Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) praised
exiting Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) on Tuesday in an extensive tribute
on the floor of the Senate, saying he had been honored to serve with her.
Hutchison is the former KPRC-TV reporter who became a
four-term Senator and ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee before
deciding to retire at the end of her current term at the end of this year.
Hutchison was a long-time opponent of network neutrality
legislation, opponent of the so-called fairness doctrine and a supporter of ensuring
broadcasters were compensated for moving off spectrum in the FCC's incentive
auction plan and for making sure the government looked at all stakeholders for
spectrum, not just broadcasters.
Hutchison was also instrumental
in passage of AMBER alert legislation, which established a national missing
children alert system in concert with broadcasters, local law enforcement and
others that to date has helped locate 595 children.
The AMBER alert was created in 1996 in Texas to issue
immediate information about child abductions via broadcast media and highway
The alert -- with networks operating in 14 states and 29
localities -- was named after nine-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped
and murdered in Arlington, Texas.