INDIANAPOLIS — U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., was among the senators most willing to work across party lines to craft new laws during the first two years of the Trump administration, even though Young's GOP controlled both chambers of Congress.
A new Lugar Center analysis of the 115th Congress, which met in 2017 and 2018, ranked Young 7th out of the 100 senators for bipartisanship, based on how often Young filed legislation that attracted co-sponsors from members of the other party, and how often Young in turn co-sponsored measures introduced by Democrats.
"Hoosiers sent me to Washington to address the issues that matter to them," Young said. "The only way to do that effectively is to reach across the aisle and work to build consensus."
"This approach will continue to be important as we face divided government in the 116th Congress. We've already seen bipartisan successes in these first few months, and I'm optimistic there will be more ahead."
The Lugar Center's Bipartisan Index rated former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., the fourth most bipartisan senator for 2017-18.
That made Indiana the only state to have both of its senators rank in the top 10 for bipartisanship during the 115th Congress, according to the analysis from a think tank led by former U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind, and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.
Donnelly was defeated last November in his bid for a second term by U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind.
To date, only one of Braun's legislative proposals has attracted a Democratic co-sponsor, and Braun only has signed on as co-sponsor for two measures filed by Democrats, according to records maintained by the Library of Congress.
That would seem to go against the Washington trend, identified by the Lugar Center, of increasingly hostile tweets and television remarks by politicians that ultimately give way to bipartisan cooperation when it comes time for working on actual legislation.
"Despite serious failures of governance during the 115th Congress, including two government shutdowns, Congress experienced an undercurrent of bipartisan cooperation surrounding bill introduction," Lugar said.
"Overall Bipartisan Index scores improved for the third straight Congress after bottoming out in 2011-2012. The new index scores show that even as the rhetoric and overall atmosphere in Washington remains partisan, there is an appetite among many lawmakers for bipartisan problem solving."
In the House, U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Carmel, was the most bipartisan Hoosier representative, ranking 41st out of the 435 House members, according to the Lugar Center.
She was followed by: U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Elkhart (89); former U.S. Rep. Luke Messer, R-Greensburg (150); U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Evansville (180); U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-Jeffersonville (284); U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City (343); former U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Brownsburg (352); and U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Indianapolis (364).
U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary, was among three congressmen not ranked by the Lugar Center because they did not file enough legislation to qualify for the analysis.
The Lugar Center found the least bipartisan representative was Illinois U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Chicago, while the least bipartisan senator was U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
Taking top honors for bipartisanship were U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.