The Supreme Court’s landmark healthcare decision is dominating headlines across Iowa and the United States today. Your attention is likely focused on the implications of this historic decision for Iowa and its effect on thousands of Iowans, and rightfully so.
But I wanted to take a break from healthcare for a brief moment to draw your attention to a remarkable series of accomplishments in recent days by Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01). Even for a representative recognized for his effectiveness, the previous two weeks have been some of the most productive in his Congressional career.
That this string of bipartisan achievements has come at a time of historically bitter division in Washington by a representative in the political minority in Congress makes it all the more impressive. Simply put, Rep. Braley couldn’t have found success on these measures without effectively bringing people together from both sides of the partisan divide.
They may not be accomplishments that will command bold headlines in newspapers or lead the evening news, but they represent the kind of real progress on issues we need to protect jobs in Iowa for middle class families and veterans, keep our kids safer, and create new economic opportunities.
In the words of our Vice President, it’s is a big… well, you get the idea.
Without further ado, I bring you Braley’s Big Six Bipartisan Accomplishments (of the last 10 days):
BRALEY’S BIG SIX BIPARTISAN ACCOMPLISHMENTS (OF THE LAST 10 DAYS)
1. Better Use of Refrigerator Regulations Amendment. Bipartisan bill introduced May 2012 by Braley and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03); amendment version unanimously adopted by the US House and added to HR 4480, the Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012, on 6/21/12. Measure removes burdensome government regulations on refrigerated deli-style display cases that threaten the future of their manufacture in the United States. Lennox Industries (facilities in Marshalltown, Iowa) makes the deli cases. More information: http://go.usa.gov/wa8
· Marshalltown T-R: Braley Helps Remove Red Tape Impeding Manufacturing
2. Kadyn’s Amendment. Bipartisan amendment unanimously adopted by the US House and added to HR 5972, the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act, on 6/27/12. Requires the federal government to devote at least $10 million to helping states enforce traffic laws that punish reckless drivers for illegally passing stopped school buses. More information: http://go.usa.gov/wxe
· Des Moines Register: Kadyn’s Amendment passes US House
· KCRG: Kadyn’s Amendment included in Transportation Bill
· Mason City Globe-Gazette: US House passes Kadyn’s Amendment
3. HR 3524, Disabled Veterans Employment Protection Act. Bill introduced November 2011 by Braley was unanimously approved by the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity on 6/28/12. Provides military and National Guard veterans up to 4 weeks of unpaid leave each calendar year for treatment for a service-related injury without fear of losing their jobs. More information: http://go.usa.gov/vJ0
4. HR 5747, Military Veteran Home Protection Act. Introduced May 2012 by Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD-07). Braley version introduced and unanimously adopted by Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity on 6/29/12 expands and improves protections from home foreclosures against military veterans and surviving spouses of servicemembers who died while serving our country.
5. HR 4057, Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act. Introduced February 2012 by Rep. Gus Bilrakis (FL-09). Braley version introduced and unanimously adopted by Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity on 6/29/12 targets aggressive and deceptive marketing to service members and veterans by some educational institutions and provides veterans with standard information about post-secondary institutions to help vets make more informed choices about college.
6. HR 3826, Keeping College Affordable Act. Co-introduced by Braley and others in January 2012, was the first legislative proposal to keep college student loan interest rates low. Blocks the increase in student loan interest rates by indefinitely extending the low, 3.4 percent interest rate on subsidized federal student loans. Today, the US House approved in a bipartisan vote a compromise version that keeps student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent for the next year. More information: http://go.usa.gov/waf
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