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Around the Horn – News Briefs From the Indiana Delegation

2017-10-20T14:18:19+00:00 October 20th, 2017|

– Senator Todd Young has joined Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in an effort to simplify the complex enrollment process for the growing number of Americans aging into Medicare. The duo introduced the bipartisan Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act. The BENES Act, which is supported by nearly 70 organizations that represent older Americans, people with disabilities, insurers and health care providers, would simplify and modernize the Medicare enrollment process by making improvements to the notification system and ensuring the elimination of coverage gaps.

– Representative Larry Bucshon (IN-08) spent time in his district this week focused on the state and nation’s opioid epidemic. He met with the Substance Abuse Council of Vanderburgh County and took part in a prescription drug take-back event at a local drug store.

“The opioid crisis facing our nation is ultimately a local one because the lives and families being destroyed are in our communities. The federal government has an important role to play in solving this crisis, but ultimately the hard work of solving it must be carried out on the ground in the communities that are being ravaged,” Bucshon said. “This feedback will help guide me as I work with my colleagues on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to develop additional legislative solutions.”

Separately, Sen. Joe Donnelly called on President Trump to follow through with his announced intentions, back in August, to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency. Donnelly sent a letter to Trump detailing that request and also urged him to direct significant federal resources to confront this epidemic devastating Indiana and communities across the country.

Donnelly wrote, in part, “In order to stem the tide of this epidemic, we need to take significant actions at the federal, state, and local levels. We do not have time to waste, as we are already years behind in this fight… I was encouraged when you indicated in August that you planned to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency, because I believe you understand the seriousness of this crisis. I urge you to follow through with your plans to direct significant federal resources towards this issue. To that end, I stand ready to work with you and your administration on a comprehensive approach to addressing the opioid epidemic that includes prevention, treatment, recovery and enforcement strategies.”

– This week, Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) toured local businesses in her district to tout the federal tax reform plan, which she says will be pro-growth, spur job creation and increase employee paychecks. Walorski met with business owners, local chamber leaders and employees at the Coca-Cola Kokomo bottling franchise, the Brass Rail restaurant and Martin’s Super Market.

“These family-owned businesses in Plymouth are just the kinds of job creators that will be able to hire more workers and invest more in our communities with tax reform,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Hoosiers deserve a fairer, simpler tax code that makes America more competitive, helps businesses grow and create jobs, and allows families to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks. That’s exactly what we’re going to deliver with tax reform.”

–  Congressman Todd Rokita (IN-04) has received the U.S. Chamber’s Spirit of Enterprise Award for his pro-business, pro-jobs record. The award is given out to members of Congress who align with the U.S. Chamber on at least 70% of the organization’s key votes. Rokita voted with the U.S. Chamber in every instance last year.

“Hoosiers have the best work ethic and the best products to offer. I am proud to represent Indiana by fighting for policies that help our businesses, create jobs, and cut unnecessary and burdensome government regulations,” Rokita said.

– Sens. Donnelly and Young, along with Congressman Bucshon, hosted United States Marine Corps Commandant and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Robert Neller at the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center and Crane Army Ammunition Activity late last week. General Neller was at Crane to receive briefings on the center’s innovative work in the areas of expeditionary warfare, electronic warfare, nuclear security and ammunition logistics.

“…General Neller was impressed by the skilled workforce at Crane and all they do for the Marine Corps, the Department of Defense and our national security,” said Young. “The Commandant’s visit will help ensure that Crane and its workforce continue to play an essential role in supporting our warfighters for decades to come.”

Donnelly, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee said, “…Crane is one of our nation’s most critical military laboratories, and I am pleased the Commandant could see firsthand the incredible work Hoosiers do every day at Crane to support our service members and protect our national security. I will continue working to ensure our military leaders take full advantage of these hardworking Hoosiers and help Crane grow its mission.”

The visit comes on the heels of Senate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act.