LATEST SENATOR DONNELLY
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after President Trump replaced his National Security Advisor Lt. General H.R. McMaster with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.
Donnelly said, “As President Trump prepares to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in the coming months, the president’s decision to replace his National Security Advisor injects additional instability into a dangerous situation and critical talks with a nuclear North Korea. We all want the president to be successful in achieving a peaceful solution to the North Korean threat and, with a lot of difficult work ahead, I remain concerned the U.S. is approaching these talks without a full team on the field or clear objectives. We need to utilize all available tools and that starts with having a clear, comprehensive plan.”
Donnelly, who serves as Ranking Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, recently highlighted, in a blog post, the importance of a clear vision and strategy for North Korea that effectively leverages the whole of American diplomatic, economic, and military power. He also expressed concern with the number of key diplomatic vacancies and limited institutional knowledge of the North Korean regime at the State Department, as well as significant changes within the Administration, including the recent firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Washington, D.C. – A companion to U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly’s ‘Right to Try’ legislation passed the House of Representatives today on a bipartisan 267-149 vote. In late January, Donnelly called on the House to take action. The House bill is an amended version of the legislation that Donnelly introduced with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), which passed the Senate in August 2017.
The bill, which President Trump mentioned in his State of the Union in January, would allow terminally ill patients who have exhausted all approved treatment options to access certain investigational drugs for treatment. Nearly forty states have passed right to try bills.
Donnelly said, “I’m very pleased that the House has passed this bipartisan legislation, because families deserve the right to try and access potentially life-saving, clinically tested medical treatment to treat terminally ill loved ones. I look forward to getting this across the finish line as soon as possible, so that Hoosier families can access these treatment options before time runs out.”
Donnelly first met Indianapolis resident Laura McLinn and her son Jordan McLinn—who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a disease with no cure—in early 2016. Donnelly has met with the McLinn family many times and worked closely with them to advance this legislation.
In October 2017, Donnelly and Johnson sent the House Energy and Commerce Committee a letter urging it to pass the bill. The Donnelly-Johnson bill that passed the Senate in August can be found here. Vice President Pence and the White House also indicated their support of right to try earlier this year.
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly today helped the Senate pass a bipartisan legislative package that he negotiated, co-wrote, and helped introduce last November with a number of colleagues. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act passed the Senate on a 67-31 vote and would reduce regulatory burdens on community banks and credit unions — including for the 103 community banks and 154 credit unions in Indiana — as well as provide new protections to consumers. The bill previously passed the Senate Banking Committee in December with strong bipartisan support.
Donnelly, a member of the Banking Committee, said, “This legislative package is an example of what we can achieve by working together and shows Democrats and Republicans can break the gridlock. I’m proud my bill passed the Senate, because it would provide regulatory relief for community banks and credit unions in Indiana to make it easier for Hoosier families to get a mortgage and for small businesses to expand. And it includes a number of new consumer protections related to student loan borrowers, free credit monitoring for servicemembers, free credit freezes for all Americans, and protections for veterans from VA billing delays and predatory mortgage lending. I look forward to the passage of my bill in the House, so that it can head to the president’s desk.”
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Donnelly: Successful Talks with North Korea Will Require Administration to Have a Comprehensive Strategy
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly again highlighted the importance of a clear vision and strategy for North Korea that effectively leverages the whole of American diplomatic, economic, and military power in a blog post. Donnelly, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee and as Ranking Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, has long called for the Administration to put forward a comprehensive North Korea strategy.
Donnelly’s provision on a comprehensive strategy on North Korea was signed into law in December as part of the national defense bill, and it requires the Administration to bring to Congress, within 90 days of enactment, a strategy to address the threats from North Korea, including clear objectives, a roadmap, and a timeline.
Donnelly spoke recently with White House National Security Advisor Lt. General H.R. McMaster, who indicated that the Administration’s strategy is not yet ready to submit to Congress.
Donnelly said, in part, “A nuclear North Korea is one of the most pressing threats to U.S. national security… This reality underscores the importance that the United States approach the North Korean threat—and now the recently announced talks—with a clear vision and an interagency approach that effectively utilizes our political, economic, and military power…The White House and our diplomats have a lot of difficult work ahead of them to ensure that this meeting delivers positive results. As Americans, we all want the President to be successful in achieving a peaceful resolution to this crisis. To that end, I strongly encourage the Administration to promptly present to Congress a comprehensive strategy to make sure that we are using all of our tools to give us the best chance at success.”
To read more about Donnelly’s thoughts on North Korea, click here.
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) announced the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act, bipartisan legislation that would address the ongoing shortage of professionals needed to provide treatment and recovery services as communities combat the opioid abuse epidemic. The bill would incentivize students to pursue substance use disorder work by providing them with student loan relief up to $250,000 if they work for six years in areas that have high overdose rates or a shortage of treatment providers. The program would be open to a number of providers including physicians, nurses, social workers, and behavioral health workers.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), only 10 percent of the 22 million Americans with a substance use disorder receive treatment. This treatment gap is largely attributed to the shortage of workers in the substance use disorder field.
Donnelly said, “As our communities continue to combat the opioid epidemic, we need more trained substance use and addiction professionals to provide treatment and recovery services. This legislation would provide much-need incentives to increase the number of providers in areas that desperately need them. Investing in these providers could help save the lives of parents, siblings, friends and neighbors that are struggling with addiction.”
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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement after President Trump signed Section 232 proclamations regarding steel and aluminum.
Donnelly said, “Trade is critical for Indiana’s economy—from our manufacturers to our farmers—but it must be fair. For too long Hoosier workers have fought unfair competition from countries like China. I’m pleased that President Trump is taking action, and I plan to carefully review the details of his proclamations. It’s important that we get this policy right, so that American steel and aluminum producers and their workers can compete on a level playing field and continue to support good-paying jobs.”
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly announced his formal support today for bipartisan legislation, the Fix NICS Act, which would improve the nation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for firearms purchases. Currently, many federal agencies and state governments often fail to provide NICS with relevant information on dangerous individuals or violent criminals, leaving the system open to significant error. The Fix NICS Act would improve federal agency compliance through new accountability measures and would incentivize states to transfer all of their relevant information by rewarding them with federal grant preferences.
Donnelly said, “This bipartisan legislation would help ensure that our background check system has as much relevant information as possible so that felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous individuals – who are not allowed to purchase a gun under existing law – aren’t able to do so because of missing information.”
In addition to efforts to increase compliance from federal agencies and state governments within the existing background check system, the Fix NICS Act would create a Domestic Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative to ensure that states have adequate resources and incentives to share all relevant information with NICS showing that a felon or domestic abuser is excluded from purchasing firearms under current law. And it would provide technical assistance to federal agencies and state governments that are working to comply with NICS.
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly spoke on the Senate floor today about the bipartisan regulatory relief package that is being debated in the Senate this week. The bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which Donnelly negotiated, co-wrote, and introduced in November with several colleagues, passed the Banking Committee in December. It would reduce regulatory burdens on community banks and credit unions — including for the 103 community banks and 154 credit unions in Indiana — as well as provide new protections to consumers.
The bill maintains the key elements of Dodd-Frank to ensure the safety and soundness of our financial system. It has 26 cosponsors – 13 Republicans, 12 Democrats, and an Independent – highlighting the strong bipartisan support of this targeted and carefully crafted legislation.