Senators Discuss Tax Reform, Trip to Indy During D.C. Fly-in

While the irony of timing isn’t lost on anyone, the Indiana Chamber’s annual D.C. Fly-in delegation was in Washington D.C. yesterday while President Trump and several Indiana congressional representatives were in Indianapolis as the President revealed his tax reform plan.

It was an important moment for Indiana to be in the national spotlight as the much-anticipated tax reform plan was revealed. Read Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar’s statement on the reform plan here.

And though some of Indiana’s federal lawmakers were in Indianapolis, both of Indiana’s senators were able to return in time to attend the D.C. Fly-in dinner and address over 100 Hoosier business leaders about their trip with the President.

Senators Joe Donnelly and Todd Young  discussed the potential for bipartisan agreement on tax reform (and a “sweet” treat Donnelly brought with him from Air Force One):

Additionally, one of the Senate’s leading tax experts, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), shared his perspective at the D.C. Fly-in dinner. Here are a few of his comments to the group, on the “positive list” of reforms included in the President’s tax plan:

We’ve been keeping you updated on social media (find us on Twitter at @IndianaChamber or follow #ICCinDC, and on Facebook at

Thank you to all our event guests and sponsors for the 2017 D.C. Fly-in, including Build Indiana Council, Legislative Briefing sponsor; Allegion, cocktail reception sponsor; and Zimmer Biomet, dinner sponsor.

Reruns That Are Definitely NOT Must-see

A concise but likely spot-on commentary from Chris Frates of National Journal about the work of Congress.

Lawmakers headed home for the July Fourth recess (Friday) after what was likely the most productive stretch of legislating we'll see this year. The Senate passed historic immigration reform, a sweeping farm bill, and water-resources legislation — all with resounding bipartisan majorities.

That cooperation will almost certainly come to a screeching halt when Senate Democrats come back in July and throw down with Republicans over President Obama's stalled nominees.

Sayonara bipartisanship.

Meanwhile in the House, Republicans leaders still can't seem to do much of significance. The Republican majority couldn't even get a farm bill passed, let alone something as historic as immigration reform. Despite months of work in the Senate, House Republicans won't even have their first meeting on immigration until after the break.

And neither chamber is doing much of anything to prepare for this fall's looming fight over how to increase the country's credit limit.

In other words, Congress is about to begin airing summer reruns. Maybe the fall lineup will bring some fresh programming.

Lacy: Hoosiers Benefit When Legislators Work Together

Our Chairman of the Board, Andre Lacy, provides convincing commentary for Inside INdiana Business outlining how true bipartisanship is necessary for successful governing.

We recommend you take a look at the column in its entirety, but here are some highlights and examples he offers:

In 1999, Indiana moved to the forefront of K-12 education standards and accountability measures. A key driver was the General Assembly working in a bipartisan fashion to create Indiana’s Education Roundtable. This group of education and business community leaders was able to come together (leaving politics at the door) to monitor and refine standards that remain highly regarded by national experts. It took additional bipartisan legislative support to make these initiatives a reality.

In 2002, the governor teamed with legislative leaders of both parties to help craft comprehensive tax reform that provided property tax relief and made Indiana much more competitive as a business location through (among other substantial changes) the elimination of the inventory tax. That started a series of legislative sessions that featured cooperation across the aisles and passage of important economic development initiatives such as telecommunications and further tax reforms. The results have been substantial new investment and thousands of new jobs.

Letters to Our Leaders: Get Along or Get Out

OK, maybe the headline is a little harsh. But the meaning cannot be downplayed.

The final installment in the Chamber’s Letters to Our Leaders campaign calls for bipartisanship. That’s a big, 14-letter word for a) work together; b) leave the politics at the door; and c) Hoosiers are tired of political games getting in the way of substantial progress.

Indiana ‘s economy is performing strongly compared to its Midwest neighbors and many others around the country. It’s almost as if that is taking place in spite of some of our government efforts. Too many potential education, workforce training and other policy improvements go by the wayside because one party doesn’t want the other taking credit.

The Chamber letter and video summary says Hoosiers have had enough. Once the election is over, put aside the party labels, do what you were "hired" to do by the voters and everyone will benefit.