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IN THE NEWS: Hoosiers should recognize Joe’s work as one of the nation’s most bipartisan senators, Journal Gazette says

While some national observers “consign Indiana to the scrap-heap of political divisiveness,” Joe Donnelly stands out for his bipartisan work ethic, the Journal Gazette wrote this morning.

The editorial comes after the latest high marks for Joe in The Lugar Center’s bipartisanship rankings, which last year called Joe the most bipartisan senator of the last quarter century still in office. A consistently high score by Joe shows he’s “prioritizing problem-solving,” the center said.

 

From The Journal Gazette: Aisle-crossers

The Republican senatorial race, which political observers have been calling one of the nastiest in the nation, is almost over. …

But anyone who would consign Indiana to the scrap-heap of political divisiveness should consider the latest rankings from the Lugar Center Bipartisan Index, which places Indiana's Joe Donnelly and Todd Young among the top 10 most consensus-building U.S. senators.

… In the latest edition of the index, which covers the 2017 session, the three highest-ranking senators are Republicans: Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio and Shelley Capito of West Virginia. But Donnelly, a Democrat who won his Senate seat in 2012 after serving three terms in the House, was ranked fourth among the Senate's 100 members. Young, a Republican who also served three terms in the House before being elected to the Senate in 2016, was ranked ninth.

Indiana was the only state with both senators in the top 10.

Willingness to work with the other party is not the only measure of a lawmaker's effectiveness, of course. As Lugar points out, bipartisan bills are not always superior to partisan ones. But “a consistently high score (on bipartisanship) is a strong indication that a legislator is prioritizing problem-solving and open to working with the other party when possible.”

Campaigns fueled on partisan politics are not much fun to watch. Such divisiveness moves from discouraging to dangerous when Congress grinds to a halt because its members dig in their heels. In such times, the efforts of Indiana's Republican and Democratic senators to find common ground are heartening and offer an example that all who aspire to Congress should emulate.

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