Susan Brooks

Susan Brooks

INDIANA's 5th DISTRICT

House Honors Dr. Otis ‘Doc’ Bowen

2016/09/26

WASHINGTON—Today, the House passed H.R. 5509, legislation introduced by Rep. Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) to rename the Veterans House of the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center in Indianapolis in honor of Dr. Otis ‘Doc’ Bowen, former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Indiana Governor and member of the Army Medical Corps during World War II. The Veterans House is a home away from home for veterans receiving outpatient medical care and family members of hospitalized veterans at Roudebush. The bill must now be considered by the Senate.

“Whether it was in the trenches of war, in political office, or at the doctor’s office, Doc Bowen had a clear passion for serving others,” Brooks said. “His experiences as a combat physician and as a family doctor built a strong foundation for his efforts first as Governor of our great state of Indiana and then later as Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Ronald Reagan. Doc Bowen recognized that the love and support of family and friends are critical components to recovery, and so it’s only right that when Hoosier veterans and their families are in need of a home away from home to find support, to find comfort and to heal, they can find it in a building that bears his name. I’m proud that the Dr. Otis Bowen Veterans House will be a living legacy to honor and continue the life’s work of this great Hoosier.”

From 1985 to 1989, Bowen served as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President Ronald Reagan. The first doctor to serve as Secretary, he spearheaded the federal government’s response to the spread of AIDS, promoted public awareness of the dangers of the disease and worked towards its eradication.

As the Governor of Indiana from 1973 to 1981, Bowen restructured the state’s tax system to reduce reliance on property taxes, instituted major improvements to state park facilities, developed a statewide emergency medical services system, and adopted a medical malpractice law that became a national model. He first won elected office in 1956 as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives, and was reelected again for seven consecutive terms between 1960 and 1972, serving as Speaker during four legislative sessions.

Before his career in public service, Bowen established a successful family medical practice in Bremen, Indiana, that remained open for 26 years. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1943 to 1946, and he was with the first wave of Allied troops in the invasion of Okinawa in 1945. Bowen earned both B.A. and M.D. degrees from Indiana University, and was born in Richland Center, Indiana. He died in 2013 in Donaldson, Indiana.

The Veterans House, located at 2669 Cold Springs Road in Indianapolis, features 28 fully furnished guest suites with private baths, a common kitchen and dining area, laundry and recreation rooms. The Veterans House was established to provide temporary lodging for veterans and their families, many of whom are unable to incur extra costs associated with a long medical stay away from their home. There is no cost to the veteran or family members to stay at the Veterans House. Funding to build the Veterans House was provided by a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. At the time of the grant, Bowen was a member of the Endowment’s board of directors and encouraged its support of veterans’ causes. In addition to the Lilly Endowment grant, the donations of many service and community organizations are making the project possible.

Rep. Brooks spoke in honor of Dr. Bowen on the House floor before H.R. 5509 passed. Her remarks are available online at: https://youtu.be/rGywKIO1hMY.

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Brooks Votes to Block All Ransoms and Cash Payments to Iran

2016/09/23

Washington, DC – Last night, Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) voted in favor of H.R. 5931, the Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act, to make it clear that the Obama Administration violated longstanding U.S. policy by paying ransom for the return of American held hostages by Iran in untraceable currency, and prohibiting such action in the future. The bill passed the House by a vote of 254-163. Following the vote, Brooks released the following statement:

“Ransom payments to countries like Iran – the largest state sponsor of terrorism – only serve to fund terrorist activities and encourage Iran to take more hostages, further endangering American citizens abroad. The Administration deliberately misled Congress and the American people, and we are already witnessing the effects. In fact, since the deal, Iran has detained three more Iranian Americans and four other Western dual-nationals. We can’t allow this practice to continue, and in the best interests of the security of our country and our citizens, we must prevent any future ransom or cash payments to Iran.” 

In January, the Administration revealed that it paid a $1.7 billion “settlement” to Iran coinciding with the release of five unjustly detained Americans. Last month, Congress learned that the payment, made in unmarked foreign cash, was airlifted to Iran, and hostages were only freed once the money was secured. Currently, no law prohibits this from happening again, which is why H.R. 5931 is so important. These payments are dangerous and will only fund more terrorism and put Americans travelling abroad at risk.

Specifically, H.R. 5931:

  • Cites concerns that the Obama Administration violated longstanding U.S. policy by releasing prisoners and paying ransom for the return of Americans held hostage by Iran, a designated state sponsor of terrorism.
  • States that it remains U.S. policy not to pay ransom or release prisoners in order to obtain the release of U.S. citizens who are taken hostage abroad.
  • Prohibits the U.S. government from making any direct or indirect payments to Iran in U.S. or foreign currency, as well as cash-like forms of exchange, such as bearer bonds.
  • Demands transparency on any future settlements with Iran to ensure that they are not used to pay ransom. 
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Reps. Young, Brooks, and Bucshon question DHS Secretary over recent agency failures

2016/09/22

WASHINGTON, D.C. —On Thursday, Reps. Todd Young (IN-09), Susan Brooks (IN-05), and Larry Bucshon (IN-08) requested answers from Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson after an Inspector General report found as many as 1,811 individuals with deportation orders may have been erroneously granted citizenship.

The Indiana lawmakers said they are focused on immediate actions needed to mitigate the security risks which arose from the mismanagement within the Department of Homeland Security.

“The failure to robustly review and vet individuals for naturalization allowed several aliens with prior final deportation orders or with criminal histories to be granted security clearances and sensitive public positions,” their letter states.

Rep. Young also issued a statement Wednesday which said a breakdown of this magnitude between homeland security and immigration agencies “identified an alarming flaw in our immigration system. … “ [click to read Young’s full statement].

The lawmakers called on the DHS Secretary to clarify the extent of the problem and actions being taken to “prevent such lapses from endangering U.S. homeland security.” 


September 22, 2016

The Honorable Jeh Johnson

Secretary of Homeland Security

Washington D.C. 20528

 

Dear Secretary Jeh Johnson:

This month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General found that as many as 1,811 individuals failed to receive appropriate vetting by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) due to failure to properly maintain records within the Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT). We are writing to clarify the extent of this problem and the intended actions to mitigate the security risks that arose from this negligence.

Beginning in 2012, the Department of Homeland Security began the process of digitizing hardcopy records of fingerprints from the hundreds of thousands of aliens with prior deportation orders and criminal records. However, this crucial task was seemingly abandoned after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) completed only half of the fingerprint digitization effort.

The agency’s failure to properly maintain a robust electronic record of deportation orders resulted in the naturalization of 858 individuals who had previously been ordered to be deported or were removed under alternate identities. An additional 953 individuals have been identified by the DHS Office of Operations Coordination (OPS) team for further review due to inaccurate recordkeeping. This failure to robustly review and vet individuals for naturalization allowed several aliens with prior final deportation orders or with criminal histories to be granted security clearances and sensitive public positions.

We respectfully request that you provide responses to the below questions by no later than October 3rd, 2016:

  • The DHS Office of Inspector General identified approximately 148,000 fingerprint records that need to be processed and digitized into IDENT. Within the OIG report, the Department identified the previous 2012 digitization effort as costly and time intensive. The Department indicated that a contract would be awarded before the end of this fiscal year, with an estimated project completion date of September 30, 2017. What additional checks will be put into the naturalization review process in FY 2017 to prevent further naturalization of these 315,000 aliens who were previously identified as having criminal records or were assigned final deportation orders?
  • Why was Operation Janus discontinued knowing it could impede further identification of fraud? Please provide what rationale was utilized to disband a team that appeared to effectively identify numerous flaws.
  • 120 naturalized individuals have been identified and prioritized by ICE officials for potential prosecution and denaturalization. What factors necessitated the prioritization of these individuals, whether it be a flawed review process, prior criminal history, current job status, special interest countries ties, etc?
  • What are the Department of Justice’s standards for bringing either criminal or civil proceedings against individuals who were improperly naturalized? What rationale did the Department of Justice provide to the DHS prior to 2015 as to why Justice did not pursue criminal prosecution for fraudulent cases? What prompted the DOJ’s Office of Immigration Litigation to change their policy in late 2015?
  • What is the breakdown of countries that these 1,811 individuals arrived from, including either special interest countries or countries bordering special interest countries?
  • In 2008, ICE staff was allegedly directed to begin transmitting fingerprints to IDENT. However, the Inspector General indicates that it wasn’t until 2010 when records were consistently added. What flaws existed that prevented consistent and reliable recordkeeping practices for this two year period?
  • The Inspector General report indicates that the existence of a prior deportation order does not automatically disqualify an individual from eligibility for citizenship. How many individuals does USCIS naturalize each year with previous deportation orders? What circumstances allow such an individual to be granted naturalization?
  • The report indicates that four naturalized individuals admitted to USCIS staff alternate identities and receipt of final deportation orders but that the individuals were eventually naturalized. What rationale was provided by the USCIS adjudicators regarding these instances of ignoring prior final deportation orders and granting naturalization?

Thank you in advance for your prompt response. We look forward to working with your department moving forward to prevent such lapses from endangering U.S. homeland security.

Sincerely,

Todd C. Young

IN-09

Susan Brooks
IN-05

Larry Bucshon
IN-08

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Brooks Joins Kennedy to Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Assist Domestic Violence Survivors

2016/09/22

Washington, D.C. – In response to a pervasive lack of legal assistance for domestic violence survivors, Congressman Joe Kennedy III today introduced the bipartisan POWER Act, which would help connect victims with legal representation. Studies have shown that survivors who can afford or access a lawyer successfully obtain restraining orders in 83% of cases, compared to 32% without a lawyer.  The bill is co-sponsored by Congressman Don Young (R-AK), Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN).

“For the victims of domestic violence, our justice system should be a safe haven,” said Congressman Kennedy. “Instead, too many survivors show up in court and face the very same fear and intimidation they are trying to escape.  Without access to legal assistance, many confront their abuser alone in court, victimized once again.  The POWER Act will help restore the promise of equal protection for the millions of domestic violence victims across our country.”

“Approximately one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and domestic violence survivors are not guaranteed a lawyer. As a result, many of these survivors are trapped in a cycle of abuse with no way to escape,” said Congresswoman Susan Brooks. “Civil legal aid has been proven to reduce domestic violence, because it helps survivors secure protective orders and get out of abusive situations. As a former U.S. Attorney, I am hopeful that U.S. Attorney offices across the country can play a role in raising awareness for the need of pro bono legal services, connecting victims of domestic violence with legal aid, and ultimately, empowering survivors.”

“No community or state is immune to the devastating impacts of domestic violence and sexual abuse. As a nation, we must do all we can to stem the tide of this growing epidemic,” said Congressman Don Young. “The POWER Act is only one small step in these efforts, but an important tool to empower victims with the necessary legal resources to seek justice. I’m proud to join Representative Kennedy and Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan in this effort to end the evils of domestic violence.”

“The frequency of domestic violence is more prevalent than most realize—nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. This staggering statistic will not change and could become worse if we don't empower survivors with the support they need to move forward,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “In Hawaiʻi, 575 domestic violence survivors seek support from local programs and services every single day, and too often, their needs go unmet. The POWER Act will give domestic violence survivors in Hawaiʻi and across the country access to affordable legal services as well as the protection that is often needed for themselves and their families.”

The POWER Act would require each U.S. Attorney’s office to annually host a public event supporting pro bono legal services for survivors of domestic violence.  The U.S. Attorneys would report to the Department of Justice which will then compile a single report to Congress each year summarizing the events and discussing their effectiveness.

Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), introduced a companion version in the Senate, which passed with unanimous support.

“Domestic violence and sexual assault are scourges that we must work to eliminate,” said Senator Dan Sullivan. “One of my priorities as Attorney General for Alaska was to tackle the unacceptably high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault in my state. Among other initiatives, I put on a pro bono summit that gathered lawyers from all across the state and saw firsthand how effective such efforts can be. I’m grateful that many lawyers in my state continue to provide much-needed legal services to victims on a pro bono basis. And I am grateful to Congressman Kennedy for introducing this bill in the House of Representatives. We were sent to Washington, D.C. to make a difference. This bill will help make a difference.”

“Too often, victims of domestic violence are unable to seek permanent refuge because they lack the protective legal services that keep them safe from their abusers – but our bill aims to change this,” said Senator Heidi Heitkamp. “We can make sure domestic violence victims – especially those living in Indian Country – can access affordable legal services that can help them escape the often cyclical abuse they experience. Last fall, the Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan bill Senator Sullivan and I introduced to help make those services more available, and it’s great news that Congressman Kennedy is building on that momentum by introducing our bill in the House of Representatives today with a bipartisan group of cosponsors. As North Dakota’s former Attorney General, I understand the many legal needs of victims of domestic violence – and how difficult access to those services can be. By asking our U.S. Attorney’s to take the lead in prioritizing increased access to legal protections for victims of these crimes, with a particular focus in states like North Dakota on our most vulnerable populations including women in Indian Country, this bill helps make sure those critical defense tools are available to victims who need them most.”

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Perfect finish for Tamika Catchings

2016/09/19

INDIANAPOLIS -- One by one, they clung to her, unwilling to let go. It was a hug-fest and a love-fest. But this was different, even for farewell.
 
For these weren’t Indiana Fever players hanging onto Tamika Catchings for dear life. These were Dallas Wings players. Catchings’ legacy transcends one team, one league or one sport.
 
In her last regular-season game, the Fever romped to an 83-60 victory Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. No one was spoiling this day.
 
In a postgame ceremony, Catchings reiterated her story: As a young girl with a hearing impairment and speech difficulties, she played basketball so no one would make fun of her.
 
“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be here and doing this,” she said.
 
She is not done. Not yet.
 
Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever, whose storied career included four Olympic gold medals, an NCAA title, and a WNBA title, says goodbye to fans after her final regular season game. (Robert Scheer/IndyStar)
 
The No. 5-seeded Fever (17-17) open the WNBA playoffs against Phoenix in a home game at 6 p.m. Wednesday. If the Fever lose, Catchings’ career is indeed over. If they win, they will play in the second round at No. 4 Chicago.
 
Game statistics for the 37-year-old Catchings were Tamika-like: 16 points, seven rebounds, one assist, two steals.
 
“She just did everything that she’s always done,” Fever coach Stephanie White said. “She does what needs to be done on the floor when it needs to be done.”
 
Everything? Everything.
 
Carol Callan, women’s national team director for USA Basketball, recounted an incident in which Catchings hand-washed uniforms for a junior team.
 
The ceremony climaxed with presentation of a $100,000 check to Catchings’ foundation by Jim Morris, vice president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, and a new Lexus for her that was driven to courtside.
 
Addresses were delivered by White and longtime teammate Briann January, both of whom ended in tears; former Fever coach Lin Dunn, who invoked the memory of Catchings’ college coach, the late Pat Summitt of Tennessee; Rick Fuson, president and CEO of PS&E; Fever executive Kelly Krauskopf; WNBA president Lisa Borders; Rep. Susan Brooks and Mayor Joe Hogsett.
 
Catchings can be volatile on the court – White remembered a seventh-grade Tamika erupting at a summer tournament and hurling a basketball against the wall – but she was composed throughout the game and afterward. Her tears were shed long ago, she said.
 
It wasn’t that way for teammates. Shenise Johnson said the Fever were weepy before tipoff. January conceded she has “been in denial this entire season.” She said she could not look at Erlana Larkins, who teared up at times on the court.
 
“You just want to make the most of all  these moments,” January said. “You know there are few. There’s not many left. So it’s tough. It was really tough today.”
 
Essentially, Hogsett, Krauskopf and Borders all offered jobs to Catchings. Dunn, a native Tennessean, wanted her to return to that state. Borders’ declaration that she wanted to bring the adopted Hoosier to the league’s New York office was greeted by boos.
 
“This is home,” Catchings assured the audience.
 
Catchings said more than 20 family members were in attendance. The Indiana Pacers were also represented, featuring Olympic gold medalists Reggie Miller and Paul George.
 
Fans wore white “#24 Forever” T-shirts in a white-out. Video tributes featured comments from some of the WNBA’s biggest stars, including former MVPs Maya Moore, Tina Charles, Diana Taurasi and Elena Delle Donne.
 
Although the fieldhouse held less than the announced crowd of 17,704 – George purchased 5,000 balcony tickets for free distribution – the gathering resembled that for the WNBA Finals. Fans were not disappointed.
 
Catchings left the bench midway through the fourth quarter for a cameo, leaving soon thereafter to an ovation. She smiled, acknowledged the crowd and sat … then stood and waved some more.
 
Goodbye, as inevitable as it was, might have been easy for her. It was not for anyone else.
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Retiring Catchings leads Fever to 83-60 win over Wings, leaves with a Lexus

2016/09/19

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - The Indiana Fever honored the 16 year WNBA career of Tamika Catchings during a one hour postgame ceremony Sunday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The retirement celebration followed an 83-60 blowout win over the Dallas Wings. Catchings scored 16 points with seven rebounds, two steals and an assist in her final regular season game.

Catchings checked out of the game with 1:33 left, receiving a rousing standing ovation from the 17,704 fans wearing "#24 Forever" white t-shirts. Nearly the entire crowd, which included Pacers legend Reggie Miller, stuck around for Tamika's retirement ceremony.

The house lights were brought down and chairs on the court were filled with Catchings' family, current and former teammates, coaches, politicians and executives from NIKE, USA Basketball and Pacers Sports and Entertainment. The speakers list included Congresswoman Susan Brooks, Mayor Joe Hogsett and WNBA President Lisa Borders.

Former Fever head coach Lin Dunn, who led the franchise to its only WNBA title in 2012, received the loudest ovation among the guest speakers.

"You are a giver like I have never seen before," Dunn told Catchings. "The other thing that you will be remembered for is how you made other players better. You're simply the best. You're better than all the rest." 

Many of the speakers talked about Tamika's many contributions off the court through her Catch the Stars foundation that promotes literacy, fitness and youth development.

"She decided from day one that she wanted to make a difference," said Fever head coach Stephanie White. "Boy, has she ever made a difference in the state of Indiana and the Indianapolis community."

White played with Catchings then coached her as an assistant and head coach.

"I was lucky to be your teammate," White told Catchings, pausing and choking back her emotions. "I'm honored to be your friend. I am so proud, so proud of who are. We thank you for gracing us with your presence every day for making us better people."

Pacers Sports and Entertainment presented Tamika with a $100,000 check for her Catch the Stars foundation and a Lexus SUV for her to drive into retirement. NIKE presented Catchings with two armchairs upholstered in her Fever and USA Basketball uniforms. She also received a portrait of herself in her basketball uniform.

After all the gift presentations, Catchings took the microphone.

"Wherever I go, whatever I do next, whatever that looks like - I can't thank you enough for supporting my family and I, for welcoming us in to Indiana, a place that all we did know was that they played basketball," Catchings told the crowd. "But it's so much more. I’ve lived here longer than I've lived anywhere in my whole entire life and literally this is home. This is home for us."

The often emotional Catchings remained composed, telling the crowd she has given every ounce of energy to being the best player she could be for the past 16 years.

"When you give that much, my tears have already been shed," said Catchings. "So whatever happens next, just know each one of you guys lives right here in my heart. I'm so thankful that this journey ends here on this court."

The journey is not over yet. The Fever host the Phoenix Mercury in a one-game first round of the WNBA playoffs Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

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Indianapolis transforms into 'Mini World' of all religions

2016/09/19

Ahimsa Parmodharam (non-violence is the supreme religion). Our common call to Protect God's Creation unites us together. Love for all and Hatred for Non. Some of these banners clearly explain the importance of unity in religious diversity. Religious leaders of different faiths --- Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Jews, Islam and other faiths shared the same platform on the occasion of 4th Indy Festival of Faiths. Indianapolis today transformed into a 'Mini World' of all religions.

Center for Interfaith Cooperation (CIC) on Sunday organized the Fourth Annual Festival of Faiths at the Veterans Memorial Plaza, Downdown, Indianapolis. It was an opportunity to increase interfaith understanding and highlighting religious history of Indiana throughout the year.

In a message Governor of Indiana Michael R Pence wrote "This event is celebration of different religious communities within Indiana and their contributions that make up the fabric of our state. I appreciate the many hours of hard work that went into planning this event, which will expand the cultural and religious understanding of your Hoosiers unity in Indiana....."

Indianapolis Mayor Joseph Hogsett in his message said "...It is encouraging to know that citizens like you are continuing to build strong communities through hospitality and appreciation of religious diversity..... It is important to offer opportunities for citizens to embrace our cultural diversity and to serve as a welcoming community to all."

Procession of Faith Congregation was led by 2016 Interfaith Ambassador Kanwal Prakash Singh, who is a world renowned artist and Sister Stella Sabina. After welcome by Master of Ceremonies Maninder Walia, words of welcome were by Indianapolis Faith leaders Rabbi Shelley Goldman, Imam Mikal Saahir, Maria Pimentel Gannon, Dr Vimal Patel and Reverend Marilyn Gill marked the opening ceremony.

Various programme were arranged. Program by Guitarist Michael Glenn Bell, Mormon Choir, guided meditation with Dr Unissa Nava, Taiko Drumming with the Soka Gakkai Buddist Community, Dance troupe from Philippines, Sikh Sacred Hymns of Praise, Thanksgiving and Unity by Ragi Joginder Singh Jatha, Giani Pritam Singh and members of theSikh Community.

Led by Congresswoman Susan Brooks table conversations modeled civil discourse and authentic inter-faith dialogue as community leaders facilitated conversations about challenging contemporary issues.

With a goal to brining East and West closer internationally Billbord Top-10 charting artist Denish singer Anita Hjorth Lerche sang Hindu devotional Bhajans and Punjabi songs. Anita, who is also known as Heer from Denmark, was sponsored by Sikh's Political Action Committee.

Importance of a turban in Sikh's life was demonstrated at a vendor which provided an opportunity for a visitor to learn how to tie and wear it. The visitors showed overwhelming response. After getting the turban tied, the participant took photos by selfy. A three-month old Lincoln remained calm while Gurinder Khalsa Singh was tied a blue turban on his head. "Lincon was a prince and now he is a crowned prince," remarked Gurinder Singh.

Gurinder Khalsa Singh, founder and current chairman of Sikhs Political Action Committee (a voice for Diversity and Humanity) and Rupal Thakker Thanawala were among those present participated on the occasion. CIC vice chair Gehlausen and CIC Executive Director Charlie Wiles were looking for all arrangements.

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Congresswoman Susan Brooks displays interest of people as center of her commitment

2016/09/19

Representatives of  different professions, businesses, and interests - art gallery owners, scientists, medical professionals, internet and business experts, restoration work, artist, sports, mediapersons, faith and interfaith leaders today held an intimate table-conversation with Congresswoman Susan Brooks at India Garden Restaurant in Downtown here.She was most attentive, gracious, and open to ideas and suggestions put forth by the representatives  around the table.Summing up the table-conversation renowned world artist and interfaith leader Kanwal Prakash Singh, who is winner of a number coveted international and national awards, said “We came away with the impression that Susan Brooks, a  brilliant public servant has the interest of people as the center of her commitment.” She applauded the idea of “intimate table-conversations with citizens” where the real issue are brought forth and solutions are discussed.
 
“We were deeply touched by Congresswoman Susan Brooks’ candor, her thoughtful listening and openness to learn and serving all Hoosier in the time-honored tradition of other great leaders: Senator Richard Lugar, Governor Mitch Daniels, Mayor Greg Ballard, U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton. The very hardworking and dedicated Congresswoman Susan Brooks is a rising star  and serves on several important committees in the U.S. Congress,” said Mr KP Singh whose artwork has been described as “Lines of Distinction” in the media. “Those who attended the friendly lunch meeting  represented many faiths and spiritual and cultural associations and a rich spectrum of experiences. They are bound by a shared commitment to serve the State of Indiana and their love for the Nation, and that made them an interesting group of friends, explained Mr Singh. The lunch-table conversation covered a wide range of topics, ethnic community concerns, professional matters, and how to inspire others to become more engaged in sharing their talents and gifts, time and experiences to build a more attractive and welcome environment for people who live and work here and for those who may visit the State. The discussion centered around education as a critical first step: learning about each other and discovering untapped strengths; creating opportunities for newcomers and inviting them to explore exciting prospects that honor and use their talents; encouraging integration and mainstreaming into the community fabric and civic engagement: becoming invaluable partners in the communities that they live in and work. Equally important is that the civic and political leaders should make a sincere effort to understand and address the critical concerns: respect for their faiths, cultures, and honored traditions; challenges of mistaken identity, discrimination, workplace harassment, bullying in schools due to faith-mandated articles and appearance; denial of visa for family members to attend ceremonies during difficult circumstances (serious illness, death) and participate in major celebrations (graduations, marriage) and other problems  faced by ethnic groups. A concerted effort at getting to know: building personal contacts and relationships and attending celebrations with citizens that they serve would be an important step.
 
Honored guest Congresswoman Susan Brooks was presented a scarf by Mr KP Singh on behalf of the representatives as a token of love.Those present on the occasion were Karen Glaser (Chief of Staff- Indiana Office of Susan Brooks),  KP  Singh , Jay Singh  (Ascension Health; Representative, KP Singh Designs), Rabindra Paul Singh  (Scientist and Partner, KP Singh Designs), Maninder Walia (former President of Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis; Sikh community leader; Restoration and Remodeling Business), Andrew Van Winkle (Restoration and Remodeling Business), John and Barb Mallon - (owners of Editions Limited, the most prestigious Art Gallery in Indiana), Raju Chinthala ( Speech Pathologist; President of Indianapolis-Hyderabad Sister City; India community leader), Rupal Thanawala (former President of Asian American Alliance; community leader - United Way), Balbir Singh (freelance journalist) and Parveen Kumar (Tennis professional). 
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House Acts to Prevent Transfer of Guantanamo Detainees

2016/09/15

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House passed H.R. 5351, a bill introduced by Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN02) to prohibit the transfer of any individual detained at Guantanamo Bay. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN05) voted in favor of this legislation and released the following statement:

“I’m proud to have supported Rep. Jackie Walorski’s legislation that would halt transfers of these dangerous individuals and that is in the best interest of our national security. With nearly one third of detainees returning to terrorism after their release, it’s clear that that a more thorough vetting process must be established before any more transfers are granted. This is about keeping our country safe, and this bill couldn't be more necessary. Especially when many of these countries do not have the resources to monitor and secure these individuals to prevent them from engaging once more in terrorist activity. I will always put the security of our nation and the safety of our citizens first, and this legislation is one way that we can better secure our homeland.”

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Republican delegation wants GI Bill benefits returned to ITT Tech students

2016/09/14

Six of Indiana’s U.S. representatives filed legislation Tuesday to help veterans regain their GI Bill education benefits after the closure of ITT Technical Institute.

Carmel-based ITT Educational Services Inc. shut down all of its ITT Tech campuses on Sept. 6, leaving more than 1,000 Hoosier students without degrees.

While current federal law allows students to have their federal student loans discharged if they are unable to complete a degree program due to the closure of a school, there is no similar provision for veterans who used the GI Bill to cover costs.

“Thousands of veterans invested their time and educational benefits to attend ITT Tech, and now they are left without a degree or path forward,” U.S. Rep. Luke Messer, a Republican from the 6th District, said in a written statement.

The legislation would let veterans recover their benefits if they were using them at a college or university that closes, preventing them from graduating. The new legislation would apply to all veterans who were enrolled at ITT Tech at the time it closed.

Messer filed the legislation along with fellow Republican U.S. Reps. Todd Young, Jackie Walorski, Susan Brooks, Larry Bucshon and Todd Rokita.

In addition to the effort in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Indiana state agencies and representatives from five Indiana colleges announced actions to help former ITT Tech students.

Indiana Wesleyan University said it will let ITT Tech students transfer up to 90 credits into its non-residential programs and offer them a 10 percent tuition discount.

However, many colleges, including Ivy Tech Community College, do not accept ITT Tech credits. Instead, the community college is waiving some course test-out fees to help students earn credit for the education they gained while at ITT Tech.

Oakland City University, Harrison College and WGU Indiana are also taking some steps to ease the transition. A complete list of the assistance can be found on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s website.

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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


Rep. Susan Brooks Speaks During Computer Science Education Week

2016-01-26 22:19:33


Rep. Susan Brooks joins fellow Members of Congress to Roll-Out the Women 2 Women Agenda

2016-01-26 22:17:01


Brooks: EPA Clean Power Plan Means Lost Jobs

2015-12-01 20:28:04


Rep. Brooks: Redouble our Efforts to Destroy ISIS

2015-11-17 18:13:26


Rep. Brooks Speaks in Support of S. 599, the Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric Care Act

2015-11-16 23:11:08


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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