Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar comments on today’s announcement by Sen. Evan Bayh to not seek a third term:
“Senator Bayh has enjoyed a long and distinguished career serving Hoosiers. He has done many positive things for Indiana, both as governor and U.S. senator, and we wish him and his family nothing but the best going forward. I believe he is quite genuine with his comments that the hostile political atmosphere and partisan bickering were the tipping points for his decision. When he was governor, he was known for his fiscal conservatism and made a point of working with both sides of the aisle to get results. Not being able to see that happen in the Senate and Congress in general, where it is sorely needed, must be a source of frustration and disappointment for him, as it has been for Hoosier employers and their workers the Chamber represents.
“In particular, the events over the past six months in Congress obviously have changed the senator’s belief that meaningful, positive outcomes for issues like health care, debt reduction and job creation could be achieved. In August, when he spoke to the Chamber’s board of directors, he was quite optimistic that Congress would deal with these issues in a bipartisan, productive way to get things done for Americans. Unfortunately, things appear to have gone in the exact opposite direction.
“From the Chamber’s standpoint, we have always found Sen. Bayh to be thoughtful and consistent in his decisions and a willing listener to the business community’s position. During his time in Washington, the senator has routinely participated in our annual D.C. Fly-in trip, meeting in-person with business leaders from throughout the state to discuss the issues important to them. While Sen. Bayh did not always vote with the Chamber position, we respected his stance and felt that courtesy was returned to us.”