Joe Donnelly

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Senator Joe Donnelly is working with groups such as AARP and the Indiana Attorney General to help seniors identify scams aimed at stealing their savings and identities. 

Donnelly serves on the Senate Special Committee on Aging and Tuesday he took a hearing on the road, holding a meeting at the Indiana State Fair. 

Several organizations, including the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the Attorney General and the Secret Service participated, with a goal of helping empower seniors to identify financial predators. 

Terry Ross /

Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Dan Coats (R-IN) aren’t yet joining the ranks of those calling on Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign. 

Controversy has swirled around the Veterans Affairs head for weeks amid allegations that VA hospitals around the country manipulated wait lists, leading to treatment delays and even patient deaths. 

United States Congress /

An effort to stop the rise in suicides among members of the military will be part of this year‘s defense spending bill.

Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly says the Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act was included in the defense bill by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

It is named for an Army specialist from Farmland, Indiana who took his own life inside a movie theater in Muncie in 2009.

Sexton had completed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and was on leave from his Indiana National Guard unit at the time.

Donnelly visits food banks, donates "shutdown pay"

Nov 26, 2013
Mike Loizzo / WBAA Radio

Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is donating his pay earned during the government shutdown in October to food banks across the state. The $5,000 was split evenly among ten organizations.

He visited Food Finders Food Bank in Lafayette Monday evening to make the donation and help sort some canned goods.

“The work being done here is so important for our families,” he says. “That everybody has a chance to get good nutrition, have something to eat. It reaches the whole region.”

Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN4) joined four other members of Indiana's congressional delegation in voting against the federal funding bill that also raises the debt ceiling. Senators Dan Coats (R-IN) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) were among the 81 members of the Senate who helped pass the bill Wednesday night.

Rokita released the following statement after the House passed the measure on a 285 to 144 vote:

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As federal budget talks begin again, Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) hopes spending cuts are put into context.

Donnelly is a member of the Armed Services Committee and is doing what his office calls a “Defense Jobs Tour.”

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Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) says new legislation he’s sponsoring will help National Guard members who haven’t served oversees get a boost when applying for federal jobs. 

Those who have not served overseas currently receive no preference when applying for federal jobs.  Donnelly's bill, which has a Republican cosponsor, would create a new tiered system for federal hiring. 

Donnelly says he wants to help the thousands of veterans who aren’t recognized by the current preference system.

The U.S. House passed the farm bill without funding for the food stamp program, which has been tied to farm bills for decades. 

Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) voted for the farm bill when it passed the Senate last month.

He says he approves of the decision by House Republicans to leave food stamps separate.

“I think it’s created problems to the point where we ought to identify both of these as essential programs that have to be addressed.  I don’t believe they need to be tied together.”

Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is drumming up support of a bill he says will help part-time workers and their employers.

He worked with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) on a bill that defines a full-time employee as one who works 40 hours.

Donnelly says the Affordable Care Act uses 30 hours, and that has caused businesses to cut part-time workers’ hours.

Senator Joe Donnelly is emphasizing the importance of passing a long-term farm bill that not only provides help to the agriculture community but also helps reduce the deficit. 

The 2008 farm bill expired in January, though Congress quickly extended it to October.  A five-year farm bill passed the U-S Senate Agriculture Committee last week and Senator Joe Donnelly says he’s hoping it will hit the Senate floor soon.