• Energy independence will be achieved as soon as 2020.
  • More businesspeople should be running for office.
  • Little hope for improving situation in Congress.


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The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchson
Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican senator from Texas who stepped down in January after a decade in office, was not optimistic about the deadlock in Washington in her remarks at the 2013 ULI Spring Meeting.

“Congress has only been in session on New Year’s Eve three times,” Hutchison said. “After we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, after President Kennedy was shot, and this past year to avoid the fiscal cliff.

“When you have single digits for Congress’ approval ratings, something is wrong,” she said.

Hutchison was more optimistic about the prospect of the United States becoming energy independent as soon as 2020. “The good news is our energy industry is setting the world on fire,” she said. “Not because of our energy policy, but in spite of it.”

Hutchison credited the technology and creativity of the American people for one of the brightest spots in the domestic economy. She also called for more drilling on public lands, saying the United States is the only country that doesn’t already do this.

Hutchison said political parties are becoming less successful in fielding viable candidates and platforms, as special interest groups are becoming increasingly powerful due to campaign finance reform.

Lastly, Hutchinson said that we need more businesspeople running for office, particularly when it comes to compromising on issues such as the fiscal cliff. “Sometimes making a deal is better than standing on principal with disastrous consequences,” she said.

Hutchinson is concerned that the lack of a business perspective on regulations like Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act will make them ineffective.