Rep. Jackie Walorski
Republican, Indiana

Rep. Jackie Walorski was born and raised under the Golden Dome of Notre Dame and proudly answers to the call of “Hoosier.” But not all politics is local for Walorski, 51: The daughter of an Air Force veteran and local firefighter, she started her career in television news and then moved into helping local colleges and universities get more students in the classroom. 

Shortly after marrying a local schoolteacher (and jazz musician), Walorski went abroad to post-Communist Romania, where she got a first-hand look at the problems of economic development (and the lingering awfulness of dictatorship).

But she seems to take the most pride in her work on behalf of veterans. It was Walorski who helped steer through a $17 billion Veterans Affairs reform bill that initially allowed vets to go to non-VA doctors to get the help they needed. Since then, she and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, have been two of the most forceful advocates for provider agreements.

Walorski says she hopes that both parties “can unite to pass meaningful reforms that will improve the quality of life for our nation’s veterans.”

Hoosier providers only say, Thanks.

“With her support of the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act, Rep. Walorski has proven her commitment to protecting the more than 50,000 veterans in her district and so many others across Indiana who bravely served our country,” says Scott Tittle, president of the Indiana Health Care Association/Indiana Center for Assisted Living. “She has also helped to provide our members who serve these veterans with the resources and tools to meet their needs.”