Mike Braun 2

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, second from left, talks with Trine University software engineering majors Tyler Carpenter, seated back, and Lucas Wagler, both from Fort Wayne, during a visit to the Trine campus recently.

Last week, U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., barnstormed Indiana from Fort Wayne to Warsaw to Indianapolis to Evansville on the first week of his 50 city Summer of Solutions Tour, leading the conversation following President Trump’s remarks on measures to prevent guns from being abused by criminals and the dangerously mentally ill while defending the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families.

Other topics this week include Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign, the national debt, and the GOP’s future on healthcare.

At a lunch stop with constituents at Shapiro’s in Indianapolis, Braun addressed curbing mass shootings with legislative solutions that Indiana has led the way on, including ‘red flag’ laws which have gained support from GOP leaders and President Trump.

“He cited the shooting in El Paso, Texas as a case where a red flag law could’ve made a difference.

“’The mother of the shooter in El Paso called into the authorities,” Braun said Thursday. “And what happened? Nothing. You shouldn’t need a manifesto put out there before you take someone seriously.’”

Senator Braun sat down with IndyStar for an in-depth interview during his Summer of Solutions Tour, digging into President Trump’s wins for Hoosiers, red flag laws and Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign. Below are highlights from the interview:

On Mayor Pete:

“He’s a classic guy that his whole life has dreamed about being a career politician. I would love to debate Pete Buttigieg just one-on-one and it would be just like the primary and general election when I went against people that had been in the system of politics. You can’t call Pete a career politician, but he sure looks like he wants to be one. And I think you ought to look at what he’s done in South Bend. I’d love to debate that. I don’t think he’s ready for prime time.”

On ‘Red Flag’ laws:

“As one of the strongest defenders of our Second Amendment, (I) said we need to embrace common-sense legislation, which would be around red flag laws, which we have here in Indiana, that statistically across the six states that have them, it’s lowered deaths from a gun. If you are a big Second Amendment person, if we do nothing, I think that right to bear and keep arms could be diminished over time. This is simple. Have laws that keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and criminals. We can all agree on that.”

On Balancing the Budget:

“I do have a bill that might be a little better framework because it’s worked in other countries. It pegs spending statutorily as a percentage of our GDP (gross domestic product, the total value of goods and services in one year) to where you have got to figure out how you’re going to cap the spending at or under that. In a bad year when the economy is weak, you can spend up to it. It’s worked in other countries. Hopefully it might work here.”

On a stop during his Summer of Solutions Tour, Braun spoke to Indianapolis’ WTHR on strengthening background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill while protecting the constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to own and use firearms.

Before embarking on his 50-city tour of Indiana throughout the month of August, Braun caught up with his hometown newspaper, the Dubois County Herald, to update Hoosiers on the work he’s done to shake up Washington with real-world solutions in the first seven months in the Senate.

“Addressing the rising cost of prescription drugs, combating the opioid crisis, promoting post-secondary education options other than four-year schools, reining in federal spending and calling on Congress to approve Trump’s United-States-Mexico-Canada agreement are all issues that are important to him.

“He’s thankful that he’s been given a platform to address them.

“‘I’m blessed and honored to be the U.S. Senator, and will draw on my Main Street experience that’s been based upon hard work, experience and practical solutions,’ Braun said. ‘Commonsense stuff. We need more of that in D.C.’”

Senator Braun sat down with South Bend’s WNDU in Warsaw while visiting local businesses to talk about the economy with Hoosier workers, discussing background checks and red flag laws and Congress’s inaction on the national debt, including his decision to vote against the budget-busting debt deal last month.

“We’ve got difficulties where we’re going to deplete the Medicare and Social Security trust funds, the Medicare in 2026. Increasingly, our budget is mandatory spending where you can’t even look on it. It’s on autopilot, and that’s not going to end well. And the fact that we’ve had historically low interest rates, we’ve not really paid a price for it,” Braun said. “... We’re still considered the only reserve currency across the world. That’s enabled us to borrow money at historically low rates, and just because that’s the case doesn’t mean you should keep doing it.”

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