PENDLETON – Two members of Indiana’s congressional delegation are optimistic tax reform legislation will be enacted before the end of the year.
Rep. Susan Brooks, R-5th District, and Rep. Todd Rokita, R-4th District, both expect the first tax reform legislation to be adopted in three decades will provide a savings to middle-class families and small businesses.
Brooks was in Pendleton on Monday to meet with area residents and believes the momentum from the House passage of tax reform legislation last week will carry over to the Senate.
“I’m very optimistic,” she said. “I think the Senate will pull together. There is a good chance of passage because, unlike health care reform, the leadership in both chambers are in sync when it comes to timing.”
Rokita said the Senate shouldn’t change a thing in the bill passed by the House.
“This will create jobs and is targeting working families making less than $50,000,” he said.
Brooks said if tax reform is achieved by the end of the year people will see an increase in their paychecks starting in January because of the lower tax rates.
“The full impact won’t be realized until the 2018 taxes payable in 2019, but there should be an increase in the weekly paychecks,” she said.
As proposed in the House bill, the number of tax rates would be reduced from seven to four.
Brooks said the average Hoosier family should see a savings of $2,132 and a family of four with an income of $59,000 will see a savings of $1,280.
The tax reform measure is expected to create 18,975 full-time jobs in Indiana, she said.
“This is significant,” Brooks said. “It will simplify the filings with the IRS. The focus is on the middle class and small businesses.”
As proposed, the standard deduction will increase from $6,000 to $12,000 for individuals and from $12,000 to $24,000 for married couples. The standard deduction for children will increase from $1,000 to $1,600.
Rokita said the House bill caps at $10,000 the amount in state and local taxes that can be deducted from the federal taxes.
“Why should Hoosiers subsidize the blue states like New York and California that have high local income and property tax rates?” he asked.
Brooks said the tax rate on small businesses will be reduced to 25 percent and only 9 percent for start-up companies. The corporate tax rate would be reduced from 39 to 20 percent.
“This will help keep jobs in the country,” she said. “Companies will not be lured overseas.”
Brooks said phasing out the inheritance tax will help family farms and small businesses from having to pay up to 40 percent in taxes.
“The House bill is pro growth, pro economy and pro families,” she said.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) participated in an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing where members discussed the potential economic, technological, and societal impacts of fifth generation (5G) mobile broadband.
David Broecker, founding President and CEO of Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, testified before the subcommittee and shared how 5G has the potential to revolutionize American competitiveness.
“5G means the opportunity for faster emergency response times that can save lives, smart cities, remote surgery, and unleashing the potential of the anticipated 50 billion new internet of things connected devices coming online by 2020,” said Brooks. “Indiana is one of thirteen states that have enacted state legislation to streamline the deployment of small cell networks and Indianapolis is an AT&T test site for 5G evolution build-out. I am excited for what the future will bring because we have brilliant leaders like David who are working to save and improve lives through medical innovation.”
To watch Brooks’ ask questions during today’s hearing, click here.
November 16, 2017
#SubCommTech Examines 5G and the Future of
WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), held a hearing today on the potential economic, technological, and societal impacts of fifth generation (5G) mobile broadband.
In her statement submitted for the record, Chairman Blackburn highlighted the promise of the 5G revolution, “The potential benefits include: enhanced mobile broadband that can provide speeds that are 10 to 100 times faster than what exists today; ultra-low latency communications that are necessary for mission-critical applications like autonomous vehicles and remote surgery; and the massive machine-to-machine communications that constitute the “Internet of Things.” According to Cisco, there will be nearly 50 billion IoT devices connected by the year 2020. Taken together, the applications of 5G promise to revolutionize manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, city management, power generation and distribution, as well as law enforcement and emergency response. “
Full Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) discussed overcoming obstacles to unleashing the necessary spectrum for 5G, “None of applications enabled by 5G technology will be possible without adequate spectrum, and all the rhetoric around the race to 5G will be for nothing if we do not update the Communications Act to allow the Federal Communications Commission to deposit upfront payments from prospective spectrum auction bidders directly with the Treasury. Current law prevents the Commission from doing so. I want to applaud the Chairman of this Subcommittee for including provisions in the FCC Reauthorization bill to allow the Commission to do so.”
Responding to Chairman Blackburn’s question about 5G’s potential impact on manufacturing, David Broecker, CEO of Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, commented, “If we don’t do this, manufacturing will go elsewhere. It will continue to go outside the United States because it is a global opportunity for companies to go other places, to set up new manufacturing and manufacturing of the future. I think 5G enables us to become even more competitive than we have. When you look at the future of the innovation that’s possible, we can capture that, making it here in the great states that all of you represent.”
For more information on today’s hearing, including a background memo, witness testimony, and archived webcast, click here.
To read the complete Energy and Commerce press release, click here.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
“This is an historic day for the American people. Hardworking men and women have been burdened by our country’s broken and outdated tax code for far too long. And to ease that burden, today, the House of Representatives voted to provide Americans across the country with a fairer, simpler and modernized tax code that prioritizes the needs of families and encourages job creation throughout the United States. Relief is on the way.
“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act supports Hoosier families. It establishes a new Family Credit, which includes expanding the Child Tax Credit, doubles the standard deduction and retains popular retirement savings plans. Soon, Hoosiers will be able to keep more of their paychecks and better plan for their futures.
“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act encourages job creation and economic growth in our country, instead of incentivizing companies to move overseas. Small businesses and start-up companies need the lower tax rates this bill delivers in order to thrive and prosper so they can create jobs and grow our economy.
“Today’s vote is an important step to provide taxpayers in the Fifth District much needed relief. I am proud to have voted for a tax reform plan that is pro-family and pro-business. I encourage the Senate to vote for tax cuts for all taxpayers in this country, especially those who need it most: low- and middle-income families.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, members of the Bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues joined Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to discuss the future of infrastructure in the United States.
Representatives Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Lois Frankel (D-FL), co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, provided the following statements:
“Indiana truly is the crossroads of America,” said Brooks. “In order to ensure our goods can be transported efficiently and families can travel safely from one place to the next, it is critical that our infrastructure is modernized. I’d like to thank Transportation Secretary Chao for sharing her insights and expertise as we look for ways in Congress to improve our nation’s infrastructure and invest in the future of our roads, bridges, airports and more.”
“It was an honor to meet with Transportation Secretary Chao to discuss the need to repair our crumbling roads and bridges and modernize our infrastructure,” said Frankel. “These investments put people to work, and where transportation goes, communities grow.”
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) issued the following statement after the President nominated Indianapolis attorney James R. Sweeney II to serve on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana:
“I commend President Trump on an excellent selection for District Court Judge. Colonel Sweeney is a man of integrity who has served our nation as a Marine colonel, judicial clerk, lawyer and active community member. I know he will continue to serve our nation with distinction as a federal jurist. I look forward to the Senate’s swift confirmation of Colonel Sweeney to fill our judicial emergency in the Southern District of Indiana.”
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) issued the following statement after the unveiling of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
“So much has changed in our country since 1986, but our tax code has not. It is stale and outdated. If left untouched, our current tax system will continue to hold Hoosiers back.
“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act works for the middle class. Most importantly, it allows hardworking men and women to keep more of their paychecks. It is time for a simpler tax code with lower individual rates and higher standard deductions for families who are struggling to make ends meet.
“The tax rate for income from small businesses and startup companies is now reduced to no more than 25 percent. These businesses will now be able to immediately write off the cost of new equipment so their workers can receive the tools needed to succeed faster. Our plan also repeals the crippling Death Tax, allowing family businesses to pass down their life’s work for generations without facing double or triple taxation on assets.
“This pro-growth plan encourages job creation and expansion, and incentivizes businesses to thrive in our country. We cannot wait any longer to provide Hoosiers and Americans across the country with a tax code that is fair and simple, and honors their contributions and efforts to ensure the United States remains a leader on a global scale.”
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will help families because it:
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will help job creators because it:
The House Committee on Ways and Means is expected to begin marking up the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on November 6, 2017.
To read the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, click here.
To read a section-by-section summary of the legislation, click here.
To read policy highlights of the legislation, click here.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, conducted their last meeting and released their final recommendations.
“The Commission’s recommendations highlight the need for continued focus on preventing drug abuse in our communities and improving treatment services for those who are struggling with addiction,” said Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN). “I agree that increased medical education for prescribers must be a priority moving forward, as their decisions to treat pain with addictive medications can potentially have irreversible and fatal consequences. It is now up to Congress to work with federal agencies to implement these recommendations so we can prevent the abuse of drugs and ensure addiction services are available to those who need them.”
Justin Phillips, a mother who lost her 20-year-old son, Aaron, to a heroin overdose, testified today before the Commission. In the wake of tragedy, she became a leading voice for families facing addiction in Indiana and founded Overdose Lifeline, Inc., an organization providing harm reduction, prevention, education and training programs for communities throughout the state. The organization is especially devoted to purchasing overdose reversal drugs for Hoosier first responders. The Commission’s newly released report includes recommendations to ensure first responders have the proper training to administer naloxone, an overdose reversal drug.
“The addiction crisis in this country will continue to cut our loved ones’ lives short if additional action is not taken,” continued Brooks. “I am proud of Justin Phillips’ dedication to further provide Hoosier first responders with the tools needed to save lives.”
To read the Commission’s drafted final report, click here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, members of the Bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues joined the First Lady of Afghanistan, Rula Ghani; Former First Lady Laura Bush; U.S. Afghan Council members and House Foreign Affairs Committee members for an off the record discussion surrounding the challenges and opportunities facing Afghanistan’s women and girls.
Representatives Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Lois Frankel (D-FL), co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, provided the following statements:
“We must continue to advocate for women and girls in Afghanistan so women around the world have the same access to opportunities as men,” said Brooks. “It is because of efforts led by First Lady Ghani and Former First Lady Bush that women in Afghanistan are regaining independence and becoming increasingly integrated in their country’s workforce. I applaud these leaders’ advocacy. The ongoing relationship between Afghanistan and the United States enables more women in Afghanistan to enroll in school, graduate college and become leaders in business and government.”
“It was an honor to meet with First Lady Ghani and Former First Lady Bush, both tireless advocates for Afghan women,” said Frankel. “We must continue our joint efforts to educate girls and increase women’s participation in Afghan society. When we empower women, we increase the opportunity for peace.”
Earlier this year, Brooks joined a small group of bipartisan female representatives to visit American female service members in Afghanistan and Iraq who were away from their families on Mother’s Day. During her visit, Brooks met First Lady Ghani and learned about the incredible progress Afghanistan is making to support the women in their country.
Frankel visited Afghanistan in 2013 with a bipartisan delegation to meet with American military and Afghan officials. A member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Frankel is a staunch advocate for the empowerment of women around the world. Her son, Ben, served tours as a U.S. Marine captain in Afghanistan and Iraq.
First Lady Ghani and Former First Lady Bush wrote an op-ed in USA Today on the importance of supporting women and girls in Afghanistan. To read their op-ed, click here.
175 Americans die of opioid overdose every two and a half weeks.
The crowd at the 8th Annual Prescription Drug Abuse Symposium fell silent at that number.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave the keynote address at the symposium in Indianapolis Monday afternoon. He stressed this national problem is a disease.
“This epidemic started not on our street corners, but in our doctor's offices, in our hospitals," Christie said. "We created this problem, we did. People are dying because we refuse to acknowledge the problem we created."
The United States consumes 81 percent of the world supply of opioids, according to a study done by the National Safety Council. But Christie said this number has risen to 85 percent.
Christie is the chairman of President Trump's commission on combating drug addiction and the opioid crisis, stemmed from an executive order signed by Trump last March.
Rep. Susan Brooks, R-5th District, introduced Christie on Monday and lauded his efforts as someone who understands the opioid crisis, as he has made opioid overdose deaths and opioid awareness a centerpiece of his time as governor of New Jersey.
Brooks introduced and passed legislation in 2016 to implement more focused strategies on fighting high rates of opioid and methamphetamine abuse and opioid-related deaths.
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 aims at this goal of prevention and authorizes the Department of Justice to award grants to state, local and tribal governments to provide opioid abuse services, including developing treatments alternative to incarceration programs and collaborating between criminal justice and substance abuse agencies.
She said Christie has done much for his state and increased conversation on a national scale.
"I believe he has changed the conversation in this country, and we're going to win the battle in these families," Brooks said.
The visit coincides with Trump's recent announcement last week declaring the opioid addiction crisis a public health emergency.
As governor of a state which dubs itself "the medicine cabinet of the U.S." as he called it, Christie has had his hands full the last eight years.
With only 78 days left as governor, he said it is overtime for battling opioid addiction.
New Jersey has implemented several programs throughout Christie's time as governor, including putting recovery coaches in hospitals in all 21 counties in the state, according to New Jersey's Division of Mental Health and Addictions.
Every police officer, firefighter and EMT is now required to be armed with naloxone every minute they are on duty in the state, Christie said.
Christie told the audience at the symposium though there has been some considerable work done, his state is fighting a losing battle.
"We're losing," Christie said. "It doesn't mean that our efforts aren't worthwhile, but we are still not bending the curve."
He said part of the problem in New Jersey and nationally, was people are not willing to acknowledge addiction as a disease or end the stigma.
"We must acknowledge it is in any one us," Christie said. "You can judge no one."
He addressed the culture of prescription drugs as a cause for the increasing problem of opioid addictions beginning at doctor's offices, and New Jersey has worked to fix that.
New legislation in New Jersey limits opioid prescriptions to a 5-day supply, making them one of the strictest in the country.
Yet, according to a New Jersey study, 1,901 people died from opioid overdoses in New Jersey just last year.
More locally, 274, or 22.2 percent of the 1,236 drug overdose deaths in 2015 were opioid deaths, according to a special emphasis report from the Indiana State Department of Health.
The symposium itself encouraged education on opioid abuse and prevention, and Christie agreed.
"We need to start in first grade," Christie said. "It can't wait until high school, till middle school. It's too late by then."
In a press conference after the speech, Christie said the final report, to be released in two days, will give suggestions for Congress to then review.
He responded to criticisms of the President's failure to specify a number to spend on these efforts.
He said it is Congress, not the president, whose job it is to decide based on the recommendations
"It's time for Congress to step up and to put the money in there." Christie said.
Christie himself announced he plans to spend $200 million on opioid programs to help addicts and under-served populations including uninsured people on Medicaid, babies born with addiction and their mothers. The money comes out of the budgets of eight state departments.
Once the report is released in two days, the next step in Trump's public health emergency declaration will fall in Congress' hands. The commission expires in December.Read More
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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 family feast finally begins. Thanks to Mom who worked so hard!! I’m so grateful for all of life's blessings, fo… https://t.co/5wkz49x3Kf
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