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Braun swearing-in

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., left, takes his oath of office Thursday from Vice President Mike Pence, a former Indiana governor. The senator's wife, Maureen Braun, holds a copy of the Bible.

INDIANAPOLIS — New U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., has been appointed to five Senate committees, where he'll evaluate proposed changes to federal law based in part on how they benefit Northwest Indiana, the Hoosier State and the nation.

During the 2019-20 session, Braun is serving on the following Senate policy-making committees: Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; the Budget; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Environment and Public Works; and Aging.

"I am ready to get to work for Hoosiers fixing the broken system in Washington, and these committees provide a great opportunity to apply my real world experience to delivering solutions for Hoosiers," Braun said.

In particular, the Jasper auto parts magnate said he's eager to engage with the Senate Budget Committee "to find solutions for our national debt and out-of-control spending that has been ignored for too long in Washington."

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Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., has been tapped by the chamber's GOP leadership to join the powerful Senate Finance Committee, which considers legislation concerning taxes, tariffs, debt, trade agreements and tax-funded health programs, including Medicare.

Young, now Indiana's senior senator following Braun's Nov. 6 defeat of U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., also is maintaining his committee seats on Foreign Relations; Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

"From keeping our country safe, to fighting for small businesses and tackling some of our nation's largest economic challenges, these committee assignments place me in a strong position to continue advocating for Hoosiers’ priorities in the Senate," Young said.

In the House, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary, soon is expected to be named chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, which would put Visclosky in charge of one of the largest categories of federal spending.

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Financial Affairs Reporter

Dan has reported on Indiana state government for The Times since 2009. He also covers casinos, campaigns and corruption.