Sen. Donnelly ‘optimistic’ about working with Trump administration

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, D – Indiana, said Monday that he was “optimistic” about working with the Trump administration if it means helping secure better health care and jobs for Hoosier families.

President-elect Trump is scrambling to conjure together appointments to create his newly forming administration.

So far, outside of his appointment as Reince Priebus as his chief of staff, the more controversial of Trump’s two appointments has been Steve Bannon, a former news executive with the conservative-leaning news agency Brietbart News.

Asked directly about the drubbing Democrats took on Election Day, Bannon and if he could work with Trump and the Republican-led Congress, Donnelly said:

“As I look at policy, Trump has talked about the Affordable Care Act. That is something that we can work together on,” he told reporters Monday in Indianapolis. “He’s mentioned other things recently things that we can work together on and that’s encouraging. I’m going to look on the optimistic side and hope that we can move the ball forward. When they don’t want to do that – I’ll pass. Mr Bannon or anybody else.”

Donnelly directed most of his answers to issues surrounding job creation and opportunity. He said he liked Trump’s position that companies like Carrier should be punished for moving jobs overseas.

“I have proposed to the finance committee already — if you fire workers like this — you are going to be penalized in that contract review,” Donnelly said.

Donnelly has suggested (and so have others – including Bernie Sanders) that if companies like Carrier move jobs to Mexico or elsewhere that they could be subjected to financial penalties that include a loss of tax breaks and a removal of consideration from lucrative government contracts.

Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies, has lucrative Pentagon contracts for its other businesses building engines.

Donnelly’s comments came early Monday, before news broke that another Indianapolis-area business, Rexford, had also decided to move jobs to Mexico, union officials confirmed.