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Houchin says changes to flood insurance, mental health treatment needed

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The next member of Indiana’s Congressional delegation on Friday said she will try to get more federal funding for inpatient mental health facilities.

Rep.-elect Erin Houchin, a Republican, will be sworn in with the next Congress on Jan. 3. She will succeed Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-Ind., who did not seek reelection in the 9th District, which covers southern Indiana. Houchin previously served in the Indiana Senate. She said from what she has seen during the transition period, working in Congress will be fundamentally the same as serving in the General Assembly, though on a much larger scale.

Houchin said she hopes to serve on the House Financial Services Committee, noting Hollingsworth served on that panel. She said she has a particular interest in data privacy and rural banking. When Congress begins the annual budget process, she said she would like to revamp the National Flood Insurance Program. She also said she would like to secure more funding for inpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities. She pointed to her husband’s experiences as a prosecutor.

“Countless times, people have come to him and asked to please put their family member, their child, into the criminal justice system to save their lives,” she said. “We shouldn’t have to resort to that to save lives.”

Once Houchin is sworn in, her first task will be to vote on the next Speaker of the House. Current House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has run into resistance from the Republican Party’s right wing in his bid to become the next speaker. Houchin indicated she likely will support him, though she stopped short of offering an unqualified yes.

“He’s done a great job as our leader and as a candidate, I’ve watched him. I would want to give him an opportunity to take the gavel,” she said. “However, I am very new to this process and I don’t know how this is going to play out.”

“All INdiana Politics” airs at 9:30 a.m. Sundays on WISH-TV.