U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly

Politics
11:51 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell Opposes Ryan-Murray Budget Agreement

Credit File photo

After days of speculation on where Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stood, the GOP leader says he will vote against the two-year budget agreement forged by Democrats and Republicans.

The Ryan-Murray plan seeks to relieve around $63 billion of automatic spending cuts known as sequestration while continuing to slash the nation's deficit by a projected $23 billion over the next decade.

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Politics
3:50 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Kentucky Congressmen Reticent on McConnell-Reid Deal as Moderates Take Lead on Shutdown, Default

Senators Mitch McConnell (l) and Harry Reid (r)

Kentucky Congressmen John Yarmuth and Hal Rogers support Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling, but the rest of Kentucky's federal delegation are withholding judgment until huddling with GOP House leaders.

The deal struck with Democratic Leader Harry Reid appears to have bipartisan support in the Senate, but could face an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled House.

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Politics
12:22 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Kentucky, Indiana Lawmakers Pleased But Remain Critical of Obamacare Employer Mandate Delay

Credit Shutterstock.com

Federal lawmakers from Kentucky and Indiana are pleased with the Obama administration's decision to delay the employer mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act, but Republicans argue this shows the overhaul should be repealed.

Under the law, U.S. businesses with over 50 employees must provide health insurance to their workers and was widely criticized by companies and GOP lawmakers. The mandate was scheduled to begin in 2014, but a post from the White House blog said after ongoing discussions with businesses, it will be implemented on January 1, 2015 instead.

Senators Mitch McConnell, R-Ky,, who has been a constant critic of the law, and Dan Coats, R-In., both issued statements jeering the White House's announcement as a sign the president's health care law is too costly.

Political observers quickly pointed to the decision being pushed back until after next year's mid-term elections, where it was expected to be a theme to help turnout GOP voters.

Republican Andy Barr is a freshman congressman who represents central Kentucky and ran heavily against the health care law in 2012. He says the announcement is an important temporary relief, but an acknowledgement that the Affordable Care Act— also known as Obamacare—is a "train wreck" overall.

"This a good decision for American employers and employees who are facing very costly mandates. And so while this is an important step forward we need to continue to fight to fully repeal Obamacare so that it doesn't continue to have the threat of  killing jobs," he says.

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Politics
7:51 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Senator Joe Donnelly Pushes U.S. Military Leaders to Better Address Sexual Assaults

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, D-In., joined a chorus of lawmakers on the Armed Services Committee who berated top military leaders over the rise of sexual assault in the armed forces.

In recent months, a series of reports have uncovered a spike in rape and other sexual assault cases against men and women that have been called "terrifying" and a "cancer" despite efforts to curb the problem.

Last month, a study conducted by The Pentagon showed a 35 percent increase in estimated sexual abuse incidents in 2012 compared to 2010.

Speaking at the committee hearing on Tuesday, Donnelly told military commanders they have an obligation to address stop sexual assault and to provide for the psychological needs of survivors.

"I was at the Indy 500 a week before the race, and we inducted a couple hundred men and women into the service. And I want to be able to know when I look them in the eyes, that I can keep my obligation to tell them that you can serve our country, serve with dignity, have your dignity respected, and that’s what we’re trying to do," Donnelly said.

Watch:

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Politics
2:05 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Senator Joe Donnelly Proposes Creation of Gulf War Memorial

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana

Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, D-In., has introduced a bill to create a monument commemorating the armed service members in the first Gulf War conflict.

The legislation is being co-sponsored by Senator John Boozman, R-Az., and would authorize the government to establish the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial on federal lands within Washington, D.C.

It has been over 20 years since U.S. troops were sent into Iraq to defend the country of Kuwait, and many observers say is long overdue for a landmark.

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Politics
10:47 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Indiana Senator Donnelly Returns from Middle East Trip

Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly says Syrian opposition leaders he met with last week told him they don't want American troops involved in their civil war against President Bashar Assad's forces.

The Democratic senator spoke with reporters after his weeklong trip with other senators that included a stop at Syrian refugee camps in Turkey and visits with Indiana National Guard units in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Politics
11:03 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly Reverses Position on Gay Marriage

Joe Donnelly
Credit Donnelly campaign

Following a number of Democrats, freshman Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana says he now supports marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.

The Friday announcement comes days after other Democratic senators such as Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Tom Carper of Delaware came out in support of gay marriage. Fellow freshman Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota also said she now favors same-sex unions.

A petition launched by MoveOn.org this week urged Donnelly to rethink his views, and just last week a spokesperson told WFPL the Indiana Democrat was steadfast that such unions were reserved for a man and a woman only.

From Donnelly's Facebook page:

"In recent years, our country has been involved in an important discussion on the issue of marriage equality. While serving in the House of Representatives, I had the opportunity to act on a core belief of mine: we are a stronger country when we draw on the strengths of all Americans. I voted to repeal ‘don't ask, don't tell’ and was an original supporter of the bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their sexual orientation.

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Politics
1:02 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

MoveOn Urges Senator Joe Donnelly to Favor Gay Marriage

MoveOn is urging eight Democratic senators to support gay marriage
Credit MoveOn.org

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana is one of eight Democrats being encouraged to support gay marriage in a petition being touted by MoveOn.org.

The activist group points out the "last eight" have yet to come out in support the marriage equality for all couples.

Earlier this week, Democratic Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania announced his support for gay marriage "after much deliberation."

MoveOn is circulating a number of petitions targeting Democratic senators from Arkansas, Florida, West Virginia, South Dakota, North Dakota, Louisiana and Delaware over the issue.

"Fifty-four percent of Hoosiers oppose a ban on gay marriage," says Indiana MoveOn member Edward Cherlin, who started the Donnelly petition. "We need you to stand up publicly to the bullies and bigots along with the majority of Hoosiers in support of our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and families."

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Politics
8:30 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Senator Joe Donnelly Wants Consensus on Filibuster Reform

Joe Donnelly
Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., says even though the filibuster has been abused in recent years, his party should seek a consensus with Republicans before changing the chamber's rules.

Critics have complained that the filibuster is too often used to block important votes. Since 2007, the GOP has used the parliamentary tactic to block legislation and nominees an unprecedented 386 times.

In the last weeks of 2012, Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell jousted over whether to restrict filibusters.

Donnelly says the negotiations to address the dysfunction should continue, and that Reid should find a general agreement with the GOP.

"He will be talking with our Republican friends over the next week or two to try to see if there is a consensus that can form, and I am hopeful that can happen," he says.

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Politics
3:59 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Democrat Joe Donnelly Hopes to Forge 'New Middle' in Senate

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-In.,

Incoming U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-In., is hoping to launch a new coalition of moderate lawmakers in the 113th Congress.

Donnelly is among a number of new senators sworn-in Thursday, and he steps into the seat previously held by longtime Sen. Dick Lugar.

During the 2012 campaign, the former congressman ran as a centrist and on bringing "Hoosier common sense" to an unpopular Congress.

Donnelly says he wants to work with lawmakers from both parties to find solutions because of Indiana's history of bipartisan cooperation.

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