This blog is my last for 2012. As the year closes in, we continue to grapple with the fiscal cliff and an unfairly tarnished banking industry image. Meanwhile a new Congress is chomping at the bit to get started. There is much work to do in 2013.
Recently I met with several Indiana congressmen, both current and soon-to-be. Our state delegation is uniquely positioned to make an impact in the upcoming Congress. First, Congressman-elect Luke Messer — who is filling the seat that Mike Pence is vacating to accept his new role as Indiana’s governor — has been elected president of the Republican Freshman Class. Two years prior, Congressman Todd Rokita also served as Republican Freshman Class president. This post is influential, because the class president is the de facto freshman spokesperson among House leadership. For Indiana to have provided two consecutive Republican Freshman Class presidents is unprecedented. Luke certainly is well-qualified for the role, having served as executive director of the Indiana Republican Party and as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives, in addition to his background as an attorney and lobbyist.
Second, it is remarkable that, of the three female members of the Republican Freshman Class, two are from Indiana: former Indiana House of Representatives member Jackie Walorski and newcomer Susan Brooks. I had a chance to meet with Jackie last week; she is highly competent and eager to get to work. And Susan may not have the political pedigree of others in Congress, but she is an experienced legal practitioner, was a George Bush appointee to federal prosecutor, and recently worked to expand Indiana Vocational Technical School (Ivy Tech). She also is a personal friend, and I look forward to working with her.
Additionally, Congressman Marlin Stutzman has been named to the House Financial Services Committee. He is an ideal choice to serve on this committee, and we look forward to working with him.
Indiana Congressman André Carson has accepted a seat on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and thus resigned his seat on the House Financial Services Committee, after serving on it for several years. The congressman’s door has always been open to us; we thank him and wish him well in his new committee role.
Finally, Joe Donnelly, as of today still a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, successfully ran for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Sen. Richard Lugar. He had served for six years on the House Financial Services Committee, which he will relinquish when he transitions to the Senate. At this time, it does not appear that our new senator will be appointed to the Senate Banking Committee, but we do look forward to working with him in his new capacity.
Much work awaits us in 2013, and we welcome the opportunity. Happy New Year, one and all!