Joe Donnelly: Hoosier common sense and moderation
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - Indiana's newest senator pledged to serve like those before him, with Hoosier common sense and moderation.
Democrat Joe Donnelly took the oath Thursday to become U.S. senator, succeeding Republican Richard Lugar who was the longest serving senator from Indiana.
During a conference call with media, Donnelly, who served six years in the U.S. House, said being a representative of the people was not about politics, but providing a better community for the next generations of children and grandchildren.
Donnelly beat Republican Richard Mourdock, who made a huge gaffe about women, rape, and God, And he is he first Democratic senator since Evan Bayh gave up a Senate seat that was won by U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, a Republican.
The Senate of the 113th Congress is definitely more feminine and moderate with a record 20 women serving in the upper house. That is a record high and Indiana also sent two women to the U.S. House, Republicans Susan Brooks and Jackie Walorski, that also was a first.
Donnelly talked about filibuster reform and warned against tampering with the debt ceiling of the federal government. He was among Democratic House members who voted for the fiscal cliff deal, and he also pledged to address spending cuts in future legislation.
In the majority with Senate Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Donnelly will serve on the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee and protect the interests of defense operations in the world and Indiana like Crane Naval, Fort Harrison and Camp Atterbury.
Look for Donnelly to find the middle ground and work with both parties to improve the state's economy besides the quality of life for Hoosiers.
The new senator will be back in Indiana next week making stops throughout the state. There was no immediate word whether he would come closer than Indianapolis or Fort Wayne.
Luke Messer also took the oath as the new Indiana Congressman representing eastern Indiana including Muncie. Messer, a Republican won the 6th district seat held by Gov.-elect Mike Pence and shares his same values of fiscal responsibility and tax reform. Messer worked for former Congressman David McIntosh and also was a state representative from Shelbyville before going on to Congress.
Both congressmen will be put to work Friday when a multi-billion dollar package is considered for disaster relief to victims in New York and New Jersey from Hurricane Sandy.