– Senators Todd Young and Joe Donnelly joined Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), co-chairs of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, in signing a bipartisan letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney calling for $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to be included in the next fiscal budget request (for 2019). Currently, funding is set through September 2018. “Now is not the time to scale back our nation’s commitment to restore the Great Lakes environment and economy,” wrote the lawmakers.

“Because of the partnership we have with federal agencies, our region is making progress and seeing results. The GLRI is a locally driven restoration effort and its success depends on the collaboration between all levels of government and with industrial, commercial and non-governmental partners. We again ask that you include $300 million for the GLRI in next year’s budget request.”

Young is a task force vice chair and Donnelly is a task force member.

– Congressman Trey Hollingsworth (IN-9) announced today that he had added his name as a co-sponsor of H.R. 785, the National Right to Work Act. Introduced by Rep. Steve King (IA-05), the National Right to Work Act removes provisions of federal law that permit the termination of employees for refusal to pay dues to a labor union. Under current federal law, over 7.3 million American employees can be fired unless they pay dues to union officials.

“Hoosiers are the best decision makers when it comes to how their hard-earned dollars are spent. They should have the power to decide whether or not to pay union dues without fear of losing their job,” said Hollingsworth. “This bill isn’t just about empowering Americans to decide if union membership is right for them, it is about enhancing freedoms for all Americans.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Department of Commerce, Right to Work states outpaced non-Right to Work states in private-sector job growth by nearly 4% while keeping almost $2,600 more in workers’ pockets a year.

– Vice President Mike Pence has cast another tie vote in the U.S. Senate this week. Pence joined Senate Republicans to remove a controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule banning banks and credit card companies from using clauses in customer contracts that protect them from class-action lawsuits. Pence is on pace to settle more tie votes than any other Vice President in modern history.

– The opioid battle has most definitely touched our state of Indiana, and a member of our delegation is seeking options on how to fight back. Congressman Larry Bucshon (R-08) stated this week that he is open to a congressional hearing regarding what opioid manufacturers knew about the addictive nature of their drugs. We will be following news of any type of hearing moving forward.