ANDERSON – After seven failed attempts, Madison County has secured $13.5 million in federal funds to replace the Eisenhower Bridge by 2019.
Sen. Joe Donnelly’s office announced Tuesday that Madison County has been awarded a TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant to provide 75 percent of the $18 million cost to replace the bridge.
“This is excellent news for Madison County and the City of Anderson, and the bridge replacement project will address one of their most pressing transportation infrastructure needs,” Donnelly, D-Ind., said. “The bridge replacement will help spur economic growth and help thousands of commuters who rely on the bridge for a safe commute to and from work every day.
Donnelly wrote a letter in support of the Anderson project to the secretary of the Department of Transportation in April.
Charles Leser, Madison County engineer, said the Indiana Department of Transportation has an April bid date for the contract.
“Next summer, work will begin on the relocation of utilities and removing the ramp under the bridge for the Madison County Sheriff’s Department,” he said. “In December 2017, the eastbound lanes will be closed for replacement.”
Leser said the project will take 2½ years to complete.
County Commissioner John Richwine said the county’s share of the project is $4.5 million. The county has set aside $900,000 from the state's return of the local option income tax reserve fund earlier this year that could be used for the project, he said.
U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, R-District 5, said in a statement that the bridge was "in desperate need of repairs."
"I was proud to advocate for the advancement of this project to the Secretary of Transportation," Brooks said. "I'm very pleased that they have finally received the necessary and full funding to make these long-needed repairs and restore this key business and transportation link to full service."
Opened in 1969, the downtown bridge carries 15,000 vehicles per day, the most of any bridge in Madison County.
To date, Madison County has spent $200,000 on the design and right-of-way acquisition, with the Council of Governments providing $1 million in additional funds.
Plans for the new bridge call for the deck to be 83 feet wide, 10 feet wider than the current span over the White River. The plans call for a center divider to separate the eastbound and westbound lanes, pedestrian walkways on both sides to include space for bicycles, and guardrails protecting walkers and bicyclists.
The plan is to keep the bridge open during construction, with traffic shifting to either the eastbound or westbound lanes.Read More
Carmel, Ind. - Rep. Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) released the following statement after one Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer was shot and other officer was injured in the line of duty:
"Our law enforcement officers risk their lives each and every day to keep us safe. Tonight, I wish the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officers injured a speedy recovery and send them, their families and their fellow officers my heartfelt thanks for their dedication and service to the people of Indianapolis."Read More
Washington, D.C. – Following the attacks on a Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France, Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) released the following statement:
“My heart breaks for the nation of France and the people of Nice who were brutally attacked while celebrating their national day of independence. I stand with France in the fight against terrorism and violence that threatens our world. We must protect and defend the rights and freedoms that France celebrates today. The same rights and freedoms that founded our nation, and bound us to France in our earliest years as a country. My prayers are with the families of the people killed, those who are still fighting for their lives, and for the French people tonight.”Read More
WASHINGTON— Last night, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed H.R. 3299, a bill introduced by Reps. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) to incentivize investment in vaccines and treatments for dangerous and deadly diseases and pathogens identified as threats to our national security by the Department of Homeland Security. Effective vaccines and treatments for these kinds of biological threats will enhance our Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The SNS is operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and has large quantities of medicine and medical supplies ready to be deployed to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency.
“Terrorist groups, including ISIS, are reportedly exploring biological attacks with smallpox and other agents,” Brooks said. “We can’t ignore the danger that these kinds of weapons pose to our national security, especially in our increasingly mobile and inter-connected world. We must continue to enact policies like H.R. 3299 that will put us in a stronger position to defend our health and our country from threats, whether occurring in nature or deployed by our enemies.”
“The first priority of the federal government is our national security, and today, there are significant gaps in our preparedness and readiness to combat dangerous and deadly diseases and pathogens like Ebola, anthrax or smallpox,” Brooks continued. “This bill helps to fill those gaps and better protect the health and safety of the American people. By incentivizing the development of vaccines and treatments before they are needed and eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy we can respond faster and more effectively to biological threats.”
H.R. 3299, the Strengthening Public Health Emergency Response Act, ensures faster development of critical medical countermeasures and eliminates bureaucratic red tape. The bill creates a new Priority Review Voucher program for material threats identified by the national security community. This program will incentivize the development, testing and distribution of vaccines and treatments for these kinds of threats by allowing a private sector company that receives approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a material threat vaccine or treatment to be eligible to receive a voucher that allows the holder to receive FDA priority review status for any future product. Products undergoing FDA priority review are generally provided with an approval decision within six months.
The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense released a report last October that found that our national biodefense strategy and efforts need significant improvement. Brooks has been leading efforts in Congress to act on the 33 recommendations presented in the Panel’s final report. Additionally, Brooks lead H.R. 4400 with Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), legislation that added Zika virus to the FDA Tropical Disease Priority Review Voucher Program. Companion legislation to H.R. 4400, S. 2512 was signed into law last month.Read More
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA05) and Rep. Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05), both former prosecutors, introduced the Interstate Sextortion Prevention Act, legislation that makes online sexual extortion a federal crime. Sextortion is defined as the use of extortion and threats to coerce sexual activity. Perpetrators often hack into personal devices to find intimate images or coerce victims to share sexually explicit content. The threat of exposure is used by the offender as leverage to demand an escalation of degrading and sometimes unimaginable sexual acts. Earlier this year, the non-partisan think tank Brookings Institution underscored the growing prevalence of online sexual extortion, its disproportionate impact on women and children, and gaps in federal law. The bill makes it a federal crime to use threats to cause another person to produce sexually explicit content or engage in sexual activity against their will. It would also criminalize the use of sexually explicit content to extort for personal gain.
“Thousands of women and children are the targets of online sexual extortion and they need to know that the justice system is on their side," said Clark. "As a mom of three teens, I can only imagine the nightmare parents face realizing their child has fallen victim to an online predator. The Interstate Sextortion Prevention Act ensures that when predators come after women or children – whether in the real world or online – they will be met by the full force of the law.”
Currently, federal law does not explicitly count sextortion as a separate offense, a problem that can lead to unprosecuted or under-prosecuted crimes.
“Increasingly, people, especially women, young people and children, are falling victim to online sexual extortion, and the Interstate Sextortion Prevention Act gives our law enforcement partners the tools they need to go after these sexual predators,” Brooks said. “This bill will provide victims, law enforcement officers and prosecutors with more support and resources to prevent predators from continuing to victimize people online and to make sure that these criminals will be prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law.”
According to Carrie Goldberg, a civil litigator and a board member of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative who contributed to the Brookings Institution’s findings, the offenders are often strangers met online who work patiently and meticulously to earn the victim’s trust over time, and then pounce once they have material for blackmail.
“Victims, who are almost always female, report feeling enslaved, trapped, suicidal,” said Goldberg. “The feeling of helplessness is compounded when they are turned away by law enforcers who don’t have the laws, interest or tools to stop the horror. As a lawyer who fights for victims of online harassment and sexual assault, I can attest to the urgent need for legislation criminalizing coerced sexual acts.”
The Department of Justice recently released a report declaring that, “sextortion is by far the most significantly growing threat to children.” Young victims of sextortion often feel shame and desperation, and reports indicate that they are at higher risk of suicide or self-harm. According to a 2015 FBI analysis of 43 sextortion cases involving child victims, at least two victims committed suicide and at least 10 more attempted suicide.
Brooks is a strong advocate in Congress for women and children, helping to reintroduce the Campus Accountability and Safety Act in the House, as well as for law enforcement, as a member of the Law Enforcement Task Force. As our world continues to be shaped by technology, Brooks has been active in efforts to update our laws to better reflect our mobile and increasingly online world. A former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Brooks received bi-partisan acclaim for her efforts to battle child exploitation during her tenure, and is proud to co-sponsor the Interstate Sextortion Prevention Act.
Clark has championed combatting severe online threats and abuse. She successfully earned the U.S. House’s backing to instruct the Department of Justice to investigate severe online threats, and to use existing laws to prosecute these crimes. Clark introduced the Prioritizing Online Threats Enforcement Act to ensure that federal law enforcement has the resources they need to enforce laws regarding the use of the internet to perpetuate severe threats. Clark is also the author of the Interstate Swatting Hoax Act of 2015, legislation to criminalize hoax calls made to law enforcement to elicit an armed police response.
Full text of the bill can be found here.Read More
WASHINGTON— Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) released the following statement in response to the attacks on law enforcement officers in Dallas, Texas, last night:
“Last night’s ambush on a peaceful protest and on the law enforcement community is an unspeakable act of violence. As we come together to mourn and to grieve, we must remember and honor the commitment and dedicated service of law enforcement officers around the country who risk their lives for their fellow citizens each and every day. The shared commitment to protect and to serve everyone, even those protesting law enforcement. We must also recognize those who stood in Dallas last night to make their voices heard and exercise a fundamental and foundational element of our democracy.”
“I offer my support and heart-felt prayers to the families of the officers lost in the line of duty last night, to those still fighting for their lives, to the first responders and law enforcement officers who ran towards the sound of gunfire, to the community of Dallas, and to the loved ones of the men who lost their lives in Baton Rouge and St. Paul.”
“Out of these tragedies, I hope that we will approach the coming days with compassion, understanding and a shared goal of bringing our nation and our communities back together. It is up to each of us to overcome the things that divide us, to renew the ties that bind us together and to stand strong in the face of violence and hate.”
WASHINGTON— Today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the conference report to accompany S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, by a bipartisan vote of 407-5. This legislation is comprised of proposals passed in the House and Senate to address the heroin and opioid epidemic that is claiming 78 American lives each day. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) released the following statement:
“This crisis is touching Hoosiers and Americans in every neighborhood and every family. It is a national epidemic, and today, the House acted together to offer meaningful solutions that will improve treatment options for people struggling with addiction, address the culture of over-prescription in our country that contributes to opioid abuse, and save lives by expanding access to overdose reversal drugs and providing education and awareness resources to first responders.”
“There is still work to be done, and while the House has passed this critical legislation, it’s now up to the Senate to make sure that our states, including Indiana, will benefit from the proposals in this bill as soon as possible. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act quickly on behalf of the millions of Americans who are battling addiction and their families.”
The conference report includes proposals passed by the House and Senate to address this public health crisis by giving states and local communities the resources to prevent and treat drug addiction, to support people in recovery, to save lives from overdose, and to end the culture of over-prescription of pain medication that contributes to heroin and opioid abuse. The final report includes a provision introduced by Brooks in the House, H.R. 4641, to establish a task-force of providers, pain management specialists, patient advocates, people in recovery and the relevant federal agencies. The task-force is responsible for reviewing, modifying and updating guidelines for prescribers of pain medication that were released by the Centers for Disease Control earlier this year.
In addition, the conference report authorizes the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to award grants to address the national epidemics of addiction to heroin and prescription opioids, and makes various other changes to Federal law to combat opioid addiction and abuse including:
The full text of the conference report is available here.Read More
WASHINGTON— Today, the House passed H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, a proposal to reform care and treatment options for people struggling with mental illness and their families. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), a cosponsor of H.R. 2646, issued the following statement after passage:
“Mental illness is a disease, and we need to start treating it like one. For the last 50 years, we have failed people struggling with mental illness by shrouding the disease in stigma, eliminating treatment and care options, and shutting families and loved ones out of care for people with serious mental illness. Our jails and emergency rooms are overflowing with people in need of mental health care, and there is a shortage of options and beds for people struggling with serious mental illness. The way we approach mental health care has to change, and this bill shifts support to evidence-based treatment and care methods that will work better for people struggling with mental illness and their families while expanding access to treatment to those who live in rural areas or underserved communities using innovative technologies to connect doctors to patients. These reforms are long overdue, and I will continue to work to ensure that mental health is a priority in Congress."
H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, helps people struggling with mental illness get appropriate care and treatment before a crisis occurs, and allows their families and loved ones to be partners in helping to combat the very serious and sometimes dangerous results of mental illness. Reforms in the legislation focus on evidence-based models of care and support efforts to make the full range of preventative screening, diagnostic and treatment services available to children and young adults under age 21. H.R. 2646 increases the number of mental health beds for those experiencing an acute mental health crisis, expands the mental health workforce, and extends mental health services to rural and underserved populations. Additionally, first responders and police officers would receive additional crisis intervention resources to help better respond to incidents involving a mental health emergency.
An electronic copy of the bill, as well as a background memo, amendments, and votes are available on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website here.Read More
81 New Witnesses, 75,000 New Pages of Documents Reveal Significant New Information, Fundamentally Changes the Public’s Understanding of the 2012 Terrorist Attacks that Killed Four Americans”
Washington, D.C. – Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (SC-04) released the following statement after the committee’s Majority released a mark of its investigative report:
“Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were heroes who gave their lives in service to our country. Their bravery and the courageous actions of so many others on the ground that night should be honored.
“When the Select Committee was formed, I promised to conduct this investigation in a manner worthy of the American people’s respect, and worthy of the memory of those who died. That is exactly what my colleagues and I have done.
“Now, I simply ask the American people to read this report for themselves, look at the evidence we have collected, and reach their own conclusions. You can read this report in less time than our fellow citizens were taking fire and fighting for their lives on the rooftops and in the streets of Benghazi.”
The committee’s proposed report is just over 800 pages long and is comprised of five primary sections and 12 appendices. It details relevant events in 2011 and 2012.
The following facts are among the many new revelations in Part I:
Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS-04) released the following statement regarding these findings:
“We expect our government to make every effort to save the lives of Americans who serve in harm’s way. That did not happen in Benghazi. Politics were put ahead of the lives of Americans, and while the administration had made excuses and blamed the challenges posed by time and distance, the truth is that they did not try.”
Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02) released the following statement regarding these findings:
“Our committee’s insistence on additional information about the military’s response to the Benghazi attacks was met with strong opposition from the Defense Department, and now we know why. Instead of attempting to hide deficiencies in our posture and performance, it’s my hope our report will help ensure we fix what went wrong so that a tragedy like this never happens again.”
The following facts are among the many new revelations in Part II:
Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-04) released the following statement regarding these findings:
“Obama Administration officials, including the Secretary of State, learned almost in real time that the attack in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Rather than tell the American people the truth, the administration told one story privately and a different story publicly.”
Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-06) released the following statement regarding these findings:
“In the days and weeks after the attacks, the White House worked to pin all of the blame for their misleading and incorrect statements on officials within the intelligence community, but in reality, political operatives like Ben Rhodes and David Plouffe were spinning the false narrative and prepping Susan Rice for her interviews.”
The following facts are among the many new revelations in Part III:
Rep. Susan Brooks (IN-05) released the following statement regarding these findings:
“President Obama has said his worst mistake was ‘failing to plan for the day after … intervening in Libya.’ As a result of this ‘lead from behind’ foreign policy, the Libyan people were forced to make the dismal trade of the tyranny of Qadhafi for the terror of ISIS, Al-Qaeda and others. Although the State Department considered Libya a grave risk to American diplomats in 2011 and 2012, our people remained in a largely unprotected, unofficial facility that one diplomatic security agent the committee interviewed characterized as ‘a suicide mission.’”
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03) released the following statement regarding these findings:
“One of the most concerning parts of the State Department’s policy in Libya was its reliance upon the militias of an unstable nation to protect our men and women in Benghazi. These were by no means forces that could adequately protect Americans on the ground, and the State Department knew it. But the appearance of no boots on the ground was more important to the administration.”
Part IV of the report reveals new information about the Select Committee’s requests and subpoenas seeking documents and witnesses regarding Benghazi and Libya, and details what the Obama administration provided to Congress, what it is still withholding, and how its serial delays hindered the committee’s efforts to uncover the truth.
Part V proposes 25 recommendations for the Pentagon, State Department, Intelligence Community and Congress aimed at strengthening security for American personnel serving abroad and doing everything possible to ensure something like Benghazi never happens again, and if it does, that we are better prepared to respond, the majority make a series of recommendations.
The Select Committee intends to convene a bipartisan markup to discuss and vote on the proposed report on July 8, 2016. All members of the committee will have the opportunity to offer changes in a manner consistent with the rules of the House.
The full report is available online at: http://benghazi.house.gov/NewInfoRead More
WASHINGTON— Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously passed H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, a proposal to reform care and treatment options for people struggling with mental illness and their families. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), a member of the Health Subcommittee that passed H.R. 2646 in November and supporter of H.R. 2646, issued the following statement after passage:
“We must change the way that we treat people with mental illness in this country and provide better, evidence-based care and treatment options for patients. Rep. Murphy’s legislation will make a real difference in the lives of the one in five Americans who struggle with mental illness, and empower family members to be partners in care for their loved ones suffering from serious mental illness. I applaud his efforts, and eagerly await consideration of this proposal by the House.”
The committee adopted an Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 2646, which unanimously passed the full committee by a vote of 53-0. Among other reforms, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act helps people struggling with mental illness get appropriate care and treatment before a crisis occurs, and allows their families and loved ones to be partners in helping to combat the very serious and sometimes dangerous results of mental illness. Reforms in the legislation focus on evidence-based models of care and support efforts to make the full range of preventative screening, diagnostic and treatment services available to children and young adults under age 21. Additionally, first responders and police officers would receive additional crisis intervention resources to help better respond to incidents involving a mental health emergency.
An electronic copy of the bill, as well as a background memo, amendments, and votes will be available on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website here as they are posted.Read More
1505 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
The Sheridan Rotary club finished their Community Park clean-up project. Thanks for your hard work! https://t.co/Un2vERcgRr
I'm headed to Elwood tomorrow to hear directly from you! Hope to see you at Elwood City Hall from 5-630 pm. https://t.co/cPvLThZ3ZM
Connect w/ Your Congresswoman events in Elwood & Pike Township coming up! Hope to see you there. https://t.co/KmcXKHglS6
Retweeted by SusanWBrooks
Great news for Marion and Grant County, Indiana: Marion Indiana GM stamping Plant to receive more than $90 million investment from General Motors.
Today,welfare reform turns 20, but if you are born poor today, you are just as likely to be stuck in a cycle of poverty as you were 50 years
Have you visited Grand Park - The Sports Campus at Westfield yet? Got to take a quick break and shoot some hoops there this afternoon. What a
Have you been to the Indiana State Fairgrounds for the Indiana State Fair yet? I got to check out the Indiana Bicentennial Commission Bison-tennial
Great to visit with a Fifth District small business, Paige's Music, and hear about their work in music education. The business was started in