Entries in Kay Bailey Hutchison (2)


Government Shutdown Averted, But Bigger Fights on Horizon

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The government is up and running as usual Saturday thanks to an 11th hour deal struck Friday night by negotiators on Capitol Hill, but the intensity of the past week will be nothing compared to the coming battle over even larger spending issues.

As Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Tex., said in an interview last night, the fight over whether or not to raise the debt limit “is going to be Armageddon.”

“We have to see reforms before the debt ceiling is raised … or we would be in danger of having to face this again in another year or two, which we cannot do” Hutchison said in an interview on CNN. “We cannot sustain a $14 trillion debt.”

Her Republican counterpart from Texas, Sen. John Cornyn, tweeted Saturday, “Now on to the main event: the debt limit. Huge leverage for systemic fiscal reform.”

So how did both sides reach the agreement that avoided closing down the federal government?

“In the final hours before our government would have been forced to shut down, leaders in both parties reached an agreement,” President Obama said against the backdrop of the Washington Monument Friday night. “Beginning to live within our means is the only way to protect those investments that will help America compete for new jobs -- investments in our kids’ education and student loans; in clean energy and life-saving medical research. We protected the investments we need to win the future.”

The agreement would cut about $38 billion from the 2010 budget baseline and $78.5 billion from President Obama's 2011 budget proposal, officials said. It also would keep intact funding to Planned Parenthood and resist several other Republican-proposed policy changes.

“At the end of the day,” President Obama said, “this was a debate about spending cuts, not social issues like women’s health and the protection of our air and water. These are important issues that deserve discussion -- just not during a debate about our budget.”

The House and Senate passed temporary resolutions to keep the government funded after midnight, when funding was scheduled to run out. A full agreement will need to be drafted and passed by Congress next week. The short-term “bridge,” as House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, described it last night, includes the first $2 billion in cuts.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Debt Looms Large on Senators' Minds

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. and Kent Conrad, D-N.D. told ABC News they want to hear President Obama talk about solving the nation's growing debt problem when he speaks to the nation on Tuesday in his State of the Union address.

Lieberman said he wants Obama's speech to "deal with the biggest long-term threat to America's strength and our economy and that is the debt.  And I hope the President will really be hands on and say he's willing to take political risks if we are, to get America's books back in balance for the sake of our children and grandchildren."

Sen. Conrad explained why the country's debt is so difficult to address.

"The American people say: don't touch Social Security, don't touch Medicare, don't cut defense.  That's 84 percent of the federal budget.  If you can't touch 84 percent of the federal budget -- and, by the way, they also don't want to touch revenue.  You're down to 16 percent of the budget, at a time where we're borrowing forty cents of every dollar they spend," Conrad said.

"There needs to be leadership to help the American people understand how serious this problem is and that it's going to take a lot more than cutting foreign aid and taxing the rich," Conrad explained.  "You're not going to solve the issue that way."

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, on the other hand, told ABC News that she was less concerned with the content of Obama's speech and more concerned with his follow-through on helping businesses.

"Will he really get his regulatory commissions to cut back on the regulations that are hurting the growth of business?  Will he agree to some changes in the Obamacare which is keeping people from hiring?  I can tell you, I'm all over my state.  That's what I hear," Hutchison said.  "They're not going to hire people if they are looking at these big fines and big expenses in the health care bill."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio