From Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, on her decision to serve out her term in the U.S. Senate:
An Open Letter to the People of Texas:
Thank you for the great privilege and responsibility of representing you in the United States Senate. Immediately after the conclusion of the primary election for Texas Governor, I returned to Washington and resumed my obligations to Texas as its Senior Senator. Recent weeks have been dramatic as I have worked tirelessly with the majority of our Texas congressional delegation to try to stop costly and cumbersome health care legislation that I am convinced is the wrong prescription for our state and nation. While President Obama, Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi used strong arm tactics to push their legislation through, this fight is far from over.
Americans will begin experiencing the true costs of this legislation in the months and years ahead. Along with higher taxes, I am convinced we will see higher premiums for health insurance coverage, significant cuts in Medicare, and greater pressure on state budgets like ours in Texas. Republicans are committed to reforms that will improve health care without massive government intrusion in the private market. We will continue to work through the November elections and beyond to repeal and replace this legislation with true reform that will expand access while reducing costs and minimizing government intervention in health care.
For family reasons, I had planned to begin making a transition home to Texas this spring. Yet, it is clear to me that the stakes in our nation’s capitol have never been higher. President Obama’s victory on health care legislation has emboldened those who want an even bigger and more intrusive federal government. The very future of our country is at risk as we face unsustainable levels of national debt. The ongoing debate over health care, along with proposed cap and trade legislation that would devastate our Texas economy, promises to get even more intense in the months ahead.
Since the primary in March, I’ve heard from constituents and colleagues urging me to stay in the Senate for my full term, which ends in 2012. They argue that my seniority and experience will be critical for Texas. I’ve worked closely with members of Congress from Texas, and seen firsthand how hard they are fighting to represent our state and our conservative principles. I recently received a letter from every Republican member of Congress from Texas, urging: “we hope you realize how necessary your continued service in the U.S. Senate is, for Texas and for our country. Quite simply, there is no person more capable, more committed and more caring to stand up with John Cornyn and fight Texas’s fights in the U.S. Senate. We, as Republican members of the Texas delegation to Congress, pledge to you that, if you will stay and fight, we will fight alongside you.”
On a personal level, this has been a most difficult decision, but after much deliberation, I have decided to complete the term to which you elected me. I will work alongside our great Texas congressional delegation to repeal and replace President Obama’s health reform, to stop cap and trade legislation and to cut the deficit the President is building that puts our economy in peril. I will continue to use my experience to try to stop this unprecedented expansion of our federal government and its intrusion in our private lives and in the private sector.
Throughout my years of public service, I’ve tried to do what is best for Texas. And what is happening in Washington today is not good for Texas.