LATEST SENATOR DONNELLY
Indianapolis, Ind. -- Bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate by U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Mike Rounds (R-SD), and in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-2) and Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-2), was signed into law today by President Trump. The VA Prescription Data Accountability Act will clarify current law to allow the VA to share data with state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) for patients who are prescribed opioids by VA providers, including both veterans and their dependents.
Donnelly said, “Coordination between the VA and our prescription drug monitoring programs is key to addressing opioid abuse in Indiana and across the country. The VA is a major prescriber of opioids and prescription drugs and must be a full partner in our all-hands-on-deck effort to combat this epidemic. This bipartisan legislation will ensure that VA hospitals and clinics are in line with their non-VA counterparts and allow VA facilities to fully partner with Indiana’s INSPECT and similar programs across the country to monitor opioid prescribing practices.”
This legislation, for example, will enable the VA to share data with Indiana’s prescription drug monitoring program, INSPECT. VA is currently only sharing prescription data on veterans, not their dependents or others treated by VA providers, due to technical issues related to the VA’s health records system. As a result, a significant amount of VA prescription data is not being shared with the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.
The law was supported by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and Association of the United States Navy. The Congressional Budget Office scored the House companion as having no added cost to taxpayers.
Indianapolis, Ind. – Today U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement after the Trump Administration announced additional sanctions against North Korea and its backers. The U.S. Department of Treasury said it sanctioned 13 entities, 20 shipping companies and vessels, and one individual in an effort to maximize economic pressure and level sanctions against those enabling the North Korean regime’s funding of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Donnelly said, “I have long called for stronger action to counter North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenal, including additional sanctions. Those enabling North Korea’s dangerous regime must be held accountable. I welcome today’s announcement, and I hope the Senate will act soon to pass bipartisan legislation I helped craft that would further increase sanctions on North Korea and its backers.”
Yesterday, Donnelly applauded President Trump’s announcement that he intends to re-designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Through the Senate Armed Services and Banking Committees, Donnelly has worked effectively on efforts to counter North Korea. His provision to require a comprehensive strategy from the Administration and the Department of Defense to confront the threat posed by North Korea passed as part of the national defense bill and is expected to be signed into law soon. Donnelly’s measure requires the President to bring to Congress, within 90 days of enactment, a North Korean strategy. Earlier this month, the Banking Committee unanimously supported the Banking Restrictions Involving North Korea (BRINK) Act, which included a Donnelly amendment that would help ensure the Department of Treasury has the tools and resources it needs to effectively enforce US sanctions globally. The BRINK Act will now advance for consideration by the full Senate.
Donnelly has called for increased sanctions to counter North Korea’s weapons program and crack down on those enabling the rogue regime. As Ranking Member of the Banking Committee’s National Security and International Trade and Finance Subcommittee, Donnelly co-led a hearing with Subcommittee Chairman Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) to assess U.S. and international sanctions against North Korea and China in relation to North Korea’s nuclear missile program, and to push the Administration on its options to expand sanctions. And, Donnelly and Sasse continued their calls for increased sanctions on both North Korea and China, designed to crack down on North Korea’s weapons program. Following the Administration’s latest sanctions imposed against North Korea in September, Donnelly welcomed the additional action, which was in line with the Senator’s push.
Earlier this year, Donnelly helped shape increased sanctions on North Korea, Russia, and Iran, which the Senate passed and President Trump signed into law.
Indianapolis, Ind. – U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today called on Senate leaders to do more to combat substance use disorders and the workforce shortage facing treatment providers in rural and underserved communities. Donnelly and Murkowski sent a letter asking for more resources to be dedicated to the addiction treatment workforce shortage and for the reauthorization and expansion of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) student loan repayment and forgiveness program to include addiction treatment facilities.
In June, Donnelly and Murkowski introduced the Strengthening the Addiction Treatment Workforce Act, which would make addiction treatment facilities eligible for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) student loan repayment and forgiveness program.
Donnelly and Murkowski said, in part in their letter to Senate leaders, “As you know our country is currently experiencing an opioid crisis…The epidemic has been particularly devastating in underserved areas that lack adequate treatment providers… In response to President Trump’s public health emergency declaration, we strongly encourage you to move quickly to reauthorize this program, increase its funding, and expand eligible treatment facilities to include addiction treatment as outlined in our bill the Strengthening the Addiction Treatment Workforce Act.…The President was right to declare the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency, but additional progress will require Congress to invest more in addiction treatment and recovery efforts, especially in rural and underserved areas.”
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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly’s provision requiring a comprehensive strategy from the Administration and the Department of Defense to confront the threat posed by North Korea is heading to the President’s desk to be signed into law. His provision was included in the final national defense bill that passed the Senate today. Donnelly helped negotiate the final defense bill, which passed the House of Representatives earlier this week.
In September, Donnelly’s amendment requiring the administration to bring to Congress, within 90 days of enactment, a strategy to address North Korea’s threat to our country and our allies, passed as part of the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Donnelly spoke on the Senate floor then about his amendment.
Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said, “North Korea continues to pose one of the greatest threats to our national security. The American people and our partners and allies around the world need to know that we have a comprehensive strategy to address the Kim regime’s nuclear weapons program. My provision included in this bipartisan national defense bill, now on its way to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law, would ensure that Congress is able to review and understand the President’s strategy for keeping our country safe.”
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Donnelly Announces Bipartisan Regulatory Relief Package to Promote Economic Growth and Protect Consumers
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, member of the Senate Banking Committee, announced today that he and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, along with several Senate colleagues, have crafted and reached a bipartisan agreement to reduce regulatory burdens on community banks and credit unions as well as provide new protections to consumers. Donnelly, Crapo, and three other members of the Banking Committee have engaged in bipartisan discussions over the past two weeks and previously produced a framework for a deal in 2015.
Donnelly, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, said, “This bipartisan regulatory relief package is an example of what we can achieve when we work together, and the result of good-faith negotiations with Chairman Crapo, Senators Tester, Warner, and Heitkamp. The proposal would provide long-awaited regulatory relief to community banks and credit unions unintentionally burdened by rules intended to hold Wall Street accountable. This agreement would maintain the safety of our financial system and offer new protections to consumers, including veterans, by helping to protect their credit in the wake of recent data breaches, like the Equifax breach."
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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement on the tax reform proposal announced today by Senate Republicans. Donnelly also met today with the White House Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn to discuss his tax reform priorities.
Donnelly said, “As I have said, tax reform should create jobs, protect jobs, invest in American workers, and benefit middle class families. I will carefully review the Senate proposal released today and continue to engage with my colleagues and the White House on behalf of Hoosiers as the Senate works on tax reform.”
For months, Donnelly has said that he hopes tax reform will protect existing jobs and address the outsourcing of American jobs, while also creating jobs and providing relief to middle-class families. His priorities are consistent with his End Outsourcing Act, which would support companies that invest in American workers and penalize companies that ship American jobs to foreign countries.
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Legislation would require FCC to study national suicide prevention hotline system and determine whether to use a particular easy-to-remember, 3-digit number
Washington, D.C. — Yesterday evening, the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act, sponsored by Senators Joe Donnelly and Orrin Hatch, passed unanimously in the Senate. This critical suicide prevention legislation would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to study the national suicide prevention hotline system and to make recommendations to improve it—including whether to use a particular easy-to-remember, 3-digit suicide hotline number to better connect those in peril to crucial crisis resources.
Donnelly said, “I’m pleased our bipartisan legislation has passed the Senate, because it could make a difference for families in Indiana and across the country. This legislation would require the Federal Communications Commission to review the national suicide prevention hotline, including whether a particular three-digit dialing number should replace the current ten-digit number to make it easier for teenagers, veterans, or anyone experiencing a mental health crisis to seek help. I hope the House will quickly pass this legislation.”
Hatch said, “Over the last year, I’ve met with dozens of families who have lost loved ones to suicide. The parents I spoke with said that in their moments of crisis, they didn’t know where to turn for help. While there is no perfect solution to this devastating problem, this legislation is a step in the right direction. By providing those who suffer with faster, easier access to lifesaving resources, we can prevent countless tragedies. I urge my colleagues in the House to act quickly on this crucial legislation, and get it to the president’s desk to be signed into law.”
Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly participated in a meeting on tax reform with White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short and White House economic adviser Gary Cohn. President Trump also called in for a portion of the meeting from his trip in Asia. Donnelly discussed his tax reform priorities and shared a letter that he also sent to Vice President Pence today. The letter welcomes Pence’s upcoming visit to Indiana to talk about tax reform and emphasizes that our tax policies should align with the interests of American workers and support companies that invest in the U.S. To read Donnelly’s letter to Pence, see below or click here.
Donnelly said, “Tax reform should create jobs, protect existing jobs, and benefit middle class families. I’m the hired help for Indiana, and this was another opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss priorities important to Hoosiers with the White House. I’m going to continue engaging with the Administration and my Senate colleagues as we work on tax reform.”
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Washington, D.C. – Today, in the Senate Banking Committee, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly continued his efforts to increase pressure on North Korea for its nuclear weapons program and dangerous provocations. The Committee unanimously supported the Banking Restrictions Involving North Korea (BRINK) Act, which included a Donnelly amendment that would help ensure the Department of Treasury has the tools and resources it needs to effectively enforce US sanctions globally. The BRINK Act will now advance for full Senate consideration.
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, a leader in the Senate’s fight against the opioid epidemic, released the following statement after President Trump directed his Administration to declare the epidemic a ‘nationwide public health emergency.’ Last week, Donnelly reiterated to President Trump, in a letter, the need for significant federal action to combat this crisis.
Last year, several of Donnelly’s provisions were signed into law, and he successfully advocated and continues to advocate for funding that would expand prevention and treatment programs. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act, both of which Donnelly helped get passed and signed into law, have programs and funding to combat the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemics.
Through the Cures Act, Donnelly helped Indiana secure nearly $11 million in federal grant funding this year that will support prevention, treatment, and recovery services across the state.
Donnelly said, “We know it will take an all-hands on deck approach at the federal, state, and local levels to combat the opioid epidemic. The President’s announcement is another important step in the ongoing effort to bring more awareness to this escalating crisis that has devastated families and communities across Indiana and our country. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the Senate, and with President Trump, to provide the resources needed for prevention, treatment, recovery, and enforcement, and to move my bipartisan legislative proposals forward, including those that would increase access to telemedicine and address the shortage of providers treating substance abuse.”