Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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U.S. Rep. Brooks: Immigration order needs clarification

Feb 4, 2017
In The News

ANDERSON — Rep. Susan Brooks said nothing that President Donald Trump has done in his first two weeks in office has been a surprise.

Brooks, a Republican who represents Indiana's 5th District, was at the Anderson Impact Center on Saturday for one of her regular “Connect with Your Congresswoman” event.

She said the executive order issued by President Donald Trump on immigration policies from seven Middle Eastern predominately Muslin nations, needs to be clarified.

“I have asked the White House for a better clarification for the agencies that have to execute the order,” Brooks said. “I do believe we need to strengthen the vetting process from those countries in particular. I do believe that was right.”

Brooks said she is OK with the executive order that would pause immigration from those countries for 90 days.

“There needs to be better communication,” she said. “There were reports that people with ‘green cards’ would not be allowed into the country, they are not affected.

Brooks said a top priority for Trump is to keep our country safe from terrorists.

“He (Trump) will implement executive orders and push Congress to pass laws to make our country safer,” she said.

Concerning changes to the Affordable Care Act, Brooks said there is interest from other states and federal lawmakers in the Indiana HIP (Healthy Indiana Plan) 2.0 as a possible model for other states.

She said because so many states are providing Medicaid services differently HIP is being promoted as an alternative.

“We need to allow the states the freedom to do what is best for their population,” Brooks said.

The HIP model was approached by the federal government as an expansion of Medicaid and requires a waiver from the federal government. Gov. Eric Holcomb applied for the waiver this week. She said Holcomb’s request to expand addiction in the application was powerful and addresses a problem in Indiana and the nation.

“Traditional Medicaid is broken, and it has a well-documented history of substantial waste, fraud and abuse,” Brooks said. “What we need to do to fix our broken Medicaid program is to grant states more freedom and flexibility to improve Medicaid, because expanding coverage absent of significant reforms is not responsible.”

She said federal lawmakers have to make sure the system is taking care of the most vulnerable citizens.

“What Medicaid was intended for was the elderly, disabled, pregnant woman and children,” Brooks said. “Under the Affordable Care Act it was expanded to the able-bodied population. With HIP the state was trying to help low income, able bodied families before it was required. It’s a good model with incentives for people to get back into the workforce.”