Dan Coats

U.S. Senate / http://www.coats.senate.gov/

Indiana Senator Dan Coats predicts the Senate will approve fast-track trade authority this week for a Pacific Rim trade deal, but says getting there may be a tough slog.  Several Democrats are defying President Obama to try to block fast-track, which would allow the administration to begin final negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and let the eventual deal come to the floor without amendments.

Senator Just Back From Afghanistan To Run For Congress

May 12, 2015
Virginia Alvino / Indiana Public Broadcasting

State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) announced Tuesday he’s running for Congress. The seat is being vacated by Marlin Stutzman (R-3rd), who’s stepping down to run for the U.S. Senate.

Banks asked his supporters to help send him to Washington just three weeks after he returned home from an eight-month mission to Afghanistan.

The Navy Reserve officer was deployed last September. His wife Amanda took his place in the General Assembly for the 2015 session.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Though he’s not declaring his candidacy yet, Congressman Todd Rokita (R-4th) says he is considering a run for the Senate seat set to be vacated by Dan Coats (R-IN) next year.

Rokita says it was his time on the senator’s staff that helped him decide to become a politician.

“I was an intern in his office at one point in time. I was a very young man – an unpaid intern. And so in many ways, Dan Coats gave me the bug for public service,” Rokita says.

Brandon Smith / IPBS

Eric Holcomb steered former Gov. Mitch Daniels’ 2008 reelection campaign, led the Indiana Republican Party and most recently served as State Chief of Staff to Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN).  But Thursday, Holcomb announced a personal first: a run for office:

“And that’s why today, ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud, I’m excited to announced my candidacy for the United States Senate,” Holcomb says.

Despite never serving in elected office, he says he’s not worried about making the jump all the way to a Senate run:

courtesy Christina Hale

The feeding frenzy sure to follow the announcement of a U.S. Senate seat coming open in Indiana commenced in earnest Wednesday, with a bevy of current and former politicians saying they’re considering trying to replace Dan Coats (R-IN).

Rep. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis), who toyed with running for Indy mayor before deciding against it, now says he thinks his platform may be better suited for an even higher office.

U.S. Senate / http://www.coats.senate.gov/

U.S. Senator Dan Coats Tuesday announced he will not run for reelection in 2016.

Coats had spoken in recent months about whether to run again, noting that how Congress functioned with Republican majorities would play a major role. 

In a video statement Tuesday, the Hoosier Senator said choosing not to run was not an easy decision. 

“While I believe I am well-positioned to run a successful campaign for another six-year term, I have concluded that the time has come to pass this demanding job to the next generation of leaders,” he says in the video.

Sen. Coats Won't Support Lynch For U.S. Attorney General

Mar 20, 2015
U.S. Senate / http://www.coats.senate.gov/

U.S. Sen. Dan Coats will not support President Obama’s nomination of Loretta Lynch for Attorney General. The Indiana Republican says Lynch’s view of the president’s executive action on immigration disqualifies her from the job.

Jack Snell / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jacksnell707/

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, is joining Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, in urging transportation officials to save the Hoosier State Rail Line.

The future of the railroad hangs in the balance after the Federal Rail Administration ruled earlier this month that in order to continue running, the state would have to be classified as a railroad carrier. This designation would expose Indiana to increases in costs and liabilities INDOT has said it could not afford.

Donnelly Campaign

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, is back in the majority after the GOP recaptured the Senate. But he says that doesn’t mean his party can relegate Democrats – Coats says, on the contrary, the first priorities of the new session should be bipartisan efforts.

“If we’re going to get the President to sign a bill, it needs to have Democrat names on it,” Coats says.

He says that includes a bill pushing forward the Keystone Pipeline and efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s medical device tax.

courtesy Dan Coats

U.S. Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) says the Republican Party’s capture of the Senate will make all the difference for his party -- if lawmakers handle their new leadership the right way.

Coats says Republicans have been incredibly frustrated the last few years as bills sent from the GOP-controlled House were blocked by a Democratic majority in the Senate, often without debate. 

The Hoosier Senator says the victories won in this month’s election can allow the GOP to advance its alternatives to President Obama’s proposals.