WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Governor Holcomb announced that Indiana will join 24 other states in opting-in to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN05) offered the following statement after the announcement of this decision:
“First responders, firefighters, police officers and medical personnel who are informed and able to efficiently communicate with each other and other public safety officials in times of emergency are safer and better able to help those in need. Public safety officials need effective and reliable communication tools in order to save lives and come home safe to their families at the end of every shift. I am proud that in Indiana, we are doing everything possible to support emergency responders while they put their lives on the line to keep us safe.
“Indiana is a leader in public safety communications and I applaud Governor Holcomb’s efforts to further ensure the Hoosier state has a communications network that is able to keep up with our increasingly mobile world. FirstNet fosters better cooperation between law enforcement, fire departments, homeland security officials and public safety officials at every level of government.”
FirstNet is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. The idea for FirstNet came from a recommendation in the 9/11 Commission Report, which identified gaps in emergency communications and recommended a nationwide network for law enforcement, fire and emergency medical personnel communications.
Authorized by Congress in 2012, FirstNet’s mission is to develop, build and operate the nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. It enhances communications infrastructure, interoperability, and reliability by providing the public safety community with priority access to a broadband network.
FirstNet will strengthen public safety users’ communications capabilities, enabling them to respond more quickly and effectively to accidents, disasters, and emergencies.
Indiana joins 24 other states to opt-in to FirstNet: Virginia, Wyoming, Arkansas, Kentucky, Iowa, New Jersey, West Virginia, New Mexico, Michigan, Maine, Montana, Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, Hawaii, Alaska, Tennessee, Nebraska, Maryland, Texas, Minnesota, Alabama, Idaho and Louisiana.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, H.R. 2228, the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017, introduced by Representatives Susan Brooks (R-IN), Val Demings (D-FL), Doug Collins (R-GA), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Dave Reichert (R-WA), passed out of the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).
House Judiciary Committee Approves Bill to Improve
Mental Health Services for Law Enforcement Officers
October 12, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee today approved by voice vote a bipartisan bill to improve mental health services for law enforcement officers.
The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017 (H.R. 2228), introduced by Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), directs the Department of Justice, in consultation with the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, to develop resources to equip local law enforcement agencies to address mental health challenges faced by officers. The bill also makes grants available to initiate peer mentoring pilot programs, develop training for mental health providers specific to law enforcement mental health needs, and support law enforcement officers by studying the effectiveness of crisis hotlines and annual mental health checks.
The 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers in the United States have one of the most stressful occupations in the world. Research has shown time and again that police officer occupational stress is directly related to higher rates of heart disease, divorce, sick days taken, alcohol abuse, and major psychological illnesses such as acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety disorders. Many police departments have instituted mental health programs as preventative measures. These programs have had significant, successful results, such as a decrease in the number of police officer suicides.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Congresswoman Brooks applauded today’s Committee approval of the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act in the statements below.
Chairman Goodlatte: “Our nation’s law enforcement officers have one of the toughest jobs in the nation. Every day, they risk their lives to keep the peace and protect our neighborhoods from criminals. Due to the stressful nature of their occupations, law enforcement officers need better access to mental health services to improve their health and help alleviate the anxiety that is a byproduct of their jobs. The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act provides a number of resources to help improve mental health services for police officers cross the country. I thank Congresswoman Brooks for her work on this bipartisan bill and call on the House to take it up without delay.”
Congresswoman Brooks: “Members of our law enforcement deal with the unthinkable daily when working to keep us safe, and face situations that can be hard to process and impossible to forget. It is imperative that these first responders and police officers, who risk being shot at on the job or experience disturbing and horrific scenes when responding to emergency calls, are better equipped to manage severe stress and anxiety that can arise when dealing with these situations.
“The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017 supports law enforcement and helps provide resources to address serious mental health challenges officers face, such as depression and PTSD, as a result of their job. This bill also establishes peer mentoring programs because police officers are more likely to discuss the situations they face with their colleagues, as other police officers know first-hand how their jobs can impact their emotional wellbeing. I am proud to support our law enforcement agencies, mental health providers, and most importantly, our men and women in uniform for all they do in support of our communities. I look forward to this bill’s bipartisan support as it passes the House Judiciary Committee today and moves forward in the legislative process.”
The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act is supported by the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Officers, the Major County Sheriffs of America, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National District Attorneys Association, and the Sergeants Benevolent Association.
Click here to read the press release online.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee as part of a bipartisan “Member Day,” where representatives both on and off the committee shared proposals for ways to put an end to a crisis that is rapidly sweeping through communities across the country and taking too many American lives.
Brooks highlighted that Indiana University, in partnership with Governor Holcomb, yesterday announced a multi-faceted initiative to fight the opioid epidemic. The initiative, called Responding to the Addictions Crisis, is led by IU’s Dean of Nursing Robin Newhouse and is committing $50 million over the next five years to collaborate with state and community partners to tackle this crisis, making it one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive state-based responses with every IU campus throughout the state involved. It will focus on decreasing the number of overdose deaths due to opioids, decreasing the number of babies born addicted to opioids and decreasing the incidence of substance use disorder through five different concentrations: data collection and analysis, training and education, policy analysis and development, addictions sciences, and community and workforce development.
“I am proud of Indiana University’s commitment to tackling the opioid crisis head-on, and that major efforts continue across our state to help our friends, loved-ones and neighbors struggling with drug abuse,” said Brooks. “Every two and a half hours a Hoosier is sent to the hospital for an opioid overdose. The statistics are devastating and in order to end this epidemic, I believe everyone has a role to play. That is why I am developing legislation to ensure that physicians and other medical professionals are part of the solution so they can help prevent the onset of addiction by educating people of the dangers of drug abuse as well as support those already struggling with addiction.”
During today’s hearing, Brooks also highlighted the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 28, which provides a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of excess prescription drugs. There are a number of Take Back locations in Indiana and across the country. To find a location near you, click here.
For more information on Member Day, click here.
Washington, D.C. – Today, during National Health IT Week, U.S. Representatives Susan Brooks (R-IN05) and Dave Trott (R-MI11) introduced the Internet of Medical Things Resilience Partnership Act, which creates a public-private stakeholder partnership to lay out a cybersecurity framework to protect protects Americans’ sensitive healthcare information from cyber-attacks.
“There are millions of medical devices susceptible to cyber-attacks and often times, we are wearing these networked technologies or even have them imbedded in our bodies,” said Rep. Brooks. “Bad actors are not only looking to access sensitive information, but they are also trying to manipulate device functionality. This can lead to life-threatening cyber-attacks on devices ranging from monitors and infusion pumps, to ventilators and radiological technologies. As the number of connected medical devices continue to grow, so does the urgency to establish guidelines for how to prevent these kinds of dangerous attacks. It is essential to provide a framework for companies and consumers to follow so we can ensure that the medical devices countless Americans rely on and systems that keep track of our health data are protected. I am proud to introduce a bill with my colleague Rep. Trott that brings together public and private sector counterparts to address potential vulnerabilities of medical technologies.”
“The age of innovation has spurred technological advances that affect each and every corner of our lives from our smartphones to our cars,” said Rep. Trott. “In our nation’s hospitals, technology has helped provide better quality and more efficient health care, but the perpetual evolution of technology – its greatest strength – is also its greatest vulnerability. Since 2009, the health care data of over 127 million Americans has been compromised by cyber criminals, and existing security frameworks continue to leave this information vulnerable by failing to adapt to technological innovation. Today, during National Health IT Week, Rep. Brooks and I introduced legislation that would develop a robust yet malleable framework to protect Americans’ most sensitive medical information.”
The Internet of Medical Things Resilience Partnership Act creates a public-private stakeholder partnership to lay out a cybersecurity framework which protects Americans’ sensitive healthcare information from cyber-attacks. This partnership collects and centralizes all existing, relevant cybersecurity standards, guidelines, frameworks, and best practices, identified the current high-priority gaps and problems, and pinpoints actionable solutions while providing a framework for IoMT developers for which to reference.
National Health IT Week is a nationwide awareness week focused on the value of health care IT. It is an independent week made up of partner-driven events offering healthcare stakeholders an opportunity to united under one banner, one message: the benefits health information technology can bring to U.S. health care. October is also National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.
Washington, D.C. – Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO), Tom Reed (R-NY) and Susan Brooks (R-IN) introduced a bill that would strengthen protections for Medicare beneficiaries who buy blood glucose testing supplies through the National Mail Order Competitive Bidding Program (CBP). Today, the Energy and Commerce Full Committee held a markup where a number of bills were voted on and passed to strengthen and improve Medicare, including H.R. 3271, the Protecting Access to Diabetes Supplies Act.
“It is heartening that in a time of increased partisanship, our often-contentious committee can advance this important bill with broad, bipartisan support,” said DeGette. “The 11 million Americans on Medicare living with diabetes are counting on Congress to help improve their access to these life-saving supplies, and today’s advancement of H.R. 3271 advances this critical objective. I am confident that our colleagues will soon support this bill with a similar enthusiasm on the House Floor.”
“We must ensure that seniors who are on Medicare have access to the proper health supplies in order to manage their diabetes,” said Reed. “I am pleased that this bill is making its way through the legislative process, as it was voted out of the Energy and Commerce Committee today. We are committed to passing this bipartisan legislation so that patients have a choice when it comes to treating their diabetes.”
“Today’s vote to send the Protecting Access to Diabetes Supplies Act to the House Floor ensures that we are one step closer to ensuring Medicare beneficiaries across the country who live with the daily challenges associated with diabetes have access to test strips that work best with their bodies to monitor their glucose levels,” said Brooks. “Testing with mismatched or incorrect supplies can have deadly consequences, and this bill will bolster consumer protections that prohibit suppliers from encouraging beneficiaries to switch from one testing system to another, and make sure that seniors are fully aware of their rights to receive test strips that meet their needs. I look forward to passing this legislation soon on the House Floor with continued bipartisan support.”
Medicare beneficiaries living with diabetes will not be helped if meters cannot translate glucose levels reported on the test strips into a diagnosis. This bill, which passed the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health in July, would strengthen enforcement of current law requirements that suppliers in the CBP must include at least 50 percent of the types of test systems that were on the market before the CBP’s implementation. The competitive bidding program has several beneficiary protections that the legislation seeks to place into statute to ensure proper oversight and enforcement of these protections.
DeGette and Reed are the co-chairs of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus; Brooks serves as its vice-chair.
WASHINGTON - Putting party differences aside, members of Congress rose to their feet Thursday to welcome House majority whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) back to work after recovering from gunshot wounds he suffered earlier this year.
Scalise was shot during an early-morning practice for the annual Congressional baseball game.
Several members of Indiana's congressional delegation shared their thoughts on Scalise's return, including his friend Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN)... Other lawmakers also shared kind thoughts for Scalise, who will appear on this week's edition of 60 Minutes.Read More
WASHINGTON – Air Force One is a sweet ride. Just ask Sen. Todd Young.
When the Indiana Republican hitched a ride to Indianapolis with President Trump for Trump’s tax reform speech Wednesday, Young took advantage of the face time with the president to lobby for federal funding for Indiana infrastructure projects.
He also snagged some souvenirs.
Young swiped five boxes of presidential M&M’s for his children. (At least four were for his children. It’s unclear if he kept the fifth box for himself.)
And his bag man? Make that “bag lady.”
Rep. Susan Brooks, who was also on the plane, agreed to carry the candy boxes in her purse. (First created in 1988, the red, white and blue colored candies come in boxes with the signature of the sitting president on one side and one of the M&M mascots holding an American flag on the other.)
Brooks still had room in her purse to include napkins stamped with the presidential seal for her staff.
“All of us in the office have ours displayed on our desks,” Brooks spokeswoman Becky Card said.
The Indiana Republican also gave her parents and husband a treat by giving them a call from one of the Air Force One phones. She was hoping to also talk to her son’s second grade students, but their school released students early Wednesday.
Brooks and Young – along with Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly and Republican Rep. Jackie Walorksi – were the only four members of Indiana’s congressional delegation invited to make the trip with Trump. (Young and Donnelly also rode in Trump’s limousine with him in Indiana while Brooks and Walorski were his car mates for the trip back to the White House after Air Force One returned to Washington.)
But they weren’t the only Hoosiers on board. Marc Lotter, Pence's outgoing press secretary, got a final ride on the plane.
And several members of the Air Force One crew that day were from Indiana. One airman, from Mishawaka, had even played basketball for St. Bavo, which had faced off against Donnelly’s son’s team years ago. Donnelly had coached his son’s team and recognized the airman’s name on his jacket.
Donnelly joked with the crew that they were working with “the Michael Jordan of St. Bavo.” And as Donnelly walked back to his seat he heard other crew members joking with the Hoosier, "Hey MJ, get back to work."Read More
Indiana Republican leaders, U.S. Sen. Todd Young and U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks and Jackie Walorski, traveled with President Donald Trump to Indiana on Wednesday to unveil a unified tax reform plan that aims to create more jobs while helping Americans keep more of their paychecks.
The White House, the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee released the unified tax reform framework on Wednesday. It outlines specific steps to achieve middle class tax relief and to spur job creation and economic growth.
Young said Trump made a convincing case that tax reform package would boost the economy and increase the take-home pay of Indiana residents. “For the first time in 30 years, the prospects for a simpler tax code that lowers taxes for the working class and provides relief for small business owners look good. Let’s seize this opportunity and deliver on our promises to the American people,” Young said.
The tax reform framework calls for lowering the middle-class tax burden by doubling the standard deduction, expanding the child tax credit and establishing non-refundable tax credits for non-child dependents. It also calls for enabling taxpayers to file taxes on a postcard by eliminating most itemized deductions. Still, it calls for maintaining tax incentives for home purchases and charitable donations, and for the consolidation of seven tax brackets into three.
“Now is the time to provide Americans with a tax code that is simpler and fairer,” Brooks said. “Our tax reform plan, which the president outlined in Indianapolis (on Wednesday), allows Hoosiers to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks leaving them more money to invest in their families, futures and communities. The president knows that tax reform will keep our country competitive on a global scale.”
Brooks also highlighted the need to eliminate special interest loopholes, and the tax reform framework would achieve that while retaining tax credits for research and development and low-income housing. It would also lower the small business tax rate to 25 percent and the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, 2.5 percent below the average among industrial nations.
“President Trump came to Indiana to make the case for tax reform because our state has shown the country what’s possible when we give hardworking families and innovative job creators a chance to succeed,” Walorski, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said. “It was an honor to travel with President Trump and talk with him about the needs of 2nd District Hoosiers.”
“I look forward to continuing to work together to pass pro-growth tax reform and middle class tax cuts that will unleash economic growth and let Americans keep more of the money they earn,” Walorski added.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN05) traveled with President Donald Trump to the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis where the President unveiled a tax reform plan for Hoosier and American families. Congresswoman Brooks issued the below statement following the President’s remarks:
“Now is the time to provide Americans with a tax code that is simpler and fairer. Our tax reform plan, which the President outlined in Indianapolis today, allows Hoosiers to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks leaving them more money to invest in their families, futures and communities. The President knows that tax reform will keep our country competitive on a global scale. I thank the President for traveling to Indiana today and I applaud his commitment to work with members of Congress on a tax reform plan that will encourage job creation in our country, eliminate unfair special-interest loopholes and leave more money in the pockets of our middle-class families.”
Earlier this month, Brooks met with the President and 14 of her bipartisan Congressional colleagues at the White House to discuss the best path forward for tax reform. Just last week, Brooks welcomed Vice President Mike Pence to the Fifth District in Anderson where he called for a tax code that puts taxpayers first.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Air Force One arrived in Indianapolis ahead of Donald Trump’s speech at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
The President will speak about the GOP’s tax reform plan and will be joined by Indiana Senators Todd Young and Joe Donnelly as well as Reps. Susan Brooks and Jackie Walorski.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.
Retweeted by SusanWBrooks