Kay Bailey Hutchinson

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. Sen. Hutchison is the Senior 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 110th Congress, Sen. Hutchison served as the Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. Sen. Hutchison is a member of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly (RNHA) National Advisory Committee, and she is Chairman of the West Point Board of Visitors.

In 2008, Sen. 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.

Defense and Foreign Policy

Senator Hutchison has played a vital role in shaping America's defense policy and fulfilling our nation's promises to our 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. She currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Visitors for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Homeland Security

The senator worked to secure funding for an additional 1,500 Border Patrol agents to strengthen the enforcement of immigration laws. In 2004, she helped pass 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.

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.

Tax Relief and Family Support

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.

Education and Science

Senator Hutchison has authored legislation to help recruit mid-career professionals and retirees into teaching positions. A provision included by Senator Hutchison in the No Child Left Behind Act requires "report cards" that give parents regular updates on the performance of their child's school. Senator Hutchison was also able to allow parents to place their children in a single-gender school or classroom by removing barriers that prevented local school districts from offering this choice.

Senator Hutchison was instrumental in establishing The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST). It is the centerpiece of her effort to support research and development while promoting Texas as a science state. During her tenure in the U.S. Senate, Texas has moved to third in the nation in receipt of federal research and development expenditures.

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 the 112th Congress, Senator Hutchison serves as the ranking member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science.

Transportation

In December of 2007, Senator Hutchison became the Ranking Member of the Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security Subcommittee, having led efforts in 2006 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 will remove unfair barriers and restrictions at Love Field.

Personal History

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)

  • 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
 
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