Susan Brooks

Susan Brooks

INDIANA's 5th DISTRICT

Pro-Life Indiana U.S. Reps. Pass Measure to Overturn Obama Abortion Funding Rule

2017/02/17

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure, 230-188, that overturns an Obama administration rule forcing states to fund abortion providers with taxpayer dollars. Indiana’s seven pro-life U.S. representatives voted to advance the measure and protect taxpayers – Reps. Jackie Walorski (IN-2), Jim Banks (IN-3), Todd Rokita (IN-2), Susan Brooks (IN-5), Luke Messer (IN-6), Larry Bucshon (IN-8) and Trey Hollingsworth (IN-9).

“States should not be forced to fund the abortion industry against their will,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “We thank the seven Indiana representatives who agree with the majority of their constituents that taxpayer dollars should not flow to abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood.”

H.J. Res. 43 is now eligible for a vote in the U.S. Senate. Indiana Right to Life previously spoke in favor of an identical measure, H.J. Res. 39, sponsored by Indiana representative, Luke Messer, and cosponsored by 140 of his colleagues.

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Bill to Protect Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions Introduced

2017/02/16

Washington, D.C. – Today, Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) introduced H.R. 1121, the Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act of 2017. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) is an original co-sponsor of this legislation which reaffirms guaranteed healthcare access, ensures that enrollees cannot have benefits excluded from a plan due to a pre-existing condition, and that patients will not pay more based off of how healthy or sick they may be. Following introduction of the bill, Brooks released the following statement:

“At a recent event in Anderson, a mom brought me a photo of her daughter, a young woman with a pre-existing condition. She was concerned about her daughter’s ability to have healthcare coverage in the future. This bill protects her daughter, and the countless other Hoosiers who have pre-existing conditions, from astronomically high premiums and lost benefits based on how healthy or sick they may be. I’m proud to join Chairman Walden and my colleagues in supporting this bill.”

Read more from Walden and the Energy and Commerce Committee HERE. Click HERE to read a copy of the bill.

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Brooks Introduces Bill to Help Veterans Get the Most from GI Bill

2017/02/16

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN05) introduced H.R. 1104, the Veterans To Enhance Studies Through (TEST) Accessibility Act. After completing their service, veterans are eligible for a limited number of months of GI Bill benefits, which reimburse them for educational expenses incurred. Current law requires veterans to use a full month of their GI Bill eligibility to be reimbursed for licensing, certification and national tests. Given the relatively low cost of many tests, it often simply isn’t worth it for veterans to lose potential reimbursement for an entire month of other education expenses, like tuition. The Veterans TEST Accessibility Act allows veterans to be reimbursed for approved licensing, certification and national tests, while still eligible to use their remaining GI Bill benefits for additional education expenses in the same month.

“When I met with the Department of Indiana American Legion last fall, high rates of unemployment and underemployment among young veterans was a top concern,” Brooks said. “Young veterans returning from service face challenges in finding and keeping a job that their civilian counterparts do not, and asking veterans to lose a full month of the education benefits they’ve earned just to take a test shouldn’t be one of them. This bill helps veterans get the most out of their GI Bill benefits and compete in the job market. It makes it easier for veterans to use the opportunities that licensing, certification and national tests provide to advance and enhance their education, and to build a career. ”

In January, the unemployment rate for the youngest generation of veterans was 6.3% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate in January was 4.8%. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 22 percent of veterans say they are underemployed, meaning that they are working at a job that is below their skill level, and 20 percent report working at a low-paying job.

Under the Veterans TEST Accessibility Act, veterans can get reimbursed for an approved test at a pro-rated amount based on their percentage of coverage under the post-9/11 GI Bill. Hundreds of licenses, certifications and tests are available for coverage and have been previously approved by the Veterans Administration. For example, licenses are required for veterans to become athletic trainers, real estate agents and fire fighters. If veterans are interested in careers as mechanics, IT professionals, computer programmers, electrical engineers and medical technicians, for example, they must be certified. Lastly, in order to pursue undergraduate or graduate studies in a variety of fields including law, medicine and business, veterans must take a national test like the SAT, LSAT, MCAT or GMAT.  

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Republican women have made significant strides but have more work to do

2017/02/12

One hundred years ago during the 65th Congress, Jeannette Rankin was sworn in as the first female member of Congress. A Republican from Montana, Rankin was the first woman to hold national office.

Remarkably, she was chosen to represent her community when women were denied the right to vote. Following in her footsteps, just two Congresses later, three more Republican women were sworn into the House of Representatives.

One of these women, California’s Mae Ella Nolan, is particularly notable because she was the first woman to chair a congressional committee. Today marks the 94th anniversary of Nolan’s swearing-in, providing us with an opportunity to reflect on the tremendous role these women played in shaping the way for women in the Republican Party.

In the 115th Congress, 21 Republican women serve in the House of Representatives. In the 94 years since Nolan assumed office, Republican women have grown in number and strength. We represent congressional districts across the country and come from a wide range of backgrounds: a fighter pilot from Arizona; a business owner from Tennessee; a lawyer from New York; a rancher from South Dakota; a journalist from Indiana; and an accountant from Kansas.

Republican women in the House have grown not only in numbers, but we have also risen to leadership positions within the party. As chair of the House Republican Conference, Cathy McMorris Rodgers serves as a powerful voice for the party, while promoting conservative values and representing women across the country. Three of the 21 women, Virginia Foxx, Diane Black and Susan Brooks, serve as committee chairs: education and workforce, budget, and ethics, respectively. Having women hold these positions is critical because they lend incredibly important perspectives that help shape the debate on the critical issues facing our nation.

Women need a seat and a strong voice at the table to make our voices heard. We take this responsibility very seriously. We feel a strong sense of duty to women across the country because we understand that all issues are women’s issues. We know that women are concerned about health care, child care and education, but we also know women are concerned about national security, the economy and our veterans.

As mothers, wives, daughters and sisters, we all want the best for our families, friends and this country. Ensuring future generations grow up in a safe and economically vibrant nation that promotes conservative values is a top priority for Republican women in Congress. We are committed to advancing an agenda that does these things, and we will work with our colleagues to make our voices heard in these important debates.

On the anniversary of the day Nolan was sworn into Congress, we have the opportunity to reflect on how far we have come, but also ahead to the work that remains. While we have made significant strides, we still have a great deal of work to do.

Today, women in America comprise over 50 percent of the population, yet we still face serious obstacles in the workplace and academia. We are working together to expand opportunities, increase flexibility, remove barriers and empower the next generation of women. By implementing these changes, women will have the tools they need to succeed and pursue their American dream.

I am humbled and honored to work with such an incredible group of strong women. We have come a long way since Jeanette Rankin and Mae Ella Nolan served in the House of Representatives, but we still have room to grow. Republican women in Congress and across this great nation make – and will continue to make – strong and substantial contributions to better their families, communities and America.

 

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DANIELS: McClelland right choice to fight opioid epidemic

2017/02/11

There are many reasons to applaud the early days of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s tenure. It’s clear he is focused on the things Hoosiers need, including job development, creating a ready workforce for the jobs we have and hope to attract, and our significant infrastructure needs.

All this might be expected from anyone elected governor in these times. But Holcomb has announced another initiative that is long overdue and holds the hope of broad benefit for Hoosiers throughout the state.

In one of his first pronouncements, the governor appointed Jim McClelland, the compassionate, savvy and strategic former Goodwill CEO, to manage the state’s prevention, enforcement and treatment policies relating to drug abuse. McClelland’s role is to coordinate, align and focus the resources of state government for greatest impact on the opioid crisis.

McClelland will focus on reducing the number of deaths from overdoses, expanding access to evidence-based treatment for those who are addicted, and reducing exposure of Hoosiers to opioids. He will approach the problem as both a public health issue and, as to suppliers of illegal drugs, a law enforcement issue.

As the governor pointed out in his State of the State address: “This epidemic causes ripple effects with devastating impacts on our children and families … our health care system … and our economy.” The health care concern is real and staggering. In addition to multiple overdose deaths, the widespread use of heroin in communities throughout the state and the sharing of dirty needles by addicts have caused an explosion of hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS.

McClelland’s appointment is more significant than it might sound and his task is more difficult than it might appear. Nine state agencies have responsibilities for dealing with Indiana’s opioid crisis. There are 91 county prosecutors, more probation departments and myriad judges who have jurisdiction over drug users and traffickers. That’s a lot of strong-willed, overworked people, often with conflicting views of the right path, sometimes uninformed by science. There is little interface between the judicial, hospital and public health systems.

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute awards grants to agencies throughout the state that, if not properly coordinated, might have only minimal impact. The funding streams from ICJI and other agencies must be coordinated. Local communities have little guidance in terms of the best ways to combat the heroin problem plaguing their citizens. Finally, we suffer from a severe shortage of treatment providers, who will be critical to the state’s ability to solve this problem.

Holcomb supports a bill easing restrictions on the state’s needle-exchange program to give counties more flexibility for immediate response. The bill has passed the House, though with opposition from some who fear it will encourage drug use. In fact, nearly 20 years of research indicates that such programs do reduce disease, do not lead to increased drug use, and likely encourage addicts to obtain treatment.

How do we pay for treatment? Another bill proposes funding for additional providers. And Congress recently passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes $1 billion over two years for opioid treatment. Members of the Indiana delegation, in particular Reps. Larry Bucshon and Susan Brooks, were strong proponents of the legislation.

Both the public and private sectors will need to collaborate in order to make even a dent in the problem. Fortunately, if anyone can figure out a way to coordinate disparate resources meaningfully and effectively, it’s Jim McClelland. Let’s all hope he succeeds.•

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My first Women4Change meeting

2017/02/08

My first Women4Change meeting was last night at St. Luke's . There were about 1,500 people there and reservations filled up over a month ago. They looked into getting an alternate place to take in overflow, but logistics proved difficult, so did not. They stressed several times that it was bipartisan, but my guess is at least 90 percent were liberal, probably more. There were several representatives there, and some sent an aide, including Susan Brooks, so at least one Republican. Mayor Joe Hogsett was there and spoke, in addition to a few other introductory speakers.

The main purpose was to introduce the 4 different task forces that would begin working separately from the main group. Those were Dignity and Safety, Mentoring and Empowering ( helping more women run for office, is one of their goals, ) Inclusion and Civility, and Reforming and Restrictiring Gerrymandering. After the first hour, We broke into groups to discuss what the next steps would be. Each subset group set future meetings.

There were also booths outside to gather information on a variety of issues, such as sexual assault, LGBTQ, Planned Parenthood, helping to assimilate refugees into the community, etc. Everyone was given a list of some important upcoming laws and numbers to call. I have no idea if my group will be a worthwhile use of my time or not, but I think it holds a lot of promise. There were at least two other meetings in Central Indiana last night that I know of, similar in purpose. At the least, it feels like doing something besides just donating money and making phone calls. At the most, it might actually make a difference.

Two more notes, while there were women of all different ages, there was not as much diversity as I had hoped, and that was one of the topics, on how to get more minorities involved. A smattering, but not a large group. Also, can't tell you how many women I heard saying they had never done anything political in their life, but they felt compelled to do so now. This feels like something big, and I was very pleased at how positive it was. Just thought some of you might be interested in this, since you probably think all I do is complain on here. Let me know if anyone you know would like more information.

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U.S. Rep. Brooks: Immigration order needs clarification

2017/02/04

ANDERSON — Rep. Susan Brooks said nothing that President Donald Trump has done in his first two weeks in office has been a surprise.

Brooks, a Republican who represents Indiana's 5th District, was at the Anderson Impact Center on Saturday for one of her regular “Connect with Your Congresswoman” event.

She said the executive order issued by President Donald Trump on immigration policies from seven Middle Eastern predominately Muslin nations, needs to be clarified.

“I have asked the White House for a better clarification for the agencies that have to execute the order,” Brooks said. “I do believe we need to strengthen the vetting process from those countries in particular. I do believe that was right.”

Brooks said she is OK with the executive order that would pause immigration from those countries for 90 days.

“There needs to be better communication,” she said. “There were reports that people with ‘green cards’ would not be allowed into the country, they are not affected.

Brooks said a top priority for Trump is to keep our country safe from terrorists.

“He (Trump) will implement executive orders and push Congress to pass laws to make our country safer,” she said.

Concerning changes to the Affordable Care Act, Brooks said there is interest from other states and federal lawmakers in the Indiana HIP (Healthy Indiana Plan) 2.0 as a possible model for other states.

She said because so many states are providing Medicaid services differently HIP is being promoted as an alternative.

“We need to allow the states the freedom to do what is best for their population,” Brooks said.

The HIP model was approached by the federal government as an expansion of Medicaid and requires a waiver from the federal government. Gov. Eric Holcomb applied for the waiver this week. She said Holcomb’s request to expand addiction in the application was powerful and addresses a problem in Indiana and the nation.

“Traditional Medicaid is broken, and it has a well-documented history of substantial waste, fraud and abuse,” Brooks said. “What we need to do to fix our broken Medicaid program is to grant states more freedom and flexibility to improve Medicaid, because expanding coverage absent of significant reforms is not responsible.”

She said federal lawmakers have to make sure the system is taking care of the most vulnerable citizens.

“What Medicaid was intended for was the elderly, disabled, pregnant woman and children,” Brooks said. “Under the Affordable Care Act it was expanded to the able-bodied population. With HIP the state was trying to help low income, able bodied families before it was required. It’s a good model with incentives for people to get back into the workforce.”

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Democrats, Republicans spar over ACA exchange bills

2017/02/02

A House subcommittee took a closer look Thursday at a group of bills that are designed to incrementally replace elements of the Affordable Care Act as Republican leaders gear up to repeal the healthcare law.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health was divided on clear partisan lines for much of the discussion on the four bills, which lawmakers revealed last week.

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The four bills seek to preserve bans on insurers denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions, alter the ACA’s rate-banding rule from 3:1 to 5:1, change the ACA’s grace period for receiving premium tax credits and adjust how enrollees are screened for eligibility during special enrollment periods.

Democrats present at the hearing called the efficacy of those provisions into question, especially with significant parts of the ACA set to be rolled back as part of the budget reconciliation process. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., called the proposals “half-written” and “half-baked” and called for congressional Republicans to work on bipartisan solutions to repair deficiencies the healthcare law.

“No one has a problem making improvements to the ACA,” said Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. “You’re not seeking to make improvements. You’re seeking to repeal it without saying how you’ll replace it.”

Republicans have tried to reframe their approach to repealing the law as “repairing” it, according to an article from Bloomberg. Lawmakers determined that such wording better reflects what the public wants from healthcare reform and is less inflammatory to people who fear that they could lose insurance coverage under a repeal.

However, despite the branding efforts, Republicans at the hearing didn’t mince words on the ACA. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, who introduced the bill to maintain coverage for those with preexisting conditions, said Democrats were willing to look the other way as individual insurance markets collapsed. “[The ACA is] not working. It’s left a lot of wreckage around, and we’re here to clean it up,” Walden said. “If you want to just walk away and let it collapse, a pox on your side.”

The stability of the individual markets has been a key concern for critics of the ACA, and Republicans at the hearing argued that the four bills on the table and House Speaker Paul Ryan's ACA replacement framework, “A Better Way," will stabilize those markets.

Another point of contention at the hearing: the ACA’s individual mandate, which the Trump administration has signaled it may cease enforcing. Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., said the GOP plans to provide consumers with “freedom” from the mandate’s restrictions.

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Energy and Commerce: #SubOversight Examines Medicaid Expansion

2017/02/01

 

WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), today held a hearing examining the expansion of the Medicaid program under Obamacare.

The Medicaid program faces serious challenges – skyrocketing costs, reports of fraud schemes, and eligibility determination errors are just a few of the problems plaguing the program and threatening health care services for those who need it the most. Given these challenges, today’s hearing served as a check-up to see if the program is appropriately serving the most vulnerable.

Witnesses offered testimony showing how the federal matching rate provides more funding for individuals who are newly eligible, while providing less funding for traditional Medicaid populations – low income children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities.

In a series of questions to Ms. Carolyn Yocom, Director of Health Care at GAO, Chairman Murphy askedabout Medicaid eligibility determination errors based on a GAO report from last fall and CMS’ freeze on measuring eligibility determinations from Medicaid. When asked what this freeze means, Ms. Yocom said, “It means we’re relying on an error rate that’s about three or four years old… And that we don’t right now know what’s going on with the eligibility determinations.”

Mr. Josh Archambault, Senior Fellow, The Foundation for Government Accountability, testified citing the “nearly 600,000 individuals [who] sit on waiting lists for Medicaid services.” In several lines of questioning, some Democrats raised concerns about these wait lists. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) reiterated the importance of this figure, saying it emphasizes the need to ensure that the program dollars are being spent to serve the most vulnerable populations.

Full committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) inquired about the Medicaid program being branded as “high-risk” since 2003, asking where that categorization came from. Witness from GAO and HHS OIG both cited the lack of data as the chief problem. Both Ms. Yocom and Ms. Ann Maxwell, Assistant Inspector General, Office of Evaluation and Inspections, HHS OIG, indicated that the lawmakers could expect to see some new work in the future regarding how better data can be collected and how to account for beneficiaries who may have been previously eligible.

A background memo, witness testimony, and an archived webcast of the markup can be found on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website here.

 

 

 
 

 

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PERMALINK

 
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Brooks Statement in Support of Judge Gorsuch

2017/02/01

Washington, D.C. - Rep. Susan Brooks released the following statement is support of President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch:

"Selecting a Supreme Court Justice is a process that the President has not taken lightly; it is one of the most important decisions the leader of this country can make. Judge Gorsuch's experience, his commitment to uphold the Constitution, and his reputation as a brilliant jurist make him an excellent choice. I am confident that he will serve with distinction. I urge the Senate to act swiftly to consider and confirm him to serve on the Supreme Court."

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What I'm Hearing Episode 5

2017-02-17 22:14:52


What I'm Hearing: Episode 4

2017-02-03 22:12:42


What I'm Hearing: Episode 3

2017-01-27 21:11:10


What I'm Hearing: Episode 2

2017-01-19 18:38:56


What I'm Hearing: Episode 1

2017-01-13 18:21:33


Rep. Brooks Speaks in Honor of Dr. Otis "Doc" Bowen

2016-09-26 23:49:41


Rep. Brooks speaks in support of mental health reform

2016-07-06 21:51:08


Rep. Brooks opening statement at House & Senate Conference Committee Meeting

2016-07-06 16:09:52


Interview with Rep. Susan Brooks and Rep. Trey Gowdy

2016-06-29 21:48:32


Brooks Bill to Improve Readiness for Biological Threats Examined by House Health Subcommittee

2016-05-19 15:26:36


Rep. Brooks Opening Remarks on Bills to Address the Heroin and Opioid Crisis

2016-05-13 18:52:44


Rep. Brooks Speaks About the Heroin and Opioid Crisis with House GOP Leadership

2016-05-11 18:38:15


Rep. Brooks speaks about efforts to address the heroin and opioid abuse crisis

2016-04-20 19:38:21


Rep. Brooks speaks in honor of Women's History Month

2016-03-30 19:15:19


Rep. Brooks speaks in honor of Howard County Sheriff's Deputy Carl Koontz

2016-03-22 21:18:58


Rep. Brooks Tribute to Coach Jim Belden

2016-03-03 15:24:40


Rep. Brooks Speaks about the Syrian Crisis

2016-03-03 14:44:09


Rep. Brooks Speaks about the Mental Health Crisis and Legislative Solutions

2016-02-25 23:47:30


Outbreaks, Attacks, and Accidents: Combating Biological Threats

2016-02-12 16:52:40


Rep. Brooks Honors the Heroism and Service of Principal Susan Jordan

2016-02-11 18:02:07


Contact Information

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

Committee Assignments

Ethics

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

Jim Banks

INDIANA's 3rd DISTRICT

Todd Rokita

INDIANA's 4th DISTRICT

Luke Messer

INDIANA's 6th DISTRICT

Larry Bucshon

INDIANA's 8th DISTRICT

Trey Hollingsworth

INDIANA's 9th DISTRICT

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