Sen. Hutchison Reacts to the Administration’s Budget Plan

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Texas’ senior Senator, today issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s proposed budget.


“After unprecedented government spending passed by the Democrats in the Stimulus and Omnibus appropriations bills, in addition to what was passed in 2008, the American people expect and deserve restraint, something not found in the budget plan released today.


“The Administration’s detailed spending plan has done nothing to change the sticker shock that so many of us felt when this budget was originally announced. While I’m pleased to hear that the Administration is attempting to restrain some spending, when put in context, the cuts proposed account for one half of one percent, while overall non-defense discretionary spending increases by nearly 12%, making this the largest spending plan in our nation’s history.


“We had an alternative though, as I joined with Senator McCain and others on a plan that held the line on spending while still providing for the nation’s needs. Unfortunately, not one Democrat joined with us.


“That this budget puts up additional barriers to investment in domestic oil and natural gas production at a time when we need to be doing everything we can to make ourselves less dependent on foreign sources of energy, which too often is found in unstable regions or unfriendly nations, is incomprehensible and irresponsible. Higher taxes on energy production during tough economic times will not only raise energy prices, but will impact the economy as a whole. Nuclear energy is clean, safe, and cost-effective and can also play a critical role in reducing our dependence on foreign sources of oil. Unfortunately, the Administration has not put a high enough priority on loan guarantee programs for nuclear energy, reducing the likelihood that we are able to expand our nuclear capability.


“I am studying the Administration’s cuts to our Defense budget to ensure neither our strategic air superiority nor our air mobility assets are undermined in any way.


“It is outrageous that the President would cut the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), which reimburses state and local corrections agencies for costs borne by incarcerating criminal aliens. Not only does this disproportionally affect Border States, but for every dollar less that SCAAP reimburses states, a dollar less is available for critical public safety services in the affected communities.


“As we have recently seen, a secure and safe border needs to be one of our nation’s top priorities. To that end, we need to not only put more boots on the ground along our southern border, but we need to support our local law enforcement agencies in the region to ensure that they are no longer outgunned and outmanned. I will continue to work with the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to ensure that the increased funding they’ve promised is being used as efficiently and as wisely as possible.”