An annual highlight of the SA to DC trip is to hear from U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn. Both Senator Hutchison and Senator Cornyn warned that the nation’s growing national debt is not sustainable, and everyone on Capitol Hill will be focused on finding ways to lower government spending.
Senator Hutchison spoke to the SA to DC delegation Feb. 6 and specifically addressed the issue of immigration. She is convinced there will not be any “comprehensive” immigration bill, but rather the Congress must address the issue in pieces. Senator Hutchison also commented that the first priority for her is passing a DREAM Act that has been revised. Additionally, she said that she would support expanding the perimeter rule of the FAA, which could potentially allow for flights from Washington National Airport to San Antonio International Airport. Another bill she will be proposing would eliminate the cap on health savings plans and would expand the plan to once again include the cost of non-prescription drugs.
Senator Cornyn spoke to the group on Feb. 9 and addressed budgetary issues facing our nation and the current status of the health care reform bill. He stressed that his primary concern is the out-of-control spending at the federal level. Additionally, he agreed with Senator Hutchison that a comprehensive immigration bill would not be passed, but that the issues should be addressed in steps.
Senator Cornyn was asked a question about how troop drawdown in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would help lower budget expenditures. He responded that no department, including the Department of Defense, will be exempt from cuts, however we need to keep our eyes on every part of the world where we continue to see national threats.
From left to right: Chamber Chair-Elect Jim Greenwood, Vice President Governmental Affairs at Valero Energy Corp.; Chamber Chairman Sam Dawson, CEO of Pape-Dawson Engineers; U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison; and Chamber President and CEO Richard Perez
From left to right: Sonya McDonald, Senior Vice President for Market Development at Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union; and U.S. Senator John Cornyn