The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local Politics

January 25, 2014

Brooks learning on the job

Freshman representative surprised by work, colleagues

(Continued)

“It didn’t accomplish anything,” he said. “It just kicked the can down the road. It didn’t balance the budget or reduce the debt.”

McDonald said the group doesn’t consider Brooks to be a “Rhino,” a Republican in name only.

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said he has worked with Brooks on a number of issues.

“She’s willing to listen,” he said of Brooks. “The overall view is favorable.”

A disappointment, Brooks said, is that Congress has not been able to reach compromises on major reform issues. As examples, she mentioned tax reform, immigration and entitlement programs.

Brooks voted in favor of legislation that ended the shutdown of the federal government last October, the compromise budget and appropriations bills.

The shutdown and compromise votes have drawn criticism from David Stockdale, a Carmel businessman who is running against Brooks in the May primary. Stockdale said Brooks' votes reflect an allegiance to the Republican party.

"She originally wanted a shutdown ... She just reversed her position," Stockdale said. "When she started the process and voted to fight and defund Obamacare. ... When the President refused to budge on that, she finally voted to end the shutdown and fund Obamacare."

Stockdale was recently in Anderson, where he said he would have voted against the budget deal.

Brooks said, “I respect people’s opinions."

She added, “Both of those votes didn’t have everything in those bills we wanted them to have. As we described during the shutdown ‘the train was off the track.’ The votes at least put the train back on the track and moving in the right direction."

“Things have been passed in the House and are still sitting in the Senate,” she said. “We have passed bills in a bipartisan way.”

Brooks said at first she didn’t see cooperation between the Republican and Democrat parties and the House and Senate until the last few months of 2013.

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