The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Politics

January 25, 2014

Brooks learning on the job

Freshman representative surprised by work, colleagues

ANDERSON — After her first year as a member of the U.S. House, Rep. Susan Brooks expressed surprise at the pace and the amount of homework required before voting on legislation.

Brooks, R-5th Dist., was elected in 2012 to fill the seat left vacant when long-time Republican Dan Burton announced his retirement.

“The pace at which we’re asked to vote on things is a very fast pace,” Brooks said during an interview with The Herald Bulletin regarding her first year in office. “We never know until the morning of each day what we’re going to be voting that day.”

Another surprise during her first year has been the amount of reading and homework required at night.

“I take things home to read,” she said. “Whether it’s getting prepared for hearings or information about the bills. The pace is much faster than I thought it would be.”

Brooks said a pleasant surprise was in finding her colleagues, from both political parties, to be smart, hard working, prepared and patriotic.

As in any new position with a steep learning curve, Brooks has been assigned a mentor, Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C. She also talks regularly with Rep. John Kline, R-Minn, and Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, also a Republican.

“The Indiana delegation works well together,” Brooks said. “I talk every day with members of the delegation.”

Mike McDonald, a member of the core group with the Madison County Tea Party, said most of the membership like Brooks and comments have been mostly positive.

“She is a freshman,” McDonald said. “She has less authority and is still learning the ropes. She will continue to learn.”

“Overall, she is a conservative and believes in Constitutional values,” he said.

Tea Party activists were concerned about her votes on the federal budget and government shutdown, McDonald said.

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