The state's reserve fund is expected to grow to more than $9 billion by 2013.
"Our rainy-day fund is a very valuable asset," Perry said. "It's like insurance ... against a future that continues to be uncertain."
Perry also said he worries that if lawmakers tap the fund now, they'll avoid addressing fiscal problems that may cause future shortfalls.
"If we use the rainy-day fund, we just kick the can down the road," Perry said.
Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, echoed Perry's remarks and praised the governor's fiscal conservatism. He said Republican gains in the November elections "put a restraining order on Keynesian economics," referring to the school of economics that argues that sometimes it makes sense for the government to increase government spending to boost demand during an economic downturn.
Norquist said he's worried that some states are using current budget woes to ignore that message from voters.
"Texas for the last 10 years has served as an example for other states," Norquist said.
On the other side of the aisle, you have moderate some might say RINO Republicans joining liberal Democrats in calling for most or all of the fund to be used...
If you are one of those new legislators pondering which way to go on this, do you go in the direction of the tea party, Americans for Tax Reform, and Rick... or do you go in the direction of the people who just got stomped in November not to mention primaries last March...
Choices... choices... such tough choices...