Indiana’s freshman Senator Mike Braun has arrived in Washington in the middle of a government shutdown, a tough farm economy, and a trade war. With the government shutdown entering yet another week, the Evansville Republican and former state legislator said Washington is dysfunctional and needs to begin to operate more like Indiana state government.
“It is almost comical the way we address things in Indiana state government compared to what happens here in Washington,” he stated. “We stayed within guidelines of balanced budgets and still took on tough issues like long term road funding, but here the process is so dysfunctional.”
Braun has been appointed to the Senate Ag Committee continuing Indiana’s tradition of having representation and influence of farm policy. Braun told HAT that lessening government regulations on agriculture along with finding new markets are two of his top priorities for the Senate Ag Committee.
The committee has a heritage of bipartisan cooperation, and Braun said he will continue that tradition, doing what is best for farmers despite the politics.
“When it comes to ag issues, if it is out of line with what I feel is good for Hoosier farmers, I will go against my own conference in the Senate or against the President.” During his campaign, Braun promised not to be a yes man for Donald Trump.
One of those issues that might test his resolve could be trade. Braun said, when it comes to growing new markets for U.S. farmers, a long term approach is needed rather than a kneejerk, quick fix approach.
“We have got to find new markets,” he said. “Running my own business over the years, I was always looking 3 to 5 years down the road at new markets and new sources of revenue. While I have no silver bullet, I think this is the way we solve some of agriculture’s current problems.”
Braun said he supports a new approach and new language to the Waters of the U.S. rule and will be keeping a close watch on the actions and regulations from the EPA as they impact Indiana farmers.