Monday, March 23, 2009

Sen. Hutchison says Perry not acting like a Leader

Jason Embry has posted additional information regarding Senator Hutchison's comments during a speech earlier today at the TDNA:

“The reason Texas is in good shape today is because of the attributes that we have that neither the governor nor I produced,” Hutchison told the newspaper group, speaking a few hours before Perry.

Earlier this month, Perry announced that he did not want the state to take $556 million in federal stimulus money in exchange for broadening the state’s unemployment insurance program.

The state’s unemployment trust fund is projected to be $750 million below a required threshold next fall, which would trigger a tax increase on employers to replenish it.

A federal infusion would not make the trust fund whole or preclude the rate increase. But it would reduce the amount needed to bring it back to the required level.

Hutchison criticized Perry’s approach but did not say whether she would have also rejected the federal aid.

“I agree with him on the point that the fed government should not have mandated the specifics in the coverage,” Hutchison said. “However I believe that we look at all of the aspects of this, that we are in a position where it’s not status quo in the fund. I think there are management questions about where we are.”

She added, “A leader would be taking time to look at all of these aspects and coming up with a better solution.”

Perry has said that taking the federal dollars would have cost more in the long run.

Listen to Senator Hutchison's exchange with reporters via the Houston Chronicle's media player:

Governor Perry was the keynote speaker for the same group at the Texas Daily Newspaper Association and spoke shorly after 12:30pm. Jason Embry also included the following comments from the Governor in his post:
“Our low taxes, controlled government spending and fair legal system give us a leg up on other states,” Perry told the Texas Daily Newspapers Association on Monday.

Perry has said that taking the federal dollars would have cost more in the long run.

“I think most Texans look at Washington, D.C. today and see what’s going on up there and they’re like, ‘Listen, the last thing we want is Washington coming down here to Texas and telling us how to run our state,’” Perry said. “We have a system in place that works. The people who lose their jobs by no fault of their own are going to be covered.”

Signaling how he will run against Hutchison, Perry used the word “Washington” seven times in a 100-second exchange with reporters.

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