WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University rated U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly the second-most bipartisan U.S. Senator and the most bipartisan Democrat, according to a new Bipartisan Index released today that measures the bipartisanship of Senators in 2015. See the full Senate rankings here. In December 2015, the Lugar Center ranked Donnelly as the fourth-most bipartisan U.S. Senator from 1993-2014. In the 113th Congress (2013-2014), Donnelly ranked as the third-most bipartisan U.S. Senator. Former U.S. Senator Dick Lugar wrote in an op-ed published in The Hill with the Dean of the McCourt School on Monday: “The aim of the Index is to highlight members’ willingness to get results, regardless of party.”
Donnelly said, “I am the hired help and my job is to get things done for Indiana in the U.S. Senate. That responsibility has nothing to do with party affiliation and everything to do with supporting the best ideas, regardless of whether the idea comes from a Republican or a Democrat.”
Donnelly has worked continuously with colleagues from both sides of the aisle. Last year, Donnelly partnered on legislative efforts with 21 Republicans. Among those efforts included two that were signed into law:
- Improved Military Mental Health: Provisions from Donnelly’s bipartisan “Servicemember and Mental Health Care Package,” co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Wicker (R-MS), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and John Boozman (R-AR) were signed into law as part of the national defense bill in November 2015. The “Care Package” will improve access to mental health care for servicemembers and their families;
- Suspended the Medical Device Tax: Donnelly pushed to reduce the impact of the medical device tax and helped pass a bipartisan two-year suspension of the tax, which was signed into law. He has been a longtime supporter of bipartisan efforts to repeal the medical device tax and reintroduced bipartisan legislation that would eliminate the device tax with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
Read more about Donnelly’s bipartisan efforts in 2015 in his Annual Report by clicking here.
Other areas of bipartisan work have included action to address opioid addiction and heroin use. Donnelly, working with Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), worked to have provisions from their Heroin and Prescription Opioid Abuse, Prevention, Education, and Enforcement Act included in the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which is currently being debated in the U.S. Senate. He also has introduced a number of bipartisan bills, including legislation that would address the Waters of the U.S. rule as well as legislation to help students better understand their college loans and establish best practices for improving financial literacy skills. In 2014, Donnelly’s Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act was signed into law, requiring an annual mental health assessment for all servicemembers.