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Mike Braun and Todd Young must decide how to operate in ‘new world’ with Democrats controlling the U.S. Senate

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Sen. Todd Young and Sen. Mike Braun
Senator Todd Young and Senator Mike Braun

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - Indiana's two Republican U.S. Senators will have to learn the value of flexibility as the next two-year cycle of doing business on Capitol Hill unfolds.

Part of the change they must adjust to is already playing out, as Democratic President Joe Biden is working to get his Cabinet appointees approved.

The Senate voted 84 to 10 Wednesday to confirm Biden's first cabinet nominee, Avril Haines, as the new Director of National Intelligence.

It is noteworthy that Mike Braun was one of only ten members of the Senate to vote "no".

Braun says he opposed Haines for the incoming intel chief position, partly because he believes she will push for America to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal.

Haines insists a quick return to the nuclear deal is unlikely.

Braun and Todd Young, the state's senior senator, are both considered reliable conservatives in the Republican Party.

But they focus on different things and they have different styles that may become more apparent now that Joe Biden is commander-in-chief.

Braun was one of President Trump's most outspoken supporters and initially was among a small number of senators who objected to Biden's Electoral College victory, raising questions about widespread vote-counting fraud, which election officials have strongly denied, indicating such claims are not supported by evidence.

Braun ultimately changed his stance on the Electoral College issue following the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building by rabid Trump backers on January 6.

Young vehemently argued with those same Trump allies outside the Capitol Building, saying to overturn Biden's win would violate what the Constitution stands for.

Allen County Republican Party donor Bill Bean says Braun had a natural connection to the now-departed president.

"He really related with Trump, I mean, being a business person and with that background, and I can certainly relate to it, I mean, if something is right, you do it, okay. Whereas Young probably realizes that to get it done you have to go through the process," Bean said.

"When you think about where you have seen them, and the media hits they have been getting, Braun has often been in a confrontational position, defending something the president has proposed, or something Republicans are proposing, whereas, with Todd Young, you'll see him occasionally doing things like holding a hearing on affordable housing in Indiana," said Andy Downs with the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics that operates from the Purdue Fort Wayne campus.

Among Young's legislative priorities listed on his web site, you see affordable housing, as well as fighting for the rights of veterans, encouraging adoption and loving homes, and modernizing education.

Braun doesn't specifically list such priorities.

But Braun would almost certainly dispute any suggestion that he's unable to work effectively across the aisle to get things done.

He brings attention to the fact he has been a big advocate of health care reform and climate change initiatives, which many Democrats on Capitol Hill are anxious to see progress on.

The web site, which focuses on opinion poll analysis, shows Braun voting with President Trump 91 percent of the time.

It scored Todd Young doing so 82 percent of the time.

Jeff Neumeyer

Jeff Neumeyer is a reporter for WPTA.

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