Category: News

Walorski Honors Nation’s Police Officers on House Floor

Walorski Honors Nation’s Police Officers on House Floor

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) today spoke on the House floor to mark National Police Week and honor the nation’s police officers.

“This week is National Police Week, and communities all across America are showing their appreciation for the law enforcement officers who dedicate themselves to serving and protecting the public, and bringing criminals to justice,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “We also remember the heroes who gave their lives in the line of duty, and we think of the families they left behind.”

Video of Walorski’s speech is available here. A full transcript is below.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the service and sacrifice of the brave police officers who put their lives on the line each day to keep our communities safe.

“This week is National Police Week, and communities all across America are showing their appreciation for the law enforcement officers who dedicate themselves to serving and protecting the public, and bringing criminals to justice.

“We also remember the heroes who gave their lives in the line of duty, and we think of the families they left behind.

“It is our duty to make sure that those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their communities will never be forgotten.

“Mr. Speaker, I urge all Americans to take the time this week to simply say “thank you” to a police officer in their city or town.

“We are grateful for their service. We are humbled by their courage. And we are indebted to them for their sacrifice.

“I yield back.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.

Walorski Supports Emergency Funding to Combat Zika Outbreak

Walorski Supports Emergency Funding to Combat Zika Outbreak

Bill Provides $622.1 Million in Funding for Domestic and International Efforts Against Zika Virus

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) today voted for H.R. 5243, the Zika Response Appropriations Act, which provides $622.1 million in fully-offset funding for domestic and international efforts to combat the global Zika virus outbreak. The bill passed the House by a vote of 241 to 184.

“The global outbreak of Zika virus is a public health crisis, and this bill provides the resources needed to ensure a robust response,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “These funds are critical to efforts at home and abroad to control the spread of this devastating disease and develop effective medical treatments for those affected.”

H.R. 5243 provides targeted funding to the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of State, and U.S. Agency for International Development for wide array of Zika response programs, including Zika-related health care and medical research, mosquito control, disease surveillance, public education, and emergency preparedness. The bill also contains strong oversight measures to ensure taxpayer funds are used responsibly and effectively.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.

Walorski Statement on NDAA Passage

Walorski Statement on NDAA Passage

Defense Bill Boosts Readiness, Raises Troop Pay, Includes Key Walorski Provisions to Strengthen National Security

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017, which authorizes defense spending, by a vote of 277 to 147:

“Congress has the solemn duty to the American people and to our brave servicemen and women to provide all of the training and resources our military needs to remain the greatest fighting force in the world. This bill fulfills that responsibility by investing in military readiness, giving troops a pay raise, and ensuring they are fully prepared to defeat any threat or challenge head-on. Bottom line – this bill means our military will outmatch every enemy.

“This NDAA makes critical investments in both the maintenance of existing equipment and the development of modern military platforms to maintain readiness amid growing challenges around the world. Our men and women in uniform will have the tools and training they need in the field, and their families will have the support they need back home, including full funding for the 2.1 percent pay raise our troops are entitled to under the law.

“Terrorist detainees will continue to be prohibited from coming onto U.S. soil, and my amendment strengthens accountability and oversight of the detainee transfer process by requiring written agreements with countries that accept Guantanamo Bay prisoners. With my amendment to bring the National Security Council back under the Freedom of Information Act, this bill will restore transparency and accountability to the White House’s national security decision-making process.

“I am honored to serve on the House Armed Services Committee and work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put our troops and our national security first. I am glad to see our bipartisan efforts continue with today’s passage of the bill, and I now encourage my friends in the Senate to pass it swiftly and urge the President to sign it.”

Highlights of Walorski Provisions Included in NDAA:

Restores Transparency to NSC

The House unanimously adopted an amendment offered by Walorski to restore transparency and accountability to the National Security Council (NSC) by requiring it to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The amendment builds on Chairman Mac Thornberry’s (TX-13) reforms to require Senate confirmation for the National Security Advisor if the NSC staff grows beyond 100 members. Walorski’s amendment would bring NSC back under FOIA once a National Security Advisor is confirmed.

Strengthens Oversight of Gitmo Transfers

The House unanimously adopted an amendment offered by Walorski to require the U.S. government to enter into a written memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of a foreign nation before transferring a detainee from Guantanamo Bay to that country. This would provide critical accountability and oversight of transfers of terrorist detainees from Gitmo.

Boosts Electronic Warfare Innovation

The bill includes provisions Walorski authored to help the U.S. keep its competitive edge in the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum domain. Based on legislation she introduced with Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), the provisions would get innovative electronic warfare (EW) technology into the hands of warfighters more quickly so they can effectively defeat existing and emerging threats.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.

Walorski Bills to Update VA Mobility Standards, Increase VA Scheduling Accountability Pass Committee

Walorski Bills to Update VA Mobility Standards, Increase VA Scheduling Accountability Pass Committee

Veterans Mobility Safety Act Would Ensure Disabled Veterans Receive the Best Quality and Safety in Mobility Products; VA Scheduling Accountability Act Would Block VA from Waiving Scheduling Rules

WASHINGTON – The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee today passed two bills introduced by U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) to improve the quality and safety of mobility products used by disabled veterans and to protect veterans from scheduling manipulations at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. The committee unanimously approved an amended version of H.R. 3471, the Veterans Mobility Safety Act, as well as H.R. 4977, the VA Scheduling Accountability Act, which now head to the House floor for consideration.

“Our veterans risked life and limb for their country, and they deserve better than substandard services and scheduling manipulation,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “I’m grateful the committee passed my bills to update the VA’s standards for mobility products used by disabled veterans and to stop the VA from ignoring its own scheduling rules. I look forward to voting for these common-sense measures on the House floor.”

Veterans Mobility Safety Act

Through the VA’s Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) program, eligible disabled veterans have access to automotive mobility products, such as wheelchair lifts and reduced-effort steering and braking in vehicles. However, the VA does not require any type of quality standards for providers to participate in the AAE program, resulting in some cases of inferior providers improperly installing equipment, causing serious safety issues for veterans and motorists.

Walorski’s amended version of H.R. 3471 requires the VA to update its outdated policies on adaptive equipment with comprehensive quality standards developed in close consultation with stakeholders, including veteran service organizations, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, and industry representatives.

H.R. 3471 was originally introduced in September by Walorski and Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26) to ensure disabled veterans receive the best quality, performance, and safety.

Video of Walorski’s remarks on the Veterans Mobility Safety Act is available here.

VA Scheduling Accountability Act

In the wake of the VA wait time scandal, Walorski introduced H.R. 4977 to increase accountability in the VA’s scheduling practices. A report by the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that in May 2013 a senior VA official waived an annual requirement that medical facility directors certify that they were in compliance with the VA’s scheduling policies. This waiver further reduced accountability for wait time data integrity and compliance with scheduling practices.

H.R. 4977 reinstates the annual requirement for each facility director to certify compliance with VA scheduling practices and prohibits any future waivers of this requirement. It also requires the Secretary of the VA to submit an annual report to Congress that lists facilities that have not certified compliance and an explanation as to why.

The committee unanimously approved Walorski’s bill as an amendment to H.R. 3956, the VA Health Center Management Stability and Improvement Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12).

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.

Walorski, Bucshon, Brooks Tapped to Negotiate Final Opioid Legislation

Walorski, Bucshon, Brooks Tapped to Negotiate Final Opioid Legislation

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, three members of Indiana’s Congressional delegation were appointed to a special conference committee comprised of members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate that will negotiate the final details of comprehensive legislation to curb opioid and heroin abuse.

Reps. Jackie Walorski (IN-02), Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08), and Susan W. Brooks (IN-05) will serve as members of the conference committee. The committee will work toward an agreement resolving legislative differences between the House and Senate packages to address heroin and opioid abuse. The final agreement must be approved by both the chambers before it reaches the President’s desk.

“Drug overdoses in Indiana have increased five-fold in the past decade, and Hoosier law enforcement officers, medical providers, veterans, emergency responders, and families need our help to address the increasingly alarming rates of heroin and opioid abuse in our communities,” said the members. “We look forward to working with our Senate counterparts to develop a comprehensive, bipartisan solution that will support the work our state and local partners are doing each day to combat this crisis. It is truly going to take all of us to stem the tide of heroin and opioid abuse that is claiming so many lives in Indiana, and around the country.”

The House members of the committee were appointed by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who called the contribution of Walorski, Bucshon, and Brooks invaluable.

“Right now, more Americans die every year from drug overdoses than they do in car accidents,” said Speaker Ryan. “Last week, the House passed a comprehensive legislative package to address the heroin and opioid crisis that is sweeping across this country. As we take all of these ideas to a conference committee with the Senate, Reps. Brooks, Bucshon, and Walorski will be invaluable to our efforts to get a final bill to the president’s desk that ensures Americans have the resources they need to win their fight against addiction.”

The legislative package passed by the House included initiatives led by all three members.

Walorski, a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, authored two provisions that were included in the comprehensive opioids bill. One provision would require all Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities to participate in their respective state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). The other would expand the VA’s use of FDA-approved medical devices and other therapies as alternatives to opioids for treating chronic pain. Both provisions were approved unanimously by the committee as amendments to H.R 4063, the Jason Simcakoski Promoting Responsible Opioid Management and Incorporating Scientific Expertise (PROMISE) Act, which passed the House unanimously and was included in the amended version of S. 524.

Bucshon introduced H.R. 4981, the Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Expansion and Modernization Act, alongside Paul Tonko (D-NY), which amends the Controlled Substances Act to expand access to medication-assisted opioid addiction treatment, ensures patients have access to a wider range of comprehensive, evidence-based treatment options, and minimizes the potential for drug diversion. The legislation is the product of months of stakeholder engagement, expert input and bipartisan negotiation. It passed the Energy and Commerce Committee and House floor unanimously.

Brooks introduced H.R. 4641 with Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA). This legislation establishes a task force comprised of people with chronic pain, people in recovery, medical providers, hospitals, state medical boards, pain advocacy groups and federal agencies involved in oversight of pain management and the prescribing of pain medication. The task force will be responsible for reviewing, modifying and updating best practices, released earlier this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for prescribers of pain medication. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced companion legislation that was passed earlier this year as a part of the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. Brooks’ bill passed 412-4 in the House of Representatives.

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski is a lifelong Hoosier, born and raised in South Bend, who has dedicated her career to helping Hoosier families. She represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.

Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. is a physician and Republican member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee serving his third term representing Indiana’s 8th Congressional district. The 8th District of Indiana includes all or parts of Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Martin, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Sullivan, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, and Warrick counties.

Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks is a second-term Republican who represents eight urban, suburban and rural counties in Central Indiana, including the north side of Indianapolis. She uses her background as a Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis, a U.S. Attorney and a community college administrator to improve education, jobs, health and homeland security. Through her membership on the Energy and Commerce Committee, she is working on mental health, substance abuse, biodefense, and Medicaid reform. As a member of the Ethics Committee, she works with her colleagues to restore confidence in Congress.

House Approves Walorski Amendment to Restore Transparency to National Security Council

Would Bring NSC Back Under FOIA to Increase Scrutiny, Accountability; Past Three Secretaries of Defense Concerned by Micromanagement

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) today applauded House’s unanimous approval of her amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to restore transparency and accountability to the National Security Council (NSC) by requiring it to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Congresswoman Walorski, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, spoke on the House Floor in support of her amendment, which was adopted by voice vote. Video of her remarks is available here.

“The National Security Council has moved far beyond its original advisory role to one where NSC staffers to make critical operational decisions,” Walorski said. “My amendment simply restores accountability to this operational organization by requiring the NSC to participate in the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, upon confirmation of the National Security Advisor by the Senate.”

Walorski’s amendment is based on legislation she introduced in April, H.R. 4922, the Transparency in National Security Act. The amendment builds on reforms included in an amendment offered by Chairman Mac Thornberry (TX-13) to require Senate confirmation for the National Security Advisor if the NSC staff grows beyond 100 members. Walorski’s amendment would bring NSC back under FOIA once a National Security Advisor is confirmed.

NSC was created in 1947 as an advisory body to the president on issues of national security. NSC responded to FOIA requests under Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush until 1996, when a federal court ruled in Armstrong v. Executive Office of the President that NSC was not subject to FOIA.

The size and scope of NSC’s mission have expanded since its creation. Under President Obama, its headcount has doubled from 200 to nearly 400. President Obama’s three former Secretaries of Defense have expressed concerns that the NSC’s unelected, unconfirmed staffers are micromanaging the military, making operational decisions, and undermining commanders in the field and leaders in the Pentagon.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.

Walorski Announces Winner of 2016 Congressional Art Competition

Penn High School Sophomore McKenzie Blankenbaker’s Artwork Will Hang in U.S. Capitol for a Year

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) today awarded McKenzie Blankenbaker, a sophomore at Penn High School in Mishawaka, with first place in the 2016 Congressional Art Competition. Blankenbaker’s winning artwork, “Moody Whites,” will hang in the U.S. Capitol for the next year alongside other winners from across the country.

“I want to congratulate McKenzie on her achievement and thank all the students who submitted artwork,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Every year I look forward to seeing what these talented young Hoosiers will create. I’m so impressed by their creativity and grateful for their contribution to celebrating Indiana’s Bicentennial.”

Congresswoman Walorski hosted students who submitted entries and their teachers at South Bend International Airport for the announcement. Walorski also awarded second place to Akane Tokusumi, a Penn High School senior. Her artwork, “Peaceful King,” will be displayed in Walorski’s Mishawaka District Office for the next year.

High school students from throughout Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District submitted 27 entries for this year’s contest, the theme of which is Indiana’s Bicentennial. A judging panel of three local artists helped select the winning entry.

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to recognize the artistic talents of high school students in their districts. Since then, more than 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nationwide competition.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.

Get News & Updates