Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX-Senate)i
Senate links: Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX-Senate)i
Kay Bailey Hutchison, Senator, retiring at end of present term
Biography of Kay Bailey Hutchison from Senate.gov
In 1993, Texans elected Kay Bailey Hutchison to the United States Senate in a special election, making her the first – and, to date, the only – woman elected to represent the state in the Senate. One year later, she was re-elected to a full six-year term. In 2000, she received more votes for her re-election to a second full term than any other statewide candidate had ever received. And in 2006, she was again re-elected by an overwhelming margin. Senator Hutchison is the Ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Additionally, she serves on the Appropriations Committee, and the Committee on Rules and Administration. In the 112th Congress Senator Hutchison serves as the Ranking Republican Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, and Science. Senator Hutchison is a member of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly (RNHA) National Advisory Committee.
In 2008, Senator Hutchison authored an amicus curiae brief for the Supreme Court case DC v. Heller, affirming an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. Her brief was signed by the Vice President of the United States and by more members of Congress than any other brief in U.S. history.
Senator Hutchison has consistently championed tax relief for working families. In recent years, she has led the fight to provide relief from the marriage income tax penalty and to reestablish the deduction for state and local sales taxes for Texans. Senator Hutchison has worked to reduce marginal income tax rates, eliminate the death tax, and lower taxes on capital gains.
Early in her Senate career, she was the lead sponsor of a bill to create the new Homemaker IRA. It allows spouses who do not work outside the home to save for retirement through an IRA.
Defense and Foreign Policy
Sen. Hutchison is one of the top advocates for a strong military and national defense and has fought hard to improve the quality of life for our armed forces and veterans. She introduced and passed legislation creating an Overseas Basing Commission, which conducted a comprehensive review of the U.S. military’s global footprint to help ensure that our Armed Forces are prepared to meet 21st century threats. Sen. Hutchison has served as the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. She is currently a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and serves on the Board of Visitors for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
She was instrumental in the passage of the National Intelligence Reform Act, which included provisions she authored to ensure greater screening of air cargo. That legislation instructs the Transportation Security Administration to establish a database of known shippers, develop facility security plans, and mandate the use of worker identification cards. The senator has also secured funding for an additional 1,500 Border Patrol agents to strengthen the enforcement of immigration laws. During her term as Chairman of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Aviation, she played a major role in drafting the airline security bill passed by Congress after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Education and Science
Since she was first elected to the Senate in 1993, Senator Hutchison has established a well-deserved reputation as one of the Senate’s leading advocates for science, technology, education, and competitiveness. In 2007, she helped pass the America COMPETES Act, which increased federal investments in these critical areas. During her tenure in the Senate, Texas has moved to third in the nation in receipt of federal research and development expenditures.
In 2010, the America COMPETES Act, legislation reauthorizing the two science agencies responsible for supporting basic research, passed the U.S. Congress with overwhelming support. Sen. Hutchison included a provision in the bill enabling participating colleges and universities to allow students who major in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) to concurrently become certified as elementary and secondary school teachers.
In 2004, Senator Hutchison was instrumental in establishing The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST), and serves as its honorary chairman. She saw the need to provide broader recognition of Texas’ top achievers in medicine, engineering and science, and to build a stronger identity for Texas as an important destination and center of achievement in these fields. In just six years, The Academy has increased its memberships in the National Academies by 62.
From January 2005 to December 2007, Senator Hutchison served as the Chairman, and then the Ranking Member, of the Science and Space Subcommittee of the Commerce Committee, overseeing NASA and the National Science Foundation. In December of 2005, the president signed into law the Senator’s five-year blueprint for NASA’s exploration and research initiatives. In 2010, Senator Hutchison helped to pass the NASA Reauthorization bill that bolsters America’s human spaceflight capabilities while balancing commercial space investment with a robust mission for NASA.
In the 112th Congress, Senator Hutchison has introduced legislation that would reverse some of the harmful effects of President Obama’s health care law.
Sen. Hutchison’s Patients Freedom to Choose Act [S. 312] would repeal provisions that restrict the popular health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts that help patients maximize their health care dollars. Additionally, the Senator introduced the SOS (Save Our States) Act [S. 281] that would place a moratorium on any further implementation of the Obama health care law pending final resolution of the lawsuits. This will allow states and businesses to stop spending millions of taxpayer dollars to implement a law that may ultimately be found unconstitutional.
In 2006, Senator Hutchison led efforts to repeal the anti-competitive Wright Amendment, which limited flights out of Dallas Love Field Airport. Originally intended to encourage growth at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the harmful provision artificially inflated air fares at both airports. At the Senator’s encouragement, airlines and airport owners reached an historic agreement — now enacted into law — that removes unfair barriers and restrictions at Love Field.
The Senator’s Texas roots run deep. Thomas Rusk of Nacogdoches was the first Texan to hold the U.S. Senate seat she currently occupies. He and Senator Hutchison’s great-great-grandfather, Charles S. Taylor, were friends, and both signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Senator Hutchison grew up in La Marque, Texas and graduated from the University of Texas and UT Law School. She was twice elected to the Texas House of Representatives. In 1990, she was elected Texas State Treasurer. In June 2000, she and several colleagues coauthored Nine and Counting: The Women of the Senate, and in 2004, she released her second book, American Heroines: The Spirited Women Who Shaped Our Country. Sen. Hutchison published her most recent bestseller, Leading Ladies: American Trailblazers, in October 2007.
The senator lives in Dallas with her husband, Ray, and their two children, Bailey and Houston.
Awards And Recognition(Partial List)
- 112th Congress Silver Mouse Award, Congressional Management Foundation, (*recognizing the best websites on Capitol Hill), 2011
- Kodak American Greenways National Award, The Conservation Fund 2011
- American Conservative Union Conservative for the 111th Congress, Second Session 2011
- Quasar Award, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, 2011
- Texas Council on Family Violence Outstanding Leader Award 2010
- Air Force Association Distinguished American Award, 2008
- Sewall-Belmont House and Museum’s Alice Award, 2007
- Connie Mack Lifetime Achievement Award from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, 2007
- National Guard Association of Texas Charles Dick Medal of Merit, 2006
- Association of the United States Army Outstanding Legislator Award, 2006
- American Legion National Commander’s Distinguished Public Service Award, 2006
- Forbes Magazine’s 2005 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women
- Deep East Texas Council of Governments 2005 Legislator of the Year
- Named “Mr. South Texas” by the Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association for 2005
- Women’s Foreign Policy Group Inaugural Congressional Leadership Award, 2004
- Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, National Leadership Award, 2002
- National Military Family Association Award for Service to Military Families, 2001
- CLEAT Award for Support of Law Enforcement, 2000
- Texas Women’s Chamber of Commerce 100 Most Influential Texas Women of the Century, 1999
- Texan of the Year, Texas Legislative Conference, 1997
- Inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, 1997
- Republican Woman of the Year by the National Federation of Republican Women, 1995
- Outstanding Alumna, University of Texas, 1995