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There’s growing concern major reforms in Congress could be sidetracked with Russia investigation

WASHINGTON – As President Trump returned to Washington following his nine-day trip overseas, he also returned to a familiar outlet, tweeting about his growing criticism of the news media, leaks and promising bold action on healthcare and tax reform.

“A lot of people got elected on the overturn, repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act,” said Laura Albright, a FOX59 political analyst.

But the growing crisis swirling the White House and the investigation into any potential ties with Russia at times seems all-consuming as lawmakers feel new pressure to pass critical legislation, like health care and tax reform, immigration and infrastructure.

“It’s the role of the Congress, the legislative body of the government to get that done,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) said in a recent interview. “That means we need to sort of look through the weeds and refocus and get back to work on what matters most to the American people.”

Indiana lawmakers are working behind the headlines.

In recent weeks, legislation sponsored by both Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) passed the Senate, aimed at providing better access to mental health services for law enforcement. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) is helping spearhead its passage in the House.

“This bill has received bipartisan, bicameral support in Congress,” Young said on the floor.

Another measure, backed by a bipartisan group of Indiana lawmakers, will mandate more accountability for sports governing bodies like U.S.A. Gymnastics.

“Our legislation is an important step forward in protecting these young athletes,” Brooks said recently on the House floor.

But major pieces of legislation, like a healthcare and tax overhaul, do remain to be seen, as some begin to question whether it is achievable in the short-term, as investigations swirl in Washington.

“Well we should be able to do both of them,” Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said recently speaking broadly about Congressional action. “That’s our job. That’s my job.”

Time, as many often say will soon tell, with potential political consequences in Washington.

“They’re trying to sell the fact that they are elected in office and they are making a difference,” Albright said. “This is a non-election year, but that kind of message could really resonate with Americans who oftentimes feel dissatisfied with government.”