Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

October 21, 2013

Donnelly aided in breaking stalemate

Senator says centrist 'common sense' guided him.

(Continued)

Those centrists’ efforts are now credited for averting what leading economists and business leaders said would have been a global economic crisis if the U.S. had defaulted on its debt. But during negotiations, their efforts weren’t completely embraced by congressional leaders who were trying to hash out their own plans, Donnelly said.

“At various times they all told us to mind our own business,” Donnelly said, adding, “There were other times they said, ‘You’re the only game in town, keep working on it.’”

Donnelly said he couldn’t get into the blueprint everything he wanted, including the repeal of the medical device tax that’s embedded in the Affordable Care Act and opposed by Indiana’s medical device makers. Nor could he get more flexibility for the military to deal with the mandatory sequestration triggered by a debt-reduction bill passed by Congress in 2011.

But those are fights for another day, Donnelly said. “This was the kind of situation where you do the best you can.”

The rest of Indiana’s congressional delegation was split on their support for the agreement. Democrat Reps. Andre Carson and Pete Visclosky voted for it. So did Republican Reps. Susan Brooks and Todd Young, who both issued criticisms of the agreement. The other five Republican House members from Indiana — Reps. Jackie Walorski, Luke Messer, Larry Buschon, Todd Rokita, and Marlin Stutzman — all voted against it.

Donnelly said he expects to hear from his constituents this weekend about his involvement in the deal that broke the three-week stalemate. “Hoosiers,” he said, “are always more than willing to tell me what they think.”

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana.

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