The Washington Times - April 15, 2013, 09:47AM

Former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said Monday there is a burgeoning spirit of cooperation on Capitol Hill that did not exist a few months ago.

“I see a bipartisanship that was not there just last year, when I was still there,” Mrs. Hutchison, a Texas Republican who retired from the Senate in January, said on “CBS This Morning.” “Where Democrats and Republicans are getting together in equal numbers, they’re talking through some of the toughest issues, and immigration reform certainly has been tough.”


She said the cross-party efforts extend to gun laws and the need to reduce the deficit, the latter of which has reached the level of a “real crisis.”

“If this could open up the ‘grand bargain’ — which would get our deficit down and get our fiscal house in order — it would be just a breath of fresh air that the whole world is really looking at,” Mrs. Hutchison told the show’s hosts.

Mrs. Hutchison was on the program to discuss her new book, “Unflinching Courage: Pioneering Women Who Shaped Texas.” 

She left Washington this year after a 21-year career in the Senate. In November, Texas voters elected outspoken conservative Republican Ted Cruz to fill her seat.