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Senator Mike Braun passed more bills into law than any Republican Senator in 2021. In 2022, he was in the top 10 of all Senators for bills signed into law.

Hoosiers sent Senator Mike Braun to D.C. to stand up against the status quo and get results.

Senator Braun is committed to pursuing federal legislation in “regular order,” that is, moving bills through processes that allow the public to fully consider legislation before such bills become law and binding upon them. This includes working through committee hearings, committee mark ups and floor proceedings.

In the 117th Congress, Senator Braun was among the top ten Senators in terms of production of stand-alone Senate bills becoming law. Senator Braun also worked closely and consistently with colleagues across the aisle to enact numerous commonsense bills for which he was the lead partner.

“All too often, Members of Congress vote for legislation they have not read, and do not fully understand. Since taking office, I have consistently voted against “too-big-too-fail” bills that are rushed through the legislative process and loaded up with costly pet projects for career politicians. I take my oath to uphold the Constitution seriously, and therefore go to work each day to protect the freedoms and liberties afforded to the American people under our founding documents; to deter career politicians from spending taxpayer’s money with reckless abandon; to create environments where entrepreneurs and small businesses can thrive in America; and to focus on fixing commonsense problems for the American people.” – Senator Mike Braun

Senator Braun’s dedication to his constituents means it’s no surprise that he was named the most effective freshman Republican Senator in Congress, the most effective Republican Senator in agriculture, health, and welfare, and the highest ranked Republican on the ‘Freshman Senators Exceeding Expectations’ list. Senator Braun has been an advocate for Hoosiers here in DC, hearing their complaints and translating them into effective legislation. In 2019, after receiving complaints about poor program administration in the VA, Sen. Braun set out to reform the benefit system for children of Vietnam War Veterans with spina bifida, proposing legislation that was signed into law October 2023.

The Office of Senator Mike Braun provides federal agency assistance to all citizens in Indiana. Acting as a liaison between Hoosiers and the federal government, Senator Braun’s office can often help you answer questions, find resources or resolve problems. As a Main Street entrepreneur, Senator Braun understands customer service is vital. For this reason, Senator Braun has visited all 92 counties in Indiana every year he has been in office. In 2023 alone, the office of Senator Mike Braun returned $11,411,292.29 to Hoosiers.

Key Issues

Learn more about Senator Braun’s work on issues that matter most to you:

Protecting the Unborn
Thanking hoosier Veterans
Battling the Opioid Epidemic

BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW IN THE 118TH CONGRESS (2023 - 2024).

On March 20, 2023, President Joe Biden signed into law the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023, legislation introduced by Senator Braun and Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri. This legislation requires the Biden administration to declassify intelligence related to any potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, while allowing sources and methods of intelligence professionals to be protected.

The American people deserve more than spin about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic—they deserve the facts.

The COVID-19 Origin Act passed the Senate unanimously in the 117th Congress, but no action was taken on the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the 118th Congress, the Senate again unanimously the bill in May 2021. On March 20, 2023, the House passed the bill by a 419-0 vote and the legislation was sent to President Biden for his signature and enactment.

Despite the unanimous and bipartisan mandate from Congress, the Biden Administration gave lip service to Americans by failing to comply with both the spirit and the letter of the law. Instead, the Administration provide—after the statutory deadline—a few inconsequential pages to the public, portending to be in compliance.

Senators Braun and Hawley sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to point out the Administration did not comply with the letter or spirt of the law. The Senators demanded that Director Haines provide a new, complete report including any and all information pertaining to the origins of COVID-19, within seven days—which Director Haines also failed to do.

Hoosiers and all Americans deserve more transparency concerning federal actions during the early days of the pandemic. For this reason, during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in October 2023, Senator Mike Braun questioned Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, a then-nominee to lead the National Institutes of Health, on whether she would comply with the House Oversight investigation into COVID’s origins and NIH officials like Dr. Fauci’s attempts to cast doubt on a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This question was prompted by revelations concerning Dr. David Morens–a top official at the NIH and advisor to Dr. Fauci at NIAID. Dr. Morens was subpoenaed by the House committee on October 13 after messages revealed he had been using a private email to avoid the Freedom of Information Act. Senator Braun asked Dr. Bertagnolli if she will commit to transparency and not thwart attempts to hold the government accountable.

Federal agencies often carryout discretionary actions that lead to increased taxpayer costs. To help combat runaway costs, and to increase transparency for the American public concerning federal agency actions, Senator Braun introduced the Administrative Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2023 (S. 1052) with Senators Manchin (D-WV), Lummis (R-WY), and Daines (R-MT). 

The Act requires federal agencies to offset increased mandatory spending when such agency makes administrative decisions that lead to increased cost. In May 2005, President George W. Bush announced that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would involve itself in how agencies execute laws related to mandatory spending (often called “autopilot” spending).

President Barack Obama continued this process by issuing an OMB memorandum. Under OMB requirements, agencies taking actions that increase mandatory spending would also be required to provide OMB with proposed actions that would reduce mandatory spending by the same amount. Such actions might include regulatory reforms, demonstration program notices, and other forms of program guidance. 

President Trump then issued an Executive Order to effectuate Administrative PayGo in practice. Senator Braun’s Administrative Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2023codifies President Trump’s Executive Order from October 10, 2019 and provides a framework to reign in mandatory spending. The Administrative Pay-As-You-Go Act was enacted as part of Public Law 118-5.

This Act is sorely needed as actions continue unfettered under President Biden. The Foundation for Government Accountability notes, “Without Administrative PAYGO or another policy to limit how new regulations can increase spending on mandatory programs, the Biden administration has a blank check to keep spending taxpayer dollars through regulatory schemes. The Administrative PAYGO policy included in the Fiscal Responsibility Act is a step in the right direction, and in theory, should require the Biden administration to offset new taxpayer spending.”

Persistence pays off when it is in the best interests of constituents.

In 2019, Sen. Braun’s office gets complaints from constituents about poor program administration, leading him to ask the Offce of the Inspector General of the Veterans Affairs Department (VA OIG) to examine the program management. 

In July 2019, the Braun office asked for more formal evaluations of what was happening in the program. On February 23, 2021, the VA OIG issues its report affirming problems in program administration. The VA OIG found that: “VBA and VHA did not adequately communicate or share data, contributing to improper payments being sent to beneficiaries after their deaths and delays in new beneficiaries being enrolled in health care. Further, because VA did not consistently and accurately reach out and communicate with eligible and enrolled beneficiaries, individuals with Spina Bifida and their caretakers did not receive needed information about Spina Bifida benefits and how to obtain them.”

On May 5, 2020, in the 116th Congress, Sen. Braun and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) introduced legislation to address program shortcomings. On December 9, 2021, in the 117th Congress was re-introduced by Senator Braun, along with Senators Rubio, Hassan and Booker. On November 13, 2022, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee held a legislative hearing on the bill. On January 26, 2023, in the 118th Congress, Senator Braun re-introduced as S.112with Senators Rubio, Hassan, Booker, Rick Scott, Cornyn, Warnock, Young and Hirono. On February 16, 2023, SVAC considered and reported the measure without amendment.

The full Senate then approved the bill unanimously on July 13, 2023, followed by unanimous passage in the U.S. House of Representatives (422-0) on September 19, 2023.  

President Biden signed this bill into law on October 6, 2023. Upon enactment, Senator Braun noted: “This law will ensure that the children of Vietnam veterans born with Spina Bifida due to a parent’s exposure to Agent Orange will get the care and benefits they deserve for the rest of their lives. I’m proud to have led this valuable bipartisan bill into law and look forward to helping these veterans’ kids.”

Senator Braun’s legislation was endorsed by the Vietnam Veterans of America, the American Legion, and the Fleet Reserve Association.

The Veterans Benefits claims process should be simple. That is why Senator Braun introduced the Wounded Warrior Access Act (S. 2803/H.R. 1226) with Senator Alex Padilla of California to require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to create an online tool for Veterans to access their claim files electronically.

Currently, Veterans must either travel to a regional VA location, or wait for a physical copy to come in the mail to access their claims information. When a Veteran submits a claim for benefits to the VA, a claims file (C-File) is created. C-Files contain a veteran’s service records, results of VA exams, additional information submitted by the veteran, and any material the VA deems necessary to decide the claim. Veterans must travel to a regional VA location or mail in a form to request a paper copy of their C-Files, slowing down the process for individuals.

Improving efficiency in the Veterans claims process will make getting determinations swifter and more transparent. American Veterans represent the absolute best our country has to offer—and they deserve the absolute best when they return home. Veterans should not have to jump through hoops just to gain access to benefits for which they are entitled.

President Biden signed this reform into law on November 13, 2023.

Our nation has an established history of supporting allied nations. That is why Senator Braun introduced the Korean American VALOR Act (S. 2648/H.R. 366) with Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii to allow Republic of Korea (ROK) Vietnam Veterans who fought alongside the U.S. military during the Vietnam War, and who have since become naturalized U.S. citizens, access to medical services at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Speaking to the need for this legislation, Senator Braun remarked, “This legislation guarantees that the men and women who bravely fought alongside U.S. troops and have become American citizens will have access to the care and benefits they deserve, paid for by the South Korean government.” 

The bill requires the VA to enter into a reciprocal financial agreement with the ROK so the United States will be reimbursed for any expenses the Vietnam Veterans of the ROK Armed Forces incur at the VA. There are approximately 2,800 ROK Vietnam Veterans residing in the U.S. today, and they have experienced the same exposure to toxic chemicals as their American counterparts. This bill ensures they receive the same level of care as all other Vietnam Veterans. Korea will reimburse the U.S. for healthcare services VA furnishes to Korean American veterans. In exchange, the U.S. will reimburse Korea for the healthcare it provides to veterans of the U.S. armed forces residing in Korea. The U.S. has established reciprocal agreements with the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa. Veterans from these nations do not need to be U.S. citizens to be eligible for care, and VA has the authority to treat veterans of any combat era.

President Biden signed this reform into law on November 13, 2023.

Senator Mike Braun joined fellow bill sponsors Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), the chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in introducing and passing into law the Department of Defense Overdose Data (DOD) Act (S. 1766) as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The bill is designed to address the impacts of the opioid epidemic among members of the U.S. military and their family. It requires the Department of Defense to keep a collect an array of data needed to track and address the problem of military overdoses and require that drugs to reverse opioid overdose like naloxone are available on all military installations and operational environments.

In celebrating passage of this legislation, the coalition of Senators remarked: “The federal government has a responsibility to protect the lives of service members, many of whom are impacted by the overdose crisis that has reached every corner of our country. Over the last five years, we’ve lost hundreds of members of the military to overdose. This is a preventable crisis, and failing to act is immoral and a betrayal of the commitment we made to our servicemembers. By requiring the Department of Defense to track and report on overdose data and distribute overdose reversal medication to servicemembers, we will help ensure no one else loses a loved one in uniform to a drug overdose. We look forward to this essential legislation being signed into law and the lives it will save in communities all across our country.”

Specifically, the DOD Act as passed by Congress requires the Department of Defense to report, annually, on overdoses among members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Space Force and related data, including demographic data, substances involved, number of intentional overdoses, number of members prescribed or provided naloxone prior to overdose, previous prescriptions, co-morbid mental health diagnoses, referral to treatment, history of positive drug tests, analysis of discernible patterns in overdoses, existing and anticipated response efforts, access to treatment, and available treatment programs. The DOD Act also ensures that naloxone and any other medication to reverse opioid overdose is available on all military installations and in each operational environment. 

Cosponsors in the Senate include Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Angus King (I-ME), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ted Budd (R-NC), and John Fetterman (D-PA). 

The provision was included in the final National Defense Authorization Act that was signed into law on December 22, 2023.

The sacrifices of our nation’s military members must never be taken for granted. Spouses, and dependent children, of deceased active-duty Veterans are entitled to monthly Survivor Benefit Payments. 

After 2020, the Department of Defense (DOD) removed the “Child Only” option for these payments. After such point, Senator Braun heard complaints from a constituent who had guardianship of her grandson. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service could not verify the mother’s ineligibility, resulting in indefinitely paused payments to the child.

On July 26, 2023, Senator Braun introduced S. 2505 to help address practical challenges associated with implementation of these critical benefits. 

This legislation was included in the fiscal year (FY) 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that passed the Senate in July 2023 (Braun Amdt. 498; Sec. 5632 of the FY24 NDAA). More specifically, the Senate-passed NDAA would require the Secretary of Defense to submit to Congress a report on the effects on the ground of removing the “child only” option.

The final NDAA Conference Report recognizes that the new 2020 requirements for Survivor Benefit Payments and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation payments have resulted in unintended outcomes for beneficiaries, particularly dependent children, in unusual guardianship arrangements. The conferees directed the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to provide a briefing to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives, not later than May 1, 2024, that evaluates the effects outlined in Senator Braun’s provision.

The provision was included in the final NDAA conference report (Section 1851) that was signed into law on December 22, 2023.

The World Trade Center Health Program was created in 2011 to provide no-cost health care and monitoring for health conditions that are attributable to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The program is facing a shortfall, however, that threatens the provision of these benefits.

The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) provides care for around 120,000 9/11 first responders and survivors, and the program reports that 139 Hoosiers are currently enrolled in the program. There are 450,000 eligible individuals in the WTCHP.  

Senator Gillibrand introduced S. 569, the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act of 2023, on February 28, 2023. In July 2023, Senator Braun joined Senator Gillibrand in filing an amended version of this bill as an amendment to the fiscal year (FY) 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

The Gillibrand-Braun amendment will provide $444 million to partially address the funding shortfall facing the WTCHP over the coming years. In addition, $232 million is also provided to expand eligibility to 9/11 responders at the Pentagon and Shanksville sites who were active-duty DOD military or civilians, along with other federal employees currently excluded from the program.

This amendment, which if fully paid for with spending offsets, passed the Senate by a 94—4 margin, and the provision was included in the final NDAA conference report (Section 1851) that was signed into law on December 22, 2023.

Federal law and regulations should not push politicized (“woke”) investment policies that crowd out commonsense financial considerations and threaten Americans’ retirement security. Nevertheless, a federal agency issued a Rule to do just that, prompting Senator Braun to lead the congressional fight to protect Americans’ retirement security.

In November 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor finalized a Rule to allow retirement plan managers to weigh environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations when making investments. ESG seeks to advance progressive ideals to the detriment of investors. The Department’s Rule ensures that ERISA plan fiduciaries consider climate change and other social factors when making investment decisions, versus decisions based solely on financial considerations.

Americans invest in retirement and pension plans to save for the future and live comfortably when they retire. These plans are often employer-sponsored plans that the government established safeguards for through ERISA. Under the Department’s Rule, plan participants can be unknowingly be enrolled in ESG funds that contradict their political values, underperform, and carry higher fees. Global ESG funds average a 6.3 percent return compared to 8.9 percent on the broader market, and ESG funds have 43 percent higher fees than non-ESG funds.

Senator Braun, along with Representative Andy Barr of Kentucky, led a bipartisan effort to nullify this rule using statutory authorities provided to Congress under the Congressional Review Act (S.J.Res.8/H.J.Res.30). Nullifying the rule would give Americans more control over their retirement savings, and protect their retirements so that only financial returns were considered by investment investors and asset managers. On February 28, 2023, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Senator Braun and Representative Barr’s resolution by a 216-204 vote, and then the U.S. Senate passed it on March 1, 2023, by a 50-46 vote.

President Biden ignored the bipartisan desire of congress to nullify this rule, vetoing the legislation. This was the first veto the President Biden carried out while serving in the White House. President Biden’s veto is especially perplexing given the impact of the Rule on small businesses. In 2021, President Biden stated that “Small businesses are the engines of our economic progress; they’re the glue and the heart and soul of our communities.  But they’re getting crushed.” President Biden chose political interests over the best interests of small businesses. As the National Federal of Independent Business (NFIB) stated upon endorsing Senator Braun’s disapproval resolution, “ESG policies politicize and distort investment decisions of capital necessary for small business growth.”

Hardworking Hoosiers worried about their retirements have already faced record-setting inflation and economic instability in recent years. The last thing they need is big government ideology infecting their 401(k)s. The ESG rule affects 152 million workers nationwide.

BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW IN THE 117TH CONGRESS (2021 - 2022).

Our nation’s service members deserve access to resources that help them succeed at transitioning to civilian life. For this reason, Senator Braun led a bipartisan effort with Senator Hassan of New Hampshire to actively hire veterans and transitioning service members who have the skills critically needed in federal health care departments. More specifically, the Hire Veteran Health Heroes Act of 2021 (S. 894directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to actively recruit medical personnel who are within one year of completing their military service, and to encourage them to remain in federal health care in departments like Veterans Affairs. The Senate Committee Veterans Affairs held a hearing to consider this bill on April 29, 2021; the Committee then favorably reported this bill on June 24, 2021; the U.S. Senate then unanimously passed the Hire Veteran Health Heroes Act of 2021 on July 21, 2021, followed by passage in the U.S. House of Representatives on November 15, 2021.  President Biden signed Senator Braun’s bill into law on November 20, 2021. Now that this legislation has been signed into law, the country is one step closer to fulfilling our obligation to those who have served get the best health services possible.

Too often, career politicians create new federal programs to great fanfare, but then fail to oversee the implementation of such programming to ensure the American people are well-served in practice. Senator Braun has demonstrated his commitment to ensuring effective implementation of the programs he has helped to create. Most recently, Senator Braun held the Social Security Administration (SSA) accountable for its implementation of a bill designed to give critical disability benefits to individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a neurodegenerative disease affecting the ability of the brain to control muscle movements. Individuals with ALS progressively lose the ability to speak, walk, and breathe. There is no effective treatment for the disease, no known cause, and—currently—no cure. At the end of the 116th Congress, the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act was signed into law. Importantly, this long overdue law eliminated a mandatory five-month waiting period for patients with medically-determined ALS. Simply put, individuals that are given a fatal diagnosis of ALS should not have to wait to access the benefits that they earned and are entitled to possess. Passage of this change was a priority for the Senate ALS Caucus, which Senator Braun co-chairs with Senator Chris Coons of Delaware. However, it soon became apparent that the SSA was not going to implement the bill as intended. SSA indicated that it did not plan to grant these key benefits to people diagnosed with ALS that were already in their five-month waiting period prior to the date of the new law’s enactment. As a result, Senator Braun quickly drafted yet more legislation (S. 579) in the 117th Congress to force SSA to implement the law as Congress intended—and now all individuals with ALS are to be given their federal entitlements. Since this set of bills became law, 5,154 ALS patients have been able to gain immediate access to their Social Security Disability benefits. This figure represents ten percent of all the ALS patients ever allowed SSDI benefits. 

The TEACH Grant program incentivizes teachers to serve in high need, often neglected communities. However, often due to basic clerical mistakes, thousands of teachers had their TEACH grants converted into student loans that must be paid back with interest. To correct this problem of failed program administration, Senator Braun drafted the Consider Teachers Act (S. 848) with Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. This legislation fixes this broken system permanently, and provides extra time for teachers to complete service requirements due to the coronavirus pandemic. This bill was approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate on April 27, 2021, followed by passage in the U.S. House of Representatives on September 28, 2021. President Biden signed Senator Braun’s bill into law on October 13, 2021.

As a Main Street Entrepreneur and conservationist, Senator Braun knows firsthand that if we want to address our changing climate, we need to facilitate real solutions that our farmers, environmentalists and industry can collectively support. That is why Senator Braun drafted the Growing Climate Solutions Act (S. 1251) with Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, legislation designed to break down barriers for farmers and foresters interested in voluntarily participating in carbon markets so they can be rewarded for climate-smart practices. The bill had widespread support, including from the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Corn Growers Association, Environmental Defense Fund, McDonald’s, Microsoft, over 40 farm groups, environmental organizations, and numerous Fortune 500 companies. The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on this bill on June 24, 2020 during the 116th Congress. The bill was reintroduced with improvements in the 117th Congress, wherein the Senate Agriculture formally marked up the bill on April 22, 2021. The U.S. Senate then brought Senator Braun’s bill to the floor, where it was robustly considered and approved by a 92-8 margin on June 24, 2021. The U.S. House of Representatives later approved the legislation, enabling President Biden to enact its provisions on December 29, 2022.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) failed to retain critical features of the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program that is essential in the State of Indiana. A drafting error in the IIJA meant that the AML program could not put new funds into state-run set-aside accounts for the long-term treatment of acid mine drainage in coalfield rivers and creeks. Set-aside accounts are necessary because of the perpetual nature of acid mine drainage, and the devastating effects it has on rivers, streams, ecosystems and contaminating groundwater and downstream water supplies. Abandoned mines negatively affect local economies, decreasing land values, reducing recreational opportunities and threatening the health and safety of individuals living in coalfield communities. Given this reality, Senator Braun joined Senator Casey of Pennsylvania to introduce the STREAM Act (S. 3957/H.R. 7283), legislation to provide a fix to that issue, ensuring states can use investments for the perpetual treatment that acid mine drainage. The STREAM Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a 391-9 margin in July 2021. On December 2022, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing to consider the merits of the STREAM Act, which lead to improvements in the bill to also allow states greater flexibility using funds for mine fire safety and subsidence issues. The U.S. Senate then passed this legislation on December 16, 2022. President Biden subsequently signed this reform into law on December 29, 2022.

In 2022, a small business medical device manufacturer based in Jeffersonville, Indiana called the Office of Senator Braun to flag a shortcoming of legislation moving in Congress. Namely, as Congress considered statutorily required updates to the FDA user fee model, there was no consideration given to the size of filing fees on small businesses. As a result of this constituent’s outreach to identify the shortcoming, Senator Braun drafted legislation with Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, the Small Business Establishment Registration Waiver Act (S. 4385), to allow the FDA to waive annual establishment registration fees for small medical device manufacturers for which such fees present a financial hardship. Specifically, this bill provides authority for FDA to waive the registration fee for the smallest device manufactures, those with less than $1,000,000 in annual revenue, if the business can demonstrate to the FDA that the registration fee represents a financial hardship to the business. It will allow companies to continue to manufacture devices that are doing good in the world with small profit. This bill was offered as an amendment during the Senate Committee consideration of S.4348, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements Act (FDASLA) of 2022 in June 2022, where it was adopted by the Committee on voice vote. President Biden subsequently signed this reform into law on December 29, 2022.

When passing legislation, Congress should always put the needs of Americans first. That is why Senator Braun introduced the Make It in America Act (S. 363/H.R. 3684) with Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan to make it harder for federal agencies to use waivers to get around Buy American requirements. The bill requires the federal government to give preference to American companies and spend taxpayer dollars on American-made products and American jobs. Ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used to support American jobs is commonsense, main-street policy, but America’s Buy American laws have too many loopholes, resulting in our country sending our resources to foreign workers. This bill closes those loopholes and helps ensure that America’s workers, small businesses, and families are the direct beneficiaries of federal purchasing. President Biden signed this reform into law on November 15, 2021.

During the 116th Congress, Senator Braun was proud to author the VA Directly Returning Opioid Prescriptions (“VA DROP”) Act (S. 3753/H.R. 4817) with Rep. Jim Baird in the U.S. House of Representatives. The VA DROP Act requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that each VA medical center with an on-site pharmacy (or a law enforcement officer) has a physical location where patients may safely dispose of controlled substances or medications. This legislation was signed into law as part of the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 (Public Law No: 116-315). There is always more work do to, however, when it comes to the fight against opioids. That is why Senator Braun joined forces with Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana in the 117th Congress to expand upon the VA DROP Act. Together, Senators Braun and Kennedy introduced the DUMP Opioids Act, legislation to allow any American—not just Veterans— to securely dispose of opioids at VA facilities. The DUMP Opioids Act was approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate on April 22, 2021, followed by passage in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 27, 2021. President Biden signed this bill into law on July 29, 2021.

The opioid crisis ravaging the country of its full potential demands a multi-faceted approach. To help strengthen the disposal process for dangerous opioids, Senator Braun joined Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire in introducing the Better ODDS to Reduce Diversion Act of 2021 (S. 2628). This bill authorizes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to direct safe disposal requirements as a part of a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for a drug, including prescription opioids. Currently, the FDA is only able to recommend the use of mail-in drug disposal products for prescription drugs, such as opioids. This legislation eliminates this burdensome requirement and allows for a broader use of safe and effective at-home, in-home disposal products. This includes products that modify the chemical makeup of the prescription drug to make the drug unusable, or unable to be diverted into a different substance. At a Senate HELP Committee markup held in June 2022, the Better ODDS Act was incorporated into the base text of a bigger legislative package to reauthorize the FDA user fee model (S. 4348, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements Act). President Biden subsequently signed this key reform into law on December 29, 2022.

To better inform next steps in the war against the opioid crisis, Senator Braun joined Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia in drafting legislation about drug study designs that are used in the approval of new prescription opioids for chronic pain. More specifically, the FDA has approved new drug applications for opioids following completion of clinical trials using enriched enrollment, randomized, withdrawal (EERW) designs. The FREED Opioids Act (S. 1634) directs the FDA to conduct a study to review EERW study designs, and to encourage the FDA to consider expanding the scope of information requested on requiring fixed quantity blister packaging for certain opioids.President Biden subsequently signed this reform into law on December 29, 2022.

Senator Braun’s father was a B-17 tail gunner during World War II, and he has never forgotten the lesson taught him: to honor every American who has served our country with dignity and respect. Serving those that serve the American people by defending the nation’s security and way of life is not only an honor, but a responsibility. That is why Senator Braun joined Senator Ossoff of Georgia in introducing legislation to help eliminate the current backlog of veterans’ record requests at the National Personnel Records Center (S. 4816, the Access for Veterans to Records Act of 2022). The bipartisan legislation will help more veterans and their families obtain their military records, which are often required to access critical care and benefits veterans earn through their service to the nation. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC) considered this legislation at a Committee markup in September 2022, with amendment. President Biden subsequently signed this reform into law on December 29, 2022.

As a member of the U.S. Senate, Senator Braun has the great honor to recognize the contributions of those that served the country. During the 117th Congress, Senator Braun had the opportunity to help honor the estimated 18 million women who helped keep our nation’s economy and society running during World War II by working as pilots, engineers, taxi drivers, letter carriers, code breakers and more has passed out of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Senator Braun joined Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois in introducing S. 1814, the Women Who Worked on the Home Front World War II Memorial Act. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) held a hearing in May 2022 on this matter, allowing it to be later signed into law in December 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in numerous things that need to be better understood—including the role of natural immunity in fighting spread of the disease when compared to vaccinations. Senator Braun and Senator Marshall of Kansas joined forces to introduce the Apply the Science Act (S. 3831), a bill to require the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct a study on COVID-19 immunity resulting from a prior infection, vaccination, or both. At a Senate HELP Committee markup held in June 2022, the Apply the Science Act was incorporated into the base text of a bigger legislative package to reauthorize the FDA user fee model (S. 4348, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements Act). President Biden subsequently signed this reform into law on December 29, 2022.

The approval of a COVID-19 vaccine as a means of fighting the global pandemic associated with the novel coronavirus sparked a healthy and warranted debate about the role of government in approving and requiring vaccines to be taken. In order to improve upon the information that is provided to the American public concerning vaccines, Senator Braun joined Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire in drafting S. 3394, the Emergency Use Transparency Act. This legislation expands existing FDA authority to publish notices of authorizations, terminations, or revocations of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for medical products. Specifically, this bill requires FDA to publish such notices on its website, and allows the FDA’s disclosure to include a summary of data or information from additional types of submissions. By enabling the FDA to disclose more information when granting a EUA for a new drug application while it is still pending, this bill improves public confidence in a COVID-19 vaccine by increasing the transparency of the process. At a Senate HELP Committee markup held in June 2022, this bill was incorporated into the base text of a bigger legislative package to reauthorize the FDA user fee model (S. 4348, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements Act). President Biden later signed this reform into law on December 29, 2022.

Small business owners who opened their shop up during the pandemic faced unique challenges. Senator Braun joined with Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire to better support new businesses hire and retain employees with payroll and healthcare expense assistance through their Recovery Startup Assistance Act (S. 551). Specifically, through 2021, the bill provides new small businesses with a tailored version of the Employee Retention Tax Credit—a credit that helps businesses hire and retain employees by providing advance payments covering payroll and health care expenses. President Biden signed this reform into law on March 11, 2021.

As a member of the Senate HELP Committee, Senator Braun is responsible for working with the Committee to update key federal programs as statute requires. One such program is the FDA user fee model that governs prescription drugs and medical devices in the country. As part of the statutorily required process for updating this model, Senator Braun drafted legislation with Senator Kaine of Virginia (S. 3496, the Promoting Access to Critical Countermeasures by Ensuring Specimen Samples Act) to support quicker research and development of medical countermeasures, including diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics, in response to emerging infectious diseases. The bill requires HHS to issue timely guidance for public and private sector entities’ quick access to specimen samples to ensure a greater supply of diagnostics and other countermeasures. It also encourages HHS to contract with public and private sector entities to efficiently develop and disseminate diagnostic tests to ensure the protection of Americans in their day-to-day activities. At a Senate HELP Committee markup held in June 2022, this bill was incorporated into the base text of a bigger legislative package to reauthorize the FDA user fee model (S. 4348, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements Act). President Biden subsequently signed this reform into law on December 29, 2022.

As part of his position on the Senate HELP Committee, Senator Braun is responsible for working with the Committee to update key federal programs as statute requires. One such program is the FDA user fee model that governs prescription drugs and medical devises in the country. As part of the statutorily required process for updating this model, Senator Braun drafted legislation with Senator Hickenlooper of Colorado (S. 4386, the Predetermined Change Control Plan Act) to authorize the FDA to approve predetermined change control plans for approved medical devices. More specifically, this bill would allow changes to be made to FDA approved medical devices without the need for medical device manufacturers to submit supplemental applications or premarket notifications, if the changes are made in accordance with the predetermined change control plan and to the extent the device remains safe and effective. Medical device sponsors would be eligible to submit a predetermined change protocol plan at the same time they submit an application for full approval for their medical device. This bill was offered as an amendment during the Senate Committee consideration of S.4348, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements Act (FDASLA) of 2022 in June 2022, where it was adopted by the Committee on voice vote. President Biden subsequently signed this reform into law on December 29, 2022.

As part of his position on the Senate HELP Committee, Senator Braun is responsible for working with the Committee to update key federal programs as statute requires. One such program is the FDA user fee model that governs prescription drugs and medical devises in the country. Senator Braun worked with Senator Murphy of Connecticut to draft legislation (S. 3416, the Protecting Patients from Counterfeit Medical Devices Act) designed to deter counterfeit medical devises from harming Americans.  More specifically, the bill raises the statutory cap for counterfeiting conduct from three (3) years to 10 years, and raises the cap on sentencing from 36 months to 120 months to deter bad actors from counterfeiting medical devices. Additionally, this bill expands eligibility requirements for admissible evidence presented by FDA to prosecute counterfeit cases. It also removes a requirement for an interstate commerce violation to clarify that mere possession of a counterfeit device with intent to sell qualifies as a criminal act under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. At a Senate HELP Committee markup held in June 2022, this bill was considered and incorporated into the base text of a bigger legislative package to reauthorize the FDA user fee model (S. 4348, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements Act). President Biden subsequently signed this reform into law on December 29, 2022.

It is imperative for the American people to have transparency about the people who serve them in positions of trust, and whose public roles are financed by the American taxpayer. To strengthen such transparency, Senator Braun joined Senator Carper of Delaware to introduce S. 3650, the Periodically Listing Updates to Management Act of 2022 (the “PLUM Act of 2022”). Currently, the federal government publishes a comprehensive list of positions appointed by the President once every four years called the “Plum Book.” The PLUM Act of 2022 would modernize the Plum Book by requiring the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to establish and maintain a current, publicly available directory of senior government leaders online. This good governance bill will increase transparency and help make the federal government more accessible and accountable to the American people. During the 116th Congress, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC) considered and approved this legislation at a Committee markup held in July 2020. The legislation was favorably reported, with amendment, on voice vote. The legislation was reintroduced in the 117th Congress, where the Senate HSGAC Committee again considered the bill, and favorably reported it with further edits. President Biden subsequently signed this reform into law on December 29, 2022.

BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW IN THE 116TH CONGRESS (2019 - 2020).

S. 3596, the Safeguarding Small Business Act, with Senator Doug Jones and others, to prevent tax deductions for ordinary business expenses and other tax incidents from being affected by the exclusion from gross income related to PPP loan forgiveness.  It was never the intent of the CARES Act to result in tax liability, though Treasury guidance was issued to that effect, and Sen. Braun’s legislation was meant to fix this regulatory interpretation. Enacted as part of H.R. 133, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Public Law No: 116-260.

S.5084, a bill introduced by Senator Braun to increase transparency and access to group health plan and health insurance issuer reporting. Our health care system and prescription drug market are shrouded in secrecy, and big health care has been allowed to get away with too much for too long. This bill requires insurers to submit a report twice a year detailing price trends and reimbursements for prescription drugs, as well as how prescription drugs are contributing to premium increases under group health plans.  These reports will be made easily accessible to the public on the HHS website, adding transparency and accountability to our secretive health care system to empower individuals to be informed health care consumers. Enacted as part of H.R. 133, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Public Law No: 116-260.

S.2315, the Whistleblower Act of 2019, with Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), enhances protections for certain types of government grant recipients who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, and abuse to hold the federal government responsible. Specifically, it closes loopholes in the current law to clarify the scope of whistleblower protections available for employees of federal subgrantees who provide protected disclosures. Subgrantees are in an ideal position to hold the federal government accountable for waste, fraud, abuse, and illegal activity, and to help ensure the best use of taxpayer dollars.  Enacted as part of H.R. 133, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Public Law No: 116-260.

S.3753, the VA Directly Returning Opioid Prescriptions Act (“VA DROP Act”), with Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Rep. Jim Baird in the U.S. House of Representatives. Nearly half of American veterans suffer from chronic pain, and half of those veterans have received at least one prescription for opioids. Veterans are seven times more likely to suffer from an opioid use disorder. A pilot program at a VA medical center in Indianapolis resulted in over 450 pounds of medication being turned over in a six-month period: there is a clear need for a safe, anonymous, and continuously available way for veterans to dispose of unneeded medications, and the VA DROP Act does that. The VA DROP Act was included as Section 3009 in H.R.7105 – Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020, Public Law No: 116-315.

S. 1153, the Stop Student Debt Relief Scams Act of 2019, with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), establishes penalties for individuals who obtain unauthorized access of certain student loan information and to expand the existing requirements for student loan exit counseling. Millions of Americans have taken on student debt, and unfortunately many fall prey to predatory student debt relief scammers. S. 1153 enhances efforts to identify and shut down student debt scams. The law creates penalties for scammers who access Department of Education information technology systems for the purposes of fraud and requires reporting that will help identify and prevent student debt scams.  Assigned Public Law 116-251.

S. 1833, with Senators Young, Durbin and Duckworth, a bill to transfer a bridge over the Wabash River to the New Harmony River Bridge Authority and the New Harmony and Wabash River Bridge Authority.  The identical House companion, H.R. 3245, sponsored by Rep. Larry Bucshon, was enacted and assigned the Public Law No: 116-56.

S.3105, a bill with the Indiana delegation to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 456 North Meridian Street in Indianapolis, Indiana, as the “Richard G. Lugar Post Office.”  S. 3105 was enacted and assigned Public Law No: 116-161.

S. 375Program Integrity Act, a bill I joined and pushed forward with Senators Tom Carper, Ron Johnson, and Gary Peters in introducing toimprove efforts to identify and reduce government-wide improper payments.  S. 375 was enacted into law as Public Law No: 116-117.

S. 578, the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act, a bill introduced by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Tom Cotton to remove barriers for ALS patients seeking access to the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits they earned. Specifically, the bill eliminates a mandatory five-month waiting period for patients with medically-determined ALS.  Passing S. 578 was a priority for the Senate ALS Caucus, which Senator Braun co-chairs with Senator Chris Coons of Delaware.  Since its founding in January 2020, Senators Braun and Coons made passage of S. 578 a key effort and priority in the 116th Congress. S. 578 was assigned Public Law 116-250.

Senator Braun forced a notable change by using Senate procedure for H.R. 269, a bill to reform the over-the-counter drug approval process at FDA.  HR 269 did not go through regular order when it ran on the hotline on January 29, 2019 although the bill moved in previous congresses.  The HELP Committee successfully marked up and reported the language of HR 269 on June 26, 2019 as part of a larger bill (S. 1895, Lower Health Care Costs Act (ordered reported favorably to full Senate, as amended, with a 20-3 vote).  As a part of this markup up, Sen. Braun filed withdrew an amendment to ensure greater transparency and accountability in FDA approval of over the counter (OTC) drugs and grants of FDA exclusivities for OTC drugs.  The amendment was filed as a defensive measure given Sen. Braun’s hold on an OTC reform bill (H.R. 269).   The overall package however included language sought by Sen. Braun to add transparency to avoid the parking of OTC drugs in the new FDA framework created by the bill.  This language of HR 269, as reported by HELP with the Braun change, was then signed into law as part of the CARES Act (Public Law No. 116-136, COVID response package).

Provisions of Senator Braun’s S. 4796, the Fair Care Act of 2020 were included in the FY2021 Omnibus. Each of these sections, with the exception of Sec. 325. Biological Product Patent Transparency, are identical to the language that we have in Senator Braun’s Fair Care Act: 

  • Title II—Transparency Sec. 201. Removing Gag Clauses on Price and Quality Information Section 201 bans gag clauses in contracts between providers and health plans that prevent enrollees, plan sponsors, or referring providers from seeing cost and quality data on providers. It also bans gag clauses in contracts between providers and health insurance plans that prevent plan sponsors from accessing de-identified claims data that could be shared, under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) business associate agreements, with third parties for plan administration and quality improvement purposes
  • Title III—Public Health Provisions Sec. 322. Conditions of Use for Biosimilar Biological Products Section 322 clarifies that biosimilar applicants can include information in biosimilar submissions to show that the proposed conditions of use for the biosimilar product have been previously approved for the reference product.
  • Sec. 324. Modernizing the Labeling of Certain Generic Drugs Section 324 allows FDA to identify and select certain covered generic drugs for which labeling updates would provide a public health benefit and require sponsors of such drug applications to update labeling. It also requires FDA to report on the number of covered drugs and a description of the types of drugs selected for labeling changes, and the rationale for such recommended changes, and to provide recommendations for modifying the program under this section.
  • Sec. 325. Biological Product Patent Transparency Section 325 increases transparency of patent information for biological products by requiring patent information to be submitted to FDA and published in the “Purple Book.” It also codifies the publication of the “Purple Book” as a single, searchable list of information about each licensed biological product, including marketing and licensure status, patent information, and relevant exclusivity periods.
  1. Increased Funding Share for Great Lakes Ports: The conference agreement provides that no less than 13% of annual appropriations from the HMTF shall be for projects located in the Great Lakes. This is considerably more than the 10% guarantee that we originally sought.
  2. Army Corps Projects – The bill includes Senator Braun’s authorizations for the Army Corps of Engineers to assist Bloomington, IN and Gary, IN. Both of these cities requested support on flood control projects on their respective Indiana University campuses.
  3. Good Governance Revisions Requiring the Army Corps to Prioritize Section 201 projects – The EPW bill includes Senator Braun’s language to implement a Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommendation that the Army Corps begin prioritizing Section 201 projects by
    1. The benefits of the project to the local economy
    2. The extent to which the project will enhance local development
    3. The number of kobs that will be directly created by the project
    4. the ability of the non-Federal interest to pay the applicable non-Federal share of the cost of the project;
    5. the demographics of the location in which the project is to be carried out, including whether the project serves (a) a rural community; or (b) an economically disadvantaged community, including an economically disadvantaged minority community;
    6. the amount of appropriations a project has received;
    7. the funding capability of the Corps of Engineers with respect to the project;
    8. whether the project could be carried out under other Federal authorities at an equivalent cost to the non-Federal interest; and
    9. any other criteria that the Secretary considers to be appropriate.
  4. Great Lakes Shoreline Study: The bill calls for a comprehensive study and report to Congress, on shoreline protection and resiliency in areas affected by flooding in 2019 due to high lake water levels along the Great Lakes. 

Res.263, aresolution honoring the 100th anniversary of The American Legion—approved by the Senate on July 31, 2019.

Res.301a resolution honoring the 50th anniversary of the return of the Indiana Rangers—approved by the Senate on July 31, 2019.

Res.588, a resolution designating May 2020 as “ALS Awareness Month”—approved by the Senate on May 19, 2020.

Res.715, aresolution expressing support for the Pledge of Allegiance—passed on the Senate floor by unanimous consent on September 24, 2020.

Serving Hoosiers.

The office of Senator Mike Braun provides federal agency assistance to all citizens in Indiana. Acting as a liaison between constituents and the federal government, Senator Braun’s office can often help you answer questions, find resources, or resolve problems.

It is Senator Braun’s goal to help you understand your rights and responsibilities relative to various federal programs, and help you work through a problem you may have with a deal agency.

As a Main Street entrepreneur, Senator Braun understands customer service is a vital aspect to any successful office. For this reason, Senator Mike Braun’s Indiana staff hold regular Staff Mobile Office Hours to hear from Hoosiers across the state.

Some stats for Senator Braun’s Constituent Services in the 117th Congress:

1,339,196

Emails, letters and opinions the office has responded to.

$11,411,292

Returned to Hoosiers in 2023

92 Counties

Visited in Indiana every year that Senator Braun has been in office.

578 Hours

Mobile office hours that Senator Braun’s office held across the state.