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IN THE NEWS: Joe Donnelly praised for vital role in “common sense caucus” that re-opened government

Joe Donnelly’s bipartisan efforts to re-open the government yesterday have received attention from local and national outlets.

Joe helped kickstart the group of pragmatic senators who worked through the weekend to enact the bipartisan bill Monday that re-opened the government, funded CHIP, delayed the medical device tax, and creates a path forward on immigration.

From the South Bend TribuneIndiana's Joe Donnelly again lands in national spotlight

Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly continued his bipartisan high-wire act Monday as he joined the Republican-controlled Congress in voting to bring a swift, although temporary, end to the federal government shutdown.

Donnelly, up for re-election in November, was one of a handful of Democrats from red states that overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump who crossed party lines with their votes early Saturday and again Monday to end the shutdown. The government’s non-essential services had shut down over the weekend when Democrats refused to vote for the budget unless it included deportation protections for the children of illegal immigrants.

"I thought we could continue to work on these issues while keeping the government open," Donnelly said. "Once the government shut down, I began working immediately with my friend Susan Collins and other senators to try to work to get it reopened.”

“I don’t come here as a Democrat or a Republican, but as a spokesman for the people of Indiana,” Donnelly said late Mondayafter voting to temporarily fund the government through Feb. 8.

Donnelly said he was part of a group of 22 senators from both parties, roughly split evenly among the two parties, that worked long hours toward a compromise.

“Our efforts over the years have created strong faith and trust in each other, and that’s what enabled us to reach this agreement today,” Donnelly said. “This is why the people of Indiana have sent me here.”








From The Washington PostShutdown ends after Democrats agree to trust that McConnell will allow ‘dreamer’ vote


The impact of the shutdown, which began at midnight Friday, was minimal, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal workers unsure of what the week would bring — but stretching into just one workday.

“I just think our job is to make sure government works for people and their lives get better, and that’s what I tried to do,” said Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), who had voted against the shutdown to begin with. “Our efforts helped bring the two leaders together, helped make sure that they talked and helped make sure that a deal got done.”


From Reuters: With Trump absent in shutdown debate, moderate U.S. senators fill void

With party leaders blaming each other, a group of senators, who considered themselves pragmatists, began meeting.
The group, about evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, was led by Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine, and Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from the heavily Republican state of West Virginia.

“When we saw this heading sideways, I called Susan and I said: ‘I think this is going the wrong way, we might want to get ready,'” said Senator Joe Donnelly, a Democrat from Indiana. “And she was already thinking the same thing and all of us were.”


From CNN: Winners and losers from the government reopening

Joe Donnelly of Indiana and others -- led the push to make a deal with McConnell. And they won. Which, theoretically, shields them from possibly being blamed for an extended government shutdown.


From The Hill: Winners and losers from the government shutdown

A group of about 20 senators broke the logjam with talks on Sunday. In a body that is often slammed as hopelessly dysfunctional, they actually got something done. 

Democrats who face challenging reelection races were central, Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) among them.