Texas’ new U.S. senator-elect, Ted Cruz, has repeatedly taken a cautious approach when asked about how he’ll fill Kay Bailey Hutchison’s shoes when it comes to Texas’ share of federal funding.
Cruz said while campaigning that he’ll work to see Texas gets a fair portion of “legitimate and important” federal spending but added, “I have yet to talk to a single voter who says the problem in Washington is that our elected officials are not bringing enough bacon home. I think if you get 435 members of Congress and all 100 members of the U.S. Senate viewing their job as just feeding at the trough… that is how you bankrupt the country.”
Voters may not specifically clamor for bringing home the bacon, but when military base realignment happens or a program like NASA faces challenges, federal funding can affect their jobs and Texas’ economy.
Rice University political scientist Mark P. Jones notes that Hutchison vigorously took on the task of protecting Texas’ interests, while U.S. Sen. John Cornyn has “focused much more on internal Senate politics.”
“Who, if anyone, is going to pick up that slack?” Jones asked. “And if no one does, will that lead to a reduction in defense spending and therefore an adverse impact on the economies of places like San Antonio, El Paso, Killeen, Texarkana?”
Well, okay, Cruz does believe in “legitimate” bacon, whatever that means to him. I have no idea how Cruz intends to balance his ideological zeal with the “legitimate” needs of Texas and its residents – frankly, I’m quite certain he doesn’t see this as a potential conflict – but I guess we’ll find out. I put the over/under on the publication date of the first story of local officials and/or business interests lamenting how things have changed since KBH’s retirement at June 30. What do you think?