Susan Brooks

Susan Brooks

INDIANA's 5th DISTRICT

Brooks: GOP must show it can govern

2014/11/24

ANDERSON — Republicans have to demonstrate to the American people that they can govern in a manner that will benefit all Americans, according to U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, R-5th District. Brooks won election to a second term in the U.S. House on Nov. 4 with 65 percent of the vote in the 5th District, which includes all of Madison County.   During the off-year election, the Republican Party strengthened its majority in the U.S. House and gained control of the U.S. Senate. During a telephone interview with The Herald Bulletin, Brooks said that the GOP-controlled Congress has to remind the American people that they are not going to give in to everything requested by President Barack Obama. “There will be tension because of the significant oversight of the executive branch by the Congress,” she said. “We have to make sure that the administration through the federal agencies doesn’t pass rules and regulations that are hurting America.” Brooks said what legislation is passed through 2016 will depend on how willing Obama is to work with the Republican Party. “We are preparing for next year,” she said of when the GOP takes control of both houses of the Congress. “We’re on the same calendar as the Senate. The leadership is working together, which is good for the American people.” She said bills passed in the House will get a hearing in the Senate and won’t be delayed as has been the case in the past few years. Legislation that Brooks expects to be considered early in 2015 is the Keystone Pipeline, which she said has bipartisan support in the House. The bill was defeated in the Senate last week by one vote. “This is a pro-jobs, pro-economy bill,” she said. Brooks expects the Republican-controlled Congress to tackle tax reform, with Rep. Paul Ryan leading the effort. “He (Ryan) brokered the deal with the Senate Democrats that ended the government shutdown,” she said. “He has a good track record.” Brooks said one area of tax reform that will benefit Indiana is the repeal of the medical device tax, a part of the Affordable Care Act. She expects changes in the Affordable Care Act but was unsure if there would be one bill to repeal Obamacare or individual bills making changes to the law. “We will try to repeal it again,” Brooks said. “But we have to have a replacement plan attached to it.” Brooks said people are starting to see increases in health insurance premiums. “This was not a good piece of legislation for the American people,” she said of the president’s landmark legislation. Brooks said a change will be a return to the 40-hour, full-time work week, which she said cost people money by employers cutting their hours to 30 hours a week. Any replacement legislation has to include provisions for people with pre-existing conditions and for allowing a child to stay on their parents' insurance until the age of 26, she said. Brooks said a high priority will be national security with the continued growth of the Islamic State terrorist group, Ebola and the nuclear capabilities of Iran. “We’re still waiting on the president to conclude negotiations with Iran,” she said. “There is also concern about Russian aggression in the Ukraine. “This is serious times for national security,” Brooks said. “We want to have a strong military and no terrorists in our midst.” Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863. Read More

Hundred attend memorial for Indiana aid worker

2014/11/24

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana aid worker beheaded by Islamic State militants in Syria was praised for his humanitarian work Sunday during a memorial service attended by hundreds that included readings from the Bible and the Quran. Peter Kassig, who took the first name Abdul-Rahman after converting to Islam during captivity, was remembered as a good man, son, student and volunteer who dedicated himself to helping others and lived a short but full life. "We're not here because of how he passed," said Hazem Bata, executive director Islamic Society of North America in Plainfield. "We're because of how he lived. We're here because of the type of man he chose to be. We're here because of his selflessness." The 26-year-old Indianapolis man was captured last year in eastern Syria while delivering relief supplies to refugees of Syria's civil war. Kassig, a former U.S. Army ranger who had served in Iraq in 2007, had returned to the Mideast in 2012 and founded a relief organization to help war victims. His parents, Ed and Paula Kassig of Indianapolis, learned of their son's capture last year, but did not disclose his c0.0aptivity while family and friends quietly worked to secure his release. In October, their son appeared in another video released by the Islamic State group that showed the beheading of a fellow aid worker, Britain's Alan Henning. The militants vowed that Kassig would be next, leading his parents to plead publicly for mercy while stressing his humanitarian work and conversion to Islam. The Muslim community rallied around them, participating in prayer vigils and rallies urging his captors to follow the Quran's teachings that prohibit Muslims from killing other Muslims. Speakers at Sunday's 80-minute service at Clowes Hall at Butler University, which Kassig briefly attended before moving to the Middle East, praised him for his humanitarian work and urged others to use his life as inspiration. "Our hearts broke with the news of not only his death, but the brutal and barbaric way in which it occurred," said the Rev. Bill Hoopes, pastor of Epworth United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, which the Kassig family attends. "Many of us had hoped deeply that Peter would be the exception. That he would be the one his captors would be set free." Hoopes challenged those at the service to do more than pray that those who killed Kassig and Syrian President Bashar Assad be brought to justice. Among those attending the service were Gov. Mike Pence, Sens. Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats, Rep. Susan Brooks and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. Donnelly said he never met Kassig, but said over recent months of meeting Kassig's parents and friends feels he got to know Kassig's spirit. "It's the spirit of believing things can get better. That together we can make a difference," Donnelly said. "He was an extraordinary in every way." Read more at http://www.wral.com/kassig-recalled-as-man-who-sought-to-help-others/14214314/#beYBS4HPKeoBuV3A.99 Read More

Brooks Statement on President Obama’s Executive Action

2014/11/21

Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN5) released the following statement in reaction to this evening’s immigration executive action announcement from President Obama:  “I remain committed to effective and lasting immigration reform that fixes a clearly broken system. But we must do this through a collaborative process that allows everyone to make their voices heard rather than the ‘go it alone’ approach outlined by President Obama this evening. This is not how a representative government should work. Tonight, the President directly contradicted his own previous statements to the American people on the role of Congress and the executive branch in altering our nation’s immigration laws. We must now explore both legislative and legal options to ensure the White House does not exceed its constitutional authority.”  Read More

Brooks Named to Energy and Commerce Committee

2014/11/21

Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN5) released the following statement today regarding her selection to the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the 114th Congress:   “The Energy and Commerce Committee has broad jurisdiction over issues of significant importance to all Americans and particularly in the sectors of health care, energy, telecommunications and manufacturing.  Under Chairman Fred Upton’s leadership, the committee has a proven track record of bipartisan success. I look forward to serving on the Energy and Commerce Committee in the 114th Congress as we work to grow our economy, increase energy production and promote medical innovation.  I am also extremely pleased to be serving on this committee with my friend and colleague, Representative Larry Bucshon (R-IN8). It’s great news for the state of Indiana to have two Hoosiers on this impactful committee.” Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (MI-6) released the following statement congratulating Congresswoman Brooks: “I am excited to welcome Congresswoman Brooks to the Energy and Commerce Committee. Her diverse background, strong work ethic and ability to build consensus will serve our team well. We are going to hit the ground running next year as we continue our efforts to create jobs, promote life-saving cures, unleash America’s energy abundance, protect families, and foster growth in this new era of innovation.” For more information on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, go to: http://energycommerce.house.gov. Read More

Brooks: Time to Build Keystone XL Pipeline

2014/11/14

Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN5) released the following statement after voting in favor of House Resolution 5682, legislation approving the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline: “Six years have passed since the Keystone XL Pipeline application was submitted to the U.S. State Department. For six years, Americans have been waiting to unleash the potential of our nation’s energy abundance. For six years, working class families have been waiting to benefit from the jobs this project will create. For six years, Indiana’s manufacturers have been waiting to fill work orders the construction of this pipeline will bring. It’s time to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. Today, the House once again passed bipartisan legislation to ensure the Keystone XL Pipeline is built. This legislation will create thousands of American jobs and lower energy prices for American families. It’s time for Senate Democrats and the President to listen to the American people and join the House in moving this project forward.”  For more information on the Keystone XL Pipeline, go to: http://energycommerce.house.gov/content/keystone-xl.  Read More

Brooks Congratulates Messer on Election to House Leadership

2014/11/14

Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN5) released the following statement congratulating Representative Luke Messer (R-IN6) on his election to House Leadership: “Representative Messer will be an effective and energetic leader for the House Republican Policy Committee. He has been an excellent freshman class president, encouraging discussion and action on important issues and making sure everyone has a chance to share their perspective. I know this experience will serve him well in his new role. I’m also extremely encouraged that a member of Indiana’s delegation will be part of the House Republican leadership team in the 114th Congress. Congratulations to my good friend and colleague on this exciting and noteworthy accomplishment.” Read More

Brooks Statement on Indiana Chamber of Commerce Government Leader of the Year Award

2014/11/07

Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN5) released the following statement after receiving the Indiana Chamber of Commerce “Government Leader of the Year” Award this evening at the organization’s 25th Annual Awards Dinner: “I’m honored to receive this award from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the diverse Hoosier employers it represents. It’s also incredibly humbling to share this recognition with previous recipients such as former Governor Mitch Daniels and Senator Richard Lugar. Indiana is home to so many vibrant and growing sectors of our national economy. With strong leadership at all levels in both the private and public sector, we are well positioned to succeed in the global competition for jobs and prosperity. As a member of Congress, I will continue to be a passionate voice for Indiana’s employers and the hard working Hoosiers so key to their success. It’s vital our nation’s policy makers work together to expand economic opportunity for all Americans and create a better climate for business expansion and job creation throughout the nation.”  Read More

State, federal leaders addressing sexual assault on Indiana campuses

2014/10/31

Preventing sexual assault on Indiana’s college campuses is getting the attention of state and federal political leaders and policy makers. On Monday, the Commission for Higher Education convened a meeting attended by representatives of 21 Indiana colleges and universities — including Indiana State University — as well as sexual assault prevention advocates and elected officials. Among those participating were Teresa Lubbers, Indiana’s commissioner for higher education, fifth district Congresswoman Susan Brooks; and State Rep. Christina Hale, D-Indianapolis.   ”I think it was a very positive thing that this meeting took place,” said Hale, who has been outspoken on the issue of sexual assault prevention. “I think it’s significant we had leaders from both sides of the aisle convening to get something done about this problem in Indiana.”  Hale is a Democrat, while Brooks and Lubbers are Republicans (Lubbers previously served as an Indiana state senator). Among other things, “We’re trying to align state and federal policy and talk with our college and university leaders, including Title IX directors, to see what they need from us to help make their efforts successful,” Hale said. One issue that Hale would like to address through state legislation is a definition of consent, modeled after language in a new California law. In California, when a campus sexual assault is investigated, the definition of consent requires “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.” The legislation says silence or lack of resistance does not constitute consent, and someone who is drunk, drugged, unconscious or asleep cannot grant consent. The Commission convened the meeting because the issue of sexual violence on college campuses is receiving much attention by policy makers at both the state and federal levels, Lubbers said. Legislation enacted, and proposed, have implications for students and colleges. ”We felt it was an important topic for the Commission to engage with partner colleges and universities,” she said, crediting Hale as being instrumental in calling attention to the issue. <\z188888893127441>”We wanted to hear from colleges about their practices,” Lubbers said, “and whether there are areas for improvement in what the federal government is considering or gaps in state policy.”  Brooks, who is a sponsor of the proposed federal Campus Accountability and Safety Act, used the meeting as a listening session to hear from campus leaders who work directly with the issue. ”Sexual assault is a very real problem on our college campuses. I believe we must improve coordination between victims, victim advocates, law enforcement and our universities,” Brooks stated in an email Friday. “I was pleased to join Commissioner Lubbers and nearly 100 administrators from 21 Indiana colleges and universities who participated in Monday’s campus sexual assault discussion.” The meeting provided an opportunity to learn what can be done at the federal level to  lessen the incidents of sexual assault on campuses and  improve the processes when an assault does occur, Brooks said. ”Schools need to be supported in developing a clear process to follow when an assault occurs that protects the rights of the victims and the rights of the accused. I believe Indiana’s higher education institutions take this issue very seriously and will continue working on proactive solutions,” she stated.  “What I also heard on Monday and what students have told me is that addressing sexual assault must come from the bottom up rather than the top down. We must engage and educate students about how to protect themselves and their peers.”   The proposed Campus Accountability and Safety Act takes aim at sexual assaults on college and university campuses by strengthening accountability and transparency for institutions and establishing stiff penalties for non-compliance with the legislation’s new standards for training, data and best practices. One summary states: “Currently, an American woman who attends college is more likely to be a victim of sexual assault than a woman who does not attend college. At the same time, institutions of higher education across the country do not have an incentive to acknowledge the problem publicly or address it proactively. The current oversight of the federal laws has the perverse effect of encouraging colleges to under-report sexual assaults. The bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act will create incentives for schools to take proactive steps to protect their students and rid their campuses of sexual predators.”  The summary is from the website of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, a senate sponsor of the bill. According to an article in the Christian Science Monitor, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act aims to hold college campuses more accountable for preventing sexual violence and supporting students who come forward.  • It would require colleges to provide confidential advisers to students in the wake of a sexual assault. • It would boost enforcement of current laws and address underreporting.  • Schools would not be allowed to sanction students who reveal a violation such as underage drinking in the course of reporting a sexual assault. • All campus personnel who investigate sexual assaults and participate in disciplinary hearings would have to receive specialized training on the nature of such crimes and their effects on survivors. • To improve transparency, all colleges and universities would have to administer a standardized survey on sexual violence, and the results would be published online. This would not only help parents and prospective students, but would also help track national progress on reducing sexual violence on campuses. • Campuses would be required to create memorandums of understanding with local law enforcement to clarify responsibilities and better share information.  Schools that violate various requirements would face penalties of up to 1 percent of their operating budgets. The federal government has had the option of withholding all federal aid, but it has not done so. The new provision is considered more enforceable. The bill would increase penalties for Clery Act violations to up to $150,000 per violation from the current penalty of $35,000. Among those attending Monday’s meeting was Michele Barrett, ISU assistant police chief. One purpose of the session was to get feedback from college representatives about the proposed federal law and potential problems or concerns, she said.  ”At ISU we’re pretty up-to-date on everything,” Barrett said. But not all campuses are, and some don’t have their own police departments and must rely on outside police agencies to respond to crimes. Hale said the goal of all of those attending is to prevent and reduce sexual assaults on campuses and to make campuses safer places. But in moving toward that goal, “We have to take a moment and learn more about the problem ... You can’t develop good policy without talking to people at the grass roots.” Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at sue.loughlin@tribstar.com Follow Sue on Twitter @TribStarSue Read More

U.S. Rep. Brooks supports Ebola quarantine

2014/10/31

ANDERSON – U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks believes health care workers treating patients with the Ebola virus should be quarantined in West Africa. Brooks spoke at the Anderson Rotary Club’s weekly luncheon Tuesday at Anderson Country Club, where she presented Ann Hardacre with a copy of the remarks read into the Congressional Record honoring Hardacre’s late husband, Bill. The Ebola virus is the No. 1 health care and national-security concern, Brooks said. “The health care providers are on the front line,” she said. “This is a disease we were not prepared for. We will get it right.” Brooks, chairman of the subcommittee on emergency preparedness, said she sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supporting a quarantine of health care workers. “The CDC should send a letter to all airlines not to allow those workers to board. It should be a no-travel policy,” she said. “I prefer there be a quarantine in West Africa.” If health care workers and members of the military exposed to the Ebola virus return to the United States, they should be placed in quarantine for 21 days, she said. Brooks said officials are still learning about the virus and that mistakes have been made. “To prevent a pandemic in this country, we need to determine the right procedures,” she said. Brooks noted that in 2009 President Barack Obama eliminated the position of special assistant to the president on bioterrorism, a position she believes should be reinstated. She said Ron Klain, who was named the Ebola czar by Obama, doesn’t have the background to deal with bioterrorism and should report to a special assistant to the president. Read More

Congresswoman Brooks: &#039;How do we start to feel secure again?&#039;

2014/10/31

Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks visited Noblesville today, speaking to the Chamber of Commerce and its members at its October Luncheon about Congress' goals in the upcoming term, particularly focusing on different types of security issues. Brooks said security is something she hears people show concern with more and more.  "Our country is built on bringing people together and believing in our future," Brooks said. "How do we fix it? How do we start to feel secure again? I do think Congress has a role to play in security: economic security, personal security, retirement security, and national security." Brooks continued, saying that things like a strong middle class and tax reform are major players in repairing economic security. Going along with personal security, Brooks spoke of creating a stronger, more educated and more skilled workforce and the creation of the jobs to match. "We know that we have far too many young people coming out of our high schools and even coming out of our colleges who truly have no idea...what the jobs are in your businesses or in you sectors," Brooks said, speaking to the crowd. Brooks said she believes that major changes need to be made concerning retirement security. "There are a lot more tools now for retirement security, but still we have far too many Americans relying on Social Security," she said. "That is not sustainable for the future. Doing nothing isn't an option. Hopefully in this next Congress, we'll get to some changes in Social Security and Medicare." Saving the biggest issue and topic for the end, Brooks spoke extensively about national security, concentrating on ISIS and the Ebola virus. "I knew Al Qaeda, when I started, was the top terrorist organization," she said. "ISIS wasn't even mentioned in 2013, and now ISIS is the largest growing, well-funded and most tech-savvy terrorist organization in the world." About Ebola, she said, "We just need to be prepared in a way unlike we have been in the past. (The two political parties) do come together, although I know it's hard to imagine, on some of the federal government's most critical roles, and we need to come together on these things." Overall, Brooks said she was confident for changes and progress in both chambers of Congress.  "I am optimistic about our prospects," she said. "We are a country that we've got to pull out of the pessimism. I know we're in a pessimistic mood, but we can overcome it with action and with results."  Read More

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Contact Information

1505 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2276
Fax 202-225-0016
susanbrooks.house.gov

Congresswoman Susan Brooks represents the 5th District of Indiana, which spans eight diverse counties throughout the central part of the Hoosier State. As a new member of Congress, she currently serves on the Education and Workforce, Homeland Security and Ethics Committees. She is also the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications.

Her strong background in both the public and private sectors includes experience as a proven difference maker in areas such as public safety, homeland security, counter-terrorism and economic development.

Before joining the House of Representatives, Susan served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Ivy Tech Community College. Collaborating with a wide network or stakeholders, she implemented workforce development strategies aiming to enhance job training and placement for thousands of Hoosier residents.

In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Susan as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. Serving as the chief federal law enforcement officer for a majority of the Hoosier state, she received bi-partisan acclaim for efforts to battle mortgage fraud, gun violence, drug trafficking, gangs, child exploitation and identity theft.

Susan also earned recognition as Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis during the Steve Goldsmith administration, where she provided oversight on public safety operations and drove community dialogue on vital civic issues. Over her tenure, she managed police, fire and emergency response efforts while serving on boards related to criminal justice, community corrections, violence reduction and race relations.

Susan practiced law at the Indianapolis firm of Ice Miller and also served as a criminal defense attorney for Indianapolis based McClure, McClure and Kammen.

After receiving her undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio, Susan pursued a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. In May of 2013, Susan was awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Marian University in Indianapolis. She resides in Carmel, Indiana with her husband David and they have two young adult children.


Serving With

Jackie Walorski

INDIANA's 2nd DISTRICT

Marlin Stutzman

INDIANA's 3rd DISTRICT

Todd Rokita

INDIANA's 4th DISTRICT

Luke Messer

INDIANA's 6th DISTRICT

Larry Bucshon

INDIANA's 8th DISTRICT

Todd Young

INDIANA's 9th DISTRICT

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