they can't loan to small business." [49] Hutchison decided to vote for Senate Republican amendments to the financial reform bill before eventually voting against HR 4173, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, on May 20, 2010.[50]

Financial reform

Other Republicans have criticized the SLS earmark, which has even become an issue in the Presidential primary. At a town meeting hosted by the Dallas Tea Party, Presidential Candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich criticized politicians supporting the Space Launch System, "I think it is disgraceful the way getting into space has been turned into a political pork-barrel. It’s an abuse of the taxpayer and an abuse of America’s future.”[48]

Citizens Against Government Waste has consistently opposed the SLS earmark as well. According to CAGW, "The private sector should be relied upon to fulfill the U.S. mission in space. If the U.S. has a requirement for a heavy-lift launch vehicle to carry beyond low-Earth orbit, there should be a new, full and open competition to determine the best path forward." [47]

Immediately after the first successful test flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Hutchison issued a statement dismissing the value of SpaceX, which has approximately 10% of its workforce in Texas and is one of the fastest growing employers in the state. "This first successful test flight of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is a belated sign that efforts to develop modest commercial space cargo capabilities are showing some promising signs," Hutchison said. "While this test flight was important, the program to demonstrate commercial cargo and crew transport capabilities, which I support, was intended to enhance not replace NASA's own proven abilities to deliver critical cargo and humans to low Earth orbit. Make no mistake, even this modest success is more than a year behind schedule, and the project deadlines of other private space companies continue to slip as well. This test does not change the fact that commercial space programs are not ready to close the gap in human spaceflight if the space shuttle is retired this year with no proven replacement capability and the Constellation program is simultaneously canceled as the president proposes."[46]

Ironically, the SLS earmark primarily benefits the Marshall Space Flight Center, which is not located in Hutchison's home state. To fund SLS development, Hutchison supports cutting funds for NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program, which would rely on private companies such as Space Exploration Technologies and Blue Origin (both of which have significant operations in Texas). Critics contend that building SLS would increase the cost of access to space and result in long-term cutbacks in NASA's human spaceflight program, based in Houston, Texas.

Hutchison continues to support earmarks despite a moratorium called for by the Republican Party in both houses of Congress. She is a strong supporter of the Space Launch System, also known as the Senate Launch System, the single largest earmark in the Federal budget[42] and possibly the single large earmark in US history. The SLS earmark has been opposed by fiscal conservative groups, including the Tea Party.,[43][44] as well as space-exploration advocacy groups. Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA) has expressed "serious concerns with NASA's attempt to avoid holding a full and open competition to acquire the SLS." Rep. McClintock "stringly believe[s] that such a de facto sole source award would be a violation of the 1984 Competition in Contracting Act." Rep. McClintock has asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate the SLS earmark.[45]

Hutchison's earmarks and appropriations have been criticized as pork barrel projects or pet projects by the non-partisan government watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste. CAGW recognized Hutchison's efforts by naming her "Porker of the Month" in October 2009, based on her extensive legislative history, in addition to her request for 149 such pork projects worth $1.6 billion in FY 2010.[41]

Hutchison supports the practice of earmarking as a way to bring Federal government money to her constituents. Hutchison, through her assignment on the Senate's appropriations committee, has been influential in directing Federal funds to projects in her state. In FY 2008 and FY 2009, Hutchison sponsored or co-sponsored 281 earmarks totaling almost $500 million. In an interview with the Austin American-Statesman, Hutchison expressed her pride in the practice as a way to, "garner Texans' fair share of their tax dollars." [40]

Earmarks and appropriations

Hutchison has proposed limiting Texas governors to two four-year terms. She promised not to serve more than two terms as U.S. Senator, but then changed her mind and ran for a third term. She has made many statements concerning whether she would continue in office which were subsequently refuted by herself when she decided to remain in office as U.S. Senator.[39]

Term limits

In 2006, Hutchison received more campaign contributions from members of large oil and gas corporations than any other member of Congress.[33] In 2005, Hutchison voted against prohibiting oil leasing in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and has supported legislation promoting drilling in the refuge in 2002 and 2003. In 2005 she also voted against including oil and gas smokestacks in the Environmental Protection Agency's mercury regulations.[34][35] In 1999, she voted to remove funding for renewable and solar energy, although she has more recently stated she supports the development of alternative energy sources.[36] According to the League of Conservation Voters environmental scorecard, Hutchison received a rating of zero — the lowest possible score — in the 104th Congress.[37] However, they have since upgraded her to a grade of 18% in the 110th Congress[38]

Environmental record

Hutchison is a strong supporter of single-sex education in public schools. In 2001, she worked with Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) to write provisions into the No Child Left Behind Act (specifically sections 5131.a.23 and 5131c) authorizing single-sex education in public schools. Section 5131c required the Department of Education to write new regulations facilitating single-sex classrooms; this provision led to the publication of new regulations by the Department of Education in 2006 which do in fact facilitate single-sex education in public schools. She is a supporter of the U.S. Public Service Academy.


Hutchison proposed the "District of Columbia Personal Protection Act," which drew 31 cosponsors in the United States Senate, while drawing 157 cosponsors from the House. This bill would have protected gun rights of DC citizens by dismantling the handgun bans the city had in place for thirty years. DC's law states that one may not possess a rifle or shotgun unless it is in disassembled and inoperative form, and may not possess pistols in any form. In 2008, the law was struck down in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, District of Columbia v. Heller.

DC Personal Protection Act

While in the Texas House of Representatives (1973 to 1977), Hutchison worked, along with Sarah Weddington (the attorney who won Roe v. Wade), to protect rape victims from having their names published.

Hutchison's position on abortion has been nuanced.[26] She has served on the Advisory Board of The Wish List (Women in the Senate and House), a political action committee which contributes to pro-choice female Republican candidates for Congress. She is no longer on the board,[27] and the PAC did not endorse her in 2006.[28] However, Hutchison has frequently voted to restrict access to abortion. Her average score from the NRLC between the years of 1997 and 2010 is 93%, with her highest score being 100% and lowest being 75%.[29] NARAL Pro-Choice Texas executive director Sara Cleveland once said, "By our definition, Sen. Hutchison's voting record does not indicate that she is pro-choice."[30] She also believes that the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade was appropriate and should not be overturned,[31] but is opposed to the Freedom of Choice Act because it would restrict the right of states to impose restrictions on abortion. In past years, NARAL has given Hutchison ratings of 0%, 7%, 20%, and 0%, indicating that her voting record mostly favored enacting proposed abortion restrictions.[32] In 2012, Hutchison's spokesman indicated that she identified as pro-life, at that time, the leader of the Texas Alliance for Life reportedly stated that "we do not think the term ‘pro-life’ describes Sen. Hutchison’s position on abortion."[26]


Kay Bailey Hutchison told some Republicans in a letter that she will not be in support of the DREAM Act in a letter dated 9 December 2010.[25]


Hutchison broke ranks with her Republican colleagues and opposed an attempt to stall the Democrats' health-care bill in the Senate.[24]

The National Journal's opinion is disputed by many Texas Republicans and Tea Party members, however. Konni Burton, a member of the Northeast Tarrant Tea Party steering committee, said "She personifies everything that the Tea Party is fighting. She is a Republican, but when you check her votes on many issues, they are not ones that conservatives are happy with."[23] "On fiscal issues, she is more loyal to her friends and special interests than to the people of Texas," according to Adrian Murray, president of the grassroots 912 Project Fort Worth.

The National Journal ranked Hutchison as follows in its 2004 rankings, which are based on various key votes relating to economic policy, social policy, and foreign policy: "Economic: 26% Liberal, 73% Conservative; Social: 38% Liberal, 60% Conservative; Foreign: 0% Liberal, 67% Conservative. Although a loyal conservative Republican, she has been known to cross over to the other side on a few issues. She is more likely to do this than either Phil Gramm or his successor John Cornyn." A poll that was released on June 19, 2007, showed that Hutchison had an approval rating of 58%, with 34% disapproving.[22]

From 2001 to 2007, Hutchison served as Chairwoman of the Senate Republican Conference (caucus), making her the fifth-ranking Republican in the Senate behind Majority Leader Bill Frist, Majority Whip Mitch McConnell and conference chairman Rick Santorum, and Policy Chairman Jon Kyl. In 2007, Hutchison succeeded Jon Kyl as the Policy Chair for Senate Republicans, the fourth ranking leadership position in the Republican caucus behind Minority Leader McConnell, Minority Whip, and conference chairman Kyl.

In June 2000, Hutchison and her Senate colleagues coauthored Nine and Counting: The Women of the Senate. In 2004, her book, American Heroines: The Spirited Women Who Shaped Our Country, was published.

Hutchison speaking

Hutchison served on the following Senate committees: Appropriations; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Rules and Administration; Veterans' Affairs. During her time in the Senate, Hutchison has been a strong supporter of NASA.

Political positions

On August 17, 2009, Senator Hutchison formally announced that she was a James Baker, former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, legendary baseball player Nolan Ryan, and several current and former congressmen and Cabinet secretaries. However, Hutchison lost the primary to Perry, 31 to 53 percent, with the remainder of the vote going to Debra Medina, a dark horse candidate with ties to the Tea Party movement.

2010 gubernatorial election

On election night 2006, Hutchison won re-election to another term, winning 2,661,789 votes (61.7%). Radnofsky won 1,555,202 votes (36.04%).[20] Radnofsky only won in base Democratic areas, carrying only border counties with strong Hispanic majorities, such as El Paso and Webb (Laredo) and in Travis County (Austin). Hutchison won everything else, having won majorities in 236 of the state's 254 counties.

The authors stated "...Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who got 65 percent of the vote in 2000, is a safe bet to win a third term." [19] The Zogby poll, in contrast, showed a closer result, but still showed Hutchison with a 17.3 percent lead — the highest of any incumbent Republican Zogby tracks.[18] The Survey USA Poll, which is not a head-to-head matchup, but only lists approval ratings of incumbents, found Hutchison with a 61 percent approval rating.[17]

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