IN Focus: Young, Braun, Indiana lawmakers discuss federal coronavirus response

Politics
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INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana’s elected officials are squarely focused on the coronavirus epidemic, with the U.S. House of Representatives passing an emergency aid package Friday night that will be taken up by the Senate next week.

Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) issued the following statement Friday after President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency:

“The President’s national emergency declaration is welcome news to help to contain the spread of coronavirus. This will free up additional funding and resources to help states like Indiana immediately respond to this public health emergency. I will continue working with our federal, state, and local leaders to ensure our state is prepared and Hoosiers are safe,” Sen. Young said.

“People need to not be out in public, people need to be doing all the things that the CDC and everyone is telling them to do,” said Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) after tours of the Capitol were closed to the public.

Lawmakers also reacted to the aid package passed in the House, providing free additional testing and paid leave, among other measures.

“We shouldn’t wait until a pandemic to implement these types of common-sense measures, they should have been in place long ago,” said Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN).

Earlier in the week, Carson was critical of the President’s handling of the virus, which he and others felt was minimizing the approaching threat.

“Instead of downplaying COVID-19 to protect his Wall Street buddies, President Trump should be supporting legislation to guarantee that all employees have paid sick leave,” Carson said Monday.

Later in the week, the White House signaled it would support the bi-partisan legislation passed by the House, which was approved by all but one member of Indiana’s congressional delegation.

“On the heels of a massive $8.3 billion emergency spending package, Speaker Pelosi rushed a second short-sighted emergency bill, passed in the middle of the night and behind closed doors, that does more harm than good,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who voted against the measure.

“While there are some good things in the bill, we don’t know the final price tag.”

Earlier in the week, Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) also expressed reluctance to pass a broader aid package.

“While it’s important that Congress moves quickly to help families and small business owners… it also can’t be rushed in such a manner that repeats the mistakes of previous corporate bailouts and failed stimulus packages,” Braun said Thursday.

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