(Sen. Cornyn Release)
WASHINGTON—Members of the Texas Republican Congressional Delegation joined U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, in writing to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urging her to remove language from the state bailout bill that would unfairly penalize Texas and bar the State from accessing critical federal education dollars that every other state in the Union will be able to access to support their schools and teachers. The letter was signed by Sens. Cornyn, Hutchison, and U.S. Reps. Barton, Brady, Burgess, Carter, Conaway, Culberson, Gohmert, Granger, Hall, Hensarling, Johnson, Marchant, McCaul, Neugebauer, Olson, Paul, Poe, Sessions, Smith, and Thornberry.
August 6, 2010
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515-6501
Dear Madam Speaker:
We are writing to urge you to remove previously House-passed language included in Sen. AMDT. 4575 that solely discriminates against our State. Again, this amendment singles out only the State of Texas. It would force Texas to certify the maintenance of fiscal year 2011 funding levels for two additional fiscal years, above and beyond the one-year requirement imposed on all other 49 States.
This provision would have Texas violate her own State Constitution. The Texas Legislature has sole authority to determine State appropriations. Moreover, one Legislature cannot bind a future Legislature. Requiring the State to assure that a future Texas Legislature would commit to spend funds in accordance with these provisions would violate the Texas Constitution. Texas is constitutionally prohibited from meeting these severe restrictions, and no other state in the nation is subject to these additional requirements.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the State’s share of the $10 billion is estimated to be over $830 million. By adding the additional two-year requirement, the House language only punishes Texas students and teachers. Therefore, we urge you to strike the previous House-passed provision in the bill.
Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance, Judiciary, Agriculture and Budget Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.