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Outgoing Sen. Hutchison gets emotional on Senate floor

Hutchison began to cry as she thanked her colleagues for proposing to rename a portion of the Internal Revenue Code after her, in honor of her Homemaker IRA bill.

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“I so appreciate Sen. Barbara Mikulski [(D-Md.)] and Sen. John Cornyn [(R-Texas)] introducing the bill to name the Homemaker IRA for me,” Hutchison said, visibly moved. 

“It will mean so much to me,” she continued, “because I had the experience as a young, single woman, starting an IRA, getting married and being told I really couldn’t provide for my own retirement security.” 

On Monday, Mikulski and Cornyn introduced a bill that that would rename the portion of the tax code governed by the Homemaker IRA bill as the Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal IRA. It is unclear if the Senate will take up the bill before the end of the year. 

Hutchison and Mikulski were original sponsors of the Homemaker IRA legislation in 1994. The bill increased the amount of money homemakers could put away in their tax-free individual retirement accounts.

Fighting back tears, Hutchison recalled that in her efforts to pass the bill through a Democratic Senate, she had proposed putting her Democratic colleague’s name first.

“I said, ‘Barbara, it’s a Democratic Senate, I will make this bill Mikulski-Hutchison to get it passed.’ ” Hutchison said that Mikulski had insisted the bill be “Hutchison-Mikulski, because it was your idea.”