Newly-minted Indiana U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly says he plans on working with a moderate group of senators to reduce the nation’s spending.
Tim Grimes of TheStatehouseFile dot com reports:
By Tim Grimes TheStatehouseFile.com
INDIANAPOLIS – In this first news conference as a senator, Democrat Joe Donnelly of Indiana told reporters Thursday that Congress must focus on spending cuts now that lawmakers have passed a spending reduction that he called a “tax cut for 98 percent of Americans.”
Former Sens. Evan Bayh, left, and Birch Bayh, center, join new Sen. Joe Donnelly at the Capitol in Washington D.C. before he was sworn in. Photo provided by Joe Donnelly’s office.
The Indiana senator, who replaced long-time Republican Richard Lugar, was sworn-in Thursday after six years in the House. Donnelly voted late Tuesday for a bill that maintains lower tax rates for the majority of Americans but raises taxes on higher income earners.
“I think we saw a change on the revenue side,” Donnelly said. “Next is spending reductions. That’s what we have to talk about, that’s what we have to look at because we need to balance our budgets.”
Donnelly also said he wants to wants to work with a growing number of moderate senators to work across the aisle and bring what Donnelly calls “Hoosier common sense” back to Washington. He said this moderate group consists of both Republicans and Democrats.
“I believe it will not only influence legislation brought by the caucuses, but will also bring legislation on their own,” Donnelly said.
Donnelly cites the CALM act as an example of the type of legislation you can expect from the group. The bill would have phased in the fiscal cliff tax hikes over three years instead of all at once.
Donnelly also said he is considering filibuster reform bills because he feels like the filibuster has been abused. Donnelly said that the Senate under Lydon Johnson, from 1954 to 1960, saw one filibuster while current Sen. Harry Reid has seen over 350.
Donnelly also said he would be visiting Indiana soon to visit constituents.
“I’ll be in every corner of the state. You’ll probably get tired of seeing me,” Donnelly said.
Tim Grimes is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.