With Hutchison gone, money for Texas may be, too

Cal Jillson, political science professor at SMU's Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, talks about federal funding for Texas may be gone with the departure of former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

By Richard S. Dunham

For nearly two decades, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison delivered thousands of federal projects to Texas that added billions of dollars to the state's economy.
The leader of a bipartisan approach known as “Team Texas,” Hutchison worked with Democrats and Republicans to send federal dollars to Texas, even if it occasionally got her in trouble with spending hawks in her party.
Now, in Hutchison's absence, Texans in Washington are struggling to come up with a unified strategy to return Texas taxpayers' dollars to the Lone Star State.
“On appropriations, she was just relentless,” said Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston. “We're certainly going to miss her. We haven't seen the full impact of Sen. Hutchison's departure.”
Complicating matters for Texas is that Hutchison, a specialist in back-room negotiations and bipartisan relationship-building, was replaced by Ted Cruz, a hard-charging partisan who has focused primarily on high-profile national issues such as guns, abortion and health care.
He also has vowed to balance the federal budget by cutting government spending, even in his home state....

“Texas conservatives, in both the House and Senate, seem not to realize that you cannot both be the core of the opposition to administration programs and the frequent beneficiary of administration largesse,” said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University....

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