Kay Bailey Hutchison on The Economy

Last Updated : Nov 04, 2010

Summary

As a member of the banking committee, Senator Hutchison has been deeply involved with the economic legislation that has passed in recent years. In 2008, she supported the stimulus package put forth by President Bush in the form of targeted tax rebates.

When the economic collapse of 2008 occurred, Senator Hutchison was generally supportive of the creation of the TARP program. She released a press statement noting that congress needed to take steps to alleviate the credit crunch, but that the steps must ensure that taxpayers did not assume unreasonable risk and not merely saddle the next generation with debt. Senator Hutchison voted in favor of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act which created the TARP bailout. This was counter to an article that Senator Hutchison had written just days before that stated her opposition to such measure and the dangers they represented.

When campaigning for Texas Governor, Senator Hutchison was asked the constitutional basis for this vote and was unable to provide such justification. She stated that she only voted to authorize the initial $250 Billion and that she would not have voted to authorize the program if she knew how the money would eventually be used. She noted that congress was told that the economy would collapse if they did not act immediately. In the end, Senator Hutchison opposed the second installment of the TARP funds and introduced a failed amendment to end the TARP program. She also supported measures to retrieve bonuses paid out to AIG executives after the TARP payments had been made.

Senator Hutchison opposed the stimulus plan from the beginning. She stated that while she was not opposed to stimulus, the spending proposed in the 2009 stimulus was not targeted to job creation and extended out for up to a decade. She stated that the size of the package was excessive and that she would rather see targeted tax cuts. After the passage of the 2009 stimulus, Senator Hutchison expressed opposition to any further stimulus spending.

Senator Hutchison expressed a great deal of concern over the closure of car dealerships as part of the reorganization of GM after the government bailout. She went through a great deal of effort to ensure that GM repurchased the cars from dealerships that it was closing and to ensure that dealerships were not closed so that GM could start another dealership with a better contract.

Senator Hutchison also strongly opposed the 2010 wall street reform legislation. She stated that the bill did not do enough to end "too big to fail," and that there was not enough Republican involvement. Senator Hutchison specifically objected to the $50 Billion fund for insolvent banks and wanted to ensure that there was no government bailout beyond that limit. She objected to the division of banks among those with more and less than $50 billion, and was hesitant of the creation of a new government bureaucracy.

When discussing the "Cash for Clunkers" program, Senator Hutchison noted that she would not support funding for the program beyond it's original amount. 

In 2010, Senator Hutchison attempted to pass an amendment to allow small businesses to be exempted from the reporting requirements of Sarbanes-Oxeley. She noted that the reports caused a large burden on small businesses that had to comply with the requirements without the benefit of a department dedicated to that task. 

 

Support for the Bush Stimulus

In January of 2008, Senator Hutchison appeared on MSNBC and spoke about the Bush stimulus.

 

TARP Support and Opposition

In September of 2008, Senator Hutchison released a press statement titled "Bailouts Hurt Taxpayers and Set a Dangerous Precedent". In this article, she noted the dangers of a bailout and stated her opposition to such a program.

That same month, Senator Hutchison released a press statement noting that while she agreed some actions needed to be taken to stabilize the market, actions should be taken to ensure that taxpayers were protected from unnecessary risk.

In August of 2009, Senator Hutchison was campaigning for the Governor's seat in Texas and was interviewed on an Austin radio show. She was asked to justify the constitutionality of the TARP program and to justify her vote in favor of the program, but was unable to provide a constitutional basis and stated that the program had changed from it's intended course.

In January of 2010, as part of a bill to increase the national debt limit, Senator Hutchison introduced an amendment to end the TARP. She stated that the proceeds of the bill were supposed to be used to pay down the debt and this has not happened.

 

Opposition to the 2009 Stimulus

In January of 2009, Senator Hutchison spoke at a press conference with numerous other Republicans to oppose the rapid pace of the stimulus bill and the ineffectiveness of the stimulus within it. She stated that she supported stimulus plans, but that the one being presented was not the correct type.

In February of 2009, Senator Hutchison appeared on Fox News and discussed the overall opposition to the stimulus bill and the content of the bill in question. Senator Hutchison also spoke on the Senate floor numerous times about her opposition to the bill process and contents. She also released a press statement noting her opposition to the stimulus bill.

 

On The AIG Bonuses

In March of 2009, Senator Hutchison appeared on MSNBC to support taxing members of AIG who received a bonus after the company was bailed out in the TARP program.

 

On the GM Bailout

In June of 2009, Senator Hutchison released a press statement noting her discomfort at the fact that the government now controls 60% of GM stock. She also expresses pessimism at the method that the dealerships to be closed will be dealt with in the coming days.

 

On Reorganization of Auto Dealerships

Senator Hutchison was very involved in the closing of certain auto dealers due to the government backed reorganization of GM. She spoke on numerous news outlets regarding the process and her involvement. The clips below show her questioning the Chrysler President on June 3, 2009, an appearance she made prior to that hearing, and some portions of a subsequent speech on the house floor concerning the matter. She notes that her objections to the closings are that some appear to violate the contracts between Chrysler and the dealerships.

Senator Hutchison also released a press statement in June of 2009 noting her support for a GM decision to commit to redistribute the inventory of the closed GM dealerships.

 

On Wall Street Reform

In April and May of 2010, Senator Hutchison appeared on numerous news and economic shows to express her opposition to the wall street reform legislation that was being passed in the House and Senate. She stated that the bill did not do enough to end "too big to fail," and that the bill did not do enough to protect the small banks with less than $50 Billion. She objected to the lack of Republican involvement in the bill procedure. She also spoke on the Senate floor in May to articulate her opposition to the legislation.

  

Opposition to Additional Stimulus

In December of 2009, Senator Hutchison released a press statement noting her opposition to additional stimulus funds. She cites the mismanagement of previous funds as one reason.

 

Sarbanes-Oxeley Amendment

I May of 2010, Senator Hutchison spoke on the Senate floor about an amendment that she was putting forth to exempt a small business with less than $150 Million in assets to comply with the reporting requirements of Sarbanes-Oxeley.

 

Cash for Clunkers

The original vote to authorize the "Cash for Clunkers" program was wrapped in a larger bill. In August of 2009, Senator Hutchison came out in opposition to giving more money to the program.

 

 

Voting Record

Wall Street Reform

In 2010, the Senate passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009. The legislation consolidated many financial regulatory agencies, increased transparency in the derivatives market, regulation of credit rating agencies, and a "resolution regime" to resolve insolvent banks. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the Wall Street Reform Legislation.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the Wall Street Reform Legislation.

The Stimulus

After the stimulus passed the House, the conference report was voted on to pass the unified version. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the Stimulus in the final vote.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the Stimulus in the final vote.

The Stimulus

The Obama stimulus package passed through the Senate in January of 2009 and received the support of all Democrats and three Republicans. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the stimulus in the initial vote.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the stimulus in the initial vote.

TARP Funds - Disapproval of Second Installment

In January of 2009, the Senate voted to released the second half of TARP funds to President Obama. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the resolution and against the second installment of TARP funds.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the resolution and against the second installment of TARP funds.

Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009

The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 was a program designed to assist those who may be able to remain in their home with a modest amount of government assistance. The bill got wide bi-partisan support in the Senate and passed 91-5. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.

Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)

The TARP program was designed to prevent the failure of large banks by purchasing their "troubled assets" and allowing them to move them off their records as liabilities. The bill received both bipartisan support and bipartisan opposition and passed 74-25 with the two parties making up about half of each vote. In January of 2009, the Senate voted on granting the second half of the TARP funds to President Obama. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the TARP program.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the TARP program.

The Bush Stimulus

In early 2008, the Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008 was passed in an attempt to stimulate the economy. Also known as the Bush Stimulus, the act consisted largely of checks sent to individuals. The bill received wide bipartisan support and passed the Senate 81-16. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Bush Stimulus.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Bush Stimulus.

Bankruptcy Reform

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 completely redefined bankruptcy in the United States. The bill made it much more '); echo('for people to walk away from unsecured debt, such as credit cards, and permitted the court to award some compensation to creditors in the event that a bankruptcy was awarded. The bill got bipartisan support and passed 74-25. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Bankruptcy Reform bill.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Bankruptcy Reform bill.

American Jobs Creation Act

The American Jobs Creation Act was a Republican plan that was signed into law in the summer of 2004. The legislation ending some taxes in the agriculture industry, reduced corporate tax rates from 35% to 32%, reduced taxation on overseas income, and provisions to help companies invest in equipment. It passed the Senate 69-17.

Sarbanes-Oxley

In response to Enron and other accounting scandals, Congress passed a bill which imposed a number of book-keeping and accounting regulations on several industries. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The bill received almost unanimous support in the Senate and passed in a 99-1 vote. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of Sarbanes-Oxley.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of Sarbanes-Oxley.

Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999

Also known as GRAMM-LEACH-BLILEY ACT, this legislation ended the Glass-Stegall rule that separated banking institutions from investment institutions. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-112; Bill Number-S 18; Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal a provision (added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) that extends to corporations that are not tax-exempt the requirement to report payments of $600 or more. Rescinds $39 billion of appropriated but unobligated discretionary funds. Exempts unobligated funds of the Department of Defense (DOD) or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to determine and identify from which appropriation accounts such rescissions shall apply and report to the Secretary of the Treasury and Congress on such rescissions.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 64; A bill to amend the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to require approval by the Congress for certain expenditures for the Troubled Asset Relief Program - Cosponsor

Amends the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to revise the process for exercising the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to make purchases of troubled assets in excess of the $350 billion previously obligated.Changes the Joint Resolution of Disapproval, regarding the exercise of such authority, to a Joint Resolution of Approval. Prohibits the Secretary from exercising authority to make such purchases unless a joint resolution approving the plan is enacted into law within 15 calendar days after Congress receives a report of the Secretary's plan to exercise the authority.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 3578; Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal a provision (added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) that extends to corporations that are not tax-exempt the requirement to report payments of $600 or more.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 541; The Depositor Protection Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Amends the Federal Deposit Insurance Act to increase from $30 billion to $100 billion the maximum sum that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is authorized to borrow from the Secretary of the Treasury. Authorizes a temporary increase, through calendar 2010, in such borrowing authority, up to a maximum of $500 billion, if the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the President, determines that additional amounts above $100 billion are necessary, pursuant to the written recommendation of the FDIC Board of Directors and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve Board).

Session-111; Bill Number-S 64; A bill to amend the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to require approval by the Congress for certain expenditures for the Troubled Asset Relief Program - Cosponsor

Amends the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to revise the process for exercising the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to make purchases of troubled assets in excess of the $350 billion previously obligated.Changes the Joint Resolution of Disapproval, regarding the exercise of such authority, to a Joint Resolution of Approval. Prohibits the Secretary from exercising authority to make such purchases unless a joint resolution approving the plan is enacted into law within 15 calendar days after Congress receives a report of the Secretary's plan to exercise the authority.

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