Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) co-sponsored a bill to protect American families and keep long-haul Mexican trucks off U.S. roads. Rep. Braley signed on to the bill, Protecting America's Roads Act, in response to the Department of Transportation's announcement that it will now allow Mexican trucks access to American roads.

"This decision is dangerous and it threatens jobs here in Iowa," said Congressman Braley. "When we have so many hard-working Americans out of a job, I can't support a decision that puts Mexican workers and truckers before American trucking companies. I'm also deeply concerned that this proposal puts American families at risk. Mexico's safety standards are not on par with ours, and letting tens of thousands of these trucks onto our highways poses a serious threat to everyone traveling on our roads. I drove a truck myself and I know just how dangerous these vehicles can be if they're not operated properly."

Yesterday, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced a deal to allow Mexican long-haul truck operators to operate in the United States. This proposal threatens American truck driver and warehouse worker jobs - especially during the recession - and with increased drug cartel violence along the Mexican border, this proposal also threatens to give cartels an alternate way of getting their products across the border. In fact, there is little doubt that cartels would try to infiltrate the trucking system to transport drugs and weapons.

"I strongly urge the President to reject allowing Mexican trucks on American roads," said Rep. Braley.


Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) is offering a $105 million loan guarantee tosupport the development of the nation's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa. Rep. Braley's legislation, passed last Congress, allows DOE to provide a loan guarantee for the new biofuel plant and others like it.

"Investment in biofuels is crucial not just to Iowa's economy, but also to our country as a whole," said Rep. Braley. "By producing ethanol in new and innovative ways, we can lower the price of gas across the country and reduce our national dependence on foreign oil. This new plant will help create hundreds of jobs right here inIowa, and I'll keep fighting to make sure we grow our economy and create long-term, good-paying jobs in Iowa and all over America."

The project, sponsored by POET, LLC, will produce up to 25 million gallons of ethanol per year and is estimated to bring approximately $14 million in newrevenue to Iowa farmers. Named Project LIBERTY, the new plant will use corncobs, leaves and husks provided by Iowa farmers - local materials that do not compete with feed grains. Project LIBERTY will displace over 13.5 million gallons of gasoline annually and fulfill more than 25 percent of the projected 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard Requirement for biomass-based cellulosic ethanol. POET estimates that 85 percent of Project LIBERTY will use local, U.S.-grown materials.


Washington, D.C. - Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) has introduced a bill to celebrate the contributions of millions of young Americans and their commitment to American agriculture. The National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Commemorative Coin Act would honor the contributions of millions of young FFA members over the past 85 years through the release of a commemorative coin.

The bill would direct the U.S. Treasury to issue a commemorative U.S. coin honoring the 85th anniversary of the National FFA Organization. Proceeds from the coin's sale will go to the National FFA Foundation to provide resources and continue outreach and agricultural education. FFA currently has over 500,000 members across the country and more than nine million former members. The bill will have no cost to U.S. taxpayers.

"FFA is an important organization that teaches our young Iowans about the importance of agricultural life," Braley said. "This bill would honor their work and the work of millions of former members of the FFA. I'm proud to represent many FFA members from Eastern Iowa and I look forward to supporting the organization in the future."


Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement on President Obama's change to the condolence letter policy for soldiers who commit suicide:

"I strongly support the President's change of the condolence letter policy, and I share his commitment to removing the stigma associated with the unseen wounds of war. I'll continue to fight for expanded access to mental health care for all current members of our armed services and the brave veterans who served this country."


Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) announced that theUnited States Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $513,900 in grants to Allen College, Clarke College and St. Ambrose University in Eastern Iowa. The grants will fund nurse faculty loan programs and scholarships for disadvantaged students through the end of June 2012. Each school received the following amounts:

Clarke College - Dubuque: $56,485

Allen College - Waterloo: $49,011

St. Ambrose University - Davenport: $408,404

"These schools have a reputation and tradition of excellence," Braley said. "And these grants will allow them to build and expand upon programs that are already extremely successful, helping to graduate qualified and successful students."

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Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement after the House voted on two Libya bills:

"Today I voted to limit the President's authority to engage our country in a third overseas conflict. To date, Libya has cost us $800 million - and we're looking at projected military costs totaling more than $1 billion through September of this year. That's a lot of money that we could be spending on priorities here at home. I don't think we can afford to be engaged in Libya right now, and if the President feels differently, I think it's time he come to Congress and make his case for this war."

The first bill, a resolution authorizing the use of U.S. Armed Forces in support of the NATO mission in Libya, failed by a vote of 123 to 295. Rep. Braley voted against the resolution.

The second bill, which would limit the use of defense spending in Libya, failed by a vote of 180 to 238. Rep. Braley voted in favor of the bill.



Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement on the potential breakdown in budget talks between Congress and the White House:

"Last November, Americans spoke loud and clear: they wanted Congress to work with the President to create jobs, reduce the deficit and grow our economy. Now that Republicans are in control of the House, it's time for them to show leadership on these issues and work with the President and theSenate to get this done. Today, I was very disappointed to hear that Eric Cantor is dropping out of the budget talks and I sincerely hope my Republican colleagues in the House will find a way to lead on this issue. We can't afford to put our veterans, our seniors and our entire economy in jeopardy because a few members of Congress don't want to do the work they were sent here to do."


Washington, D.C. - Today, Americans and Gulf War veterans who were tortured and held as human shields and prisoners of war in Iraq under the Saddam Hussein regime will finally get justice thanks to the efforts of Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) and the U.S. and Iraqi governments. The Iraqi government took the final step in resolving these claims by officially transferring the compensation funds to the U.S. government. The U.S. government will now use these funds to compensate the hundreds of American veterans and individuals who suffered under the Saddam Hussein regime. Following the State Department's announcement late last night, Rep. Braley released the following statement:

"I've worked for more than three years to make sure thatthese brave men and women get justice - and they've been waiting much longer than that. When our citizens are captured and tortured as prisoners of war,they deserve justice, period. This is not just to address the unimaginable wrongs that a few incredible individuals faced, but to send a clear message to the rest of the world: you will be held accountable for torturing Americans - because what happened to these individuals should never happen again.

"From the moment I heard about this case, to today's announcement that the Iraqi government has settled these claims, I've stood by these brave individuals and their right to be compensated for the horrible injustices they suffered. I believe every American should feel confident that their government will stand by them and protect them if they are tortured or wronged by any other government in the world. And each of us should feel that the United States will uphold the principles of the Third Geneva Convention, which expressly forbids action by our country to absolve another country from liability for torturing prisoners of war. This is a very important victory for these men and women and for every American who believes in justice."

In 2002, a group of American ex-prisoners of war who were brutally tortured in Iraq during the first Persian Gulf War sued Saddam Hussein's regime and eventually won a judgment against Hussein. But shortly after the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration stepped in and had the judgment overturned.
Rep. Braley then acted in Congress and passed the Justice for Victims of Torture and Terrorism Act - which restored a provision in the Defense Authorization Act to ensure that the Iraqi government finally satisfies outstanding judgments and claims by American victims of Iraqi torture and terrorism. Rep. Braley's bill also ensured that if American citizens are ever tortured by foreign governments, they can get justice and be properly compensated for their injuries.

Last night, the U.S. State Department issued a statement on the settlement noting that, "Congressman Bruce Braley's unwavering support of the administration's efforts to achieve resolution of the claims was instrumental throughout the process leading up to the conclusion of the agreement and beyond."


Washington, DC -Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) sent a letter to United States Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe demanding answers about the United States Postal Service (USPS) reduction of service at the Eldridge post office.

"I'm very concerned that my constituents in Eldridge will not receive the same quality of service they've come to rely on once these changes go into effect," said Rep. Braley. "Small communities depend on their local post office and I know how much this service means to Eldridge. That's why I'll continue fighting to protect access to this post office and I'll work to make sure we all receive timely and accurate information about how these reductions in service will affect the community of Eldridge."

The USPS confirmed last week that the delivery operations at the Eldridge Post Office will be relocated to the Northwest Station in Davenport, IA as part of the Delivery Unit Optimization (DUO) process. The DUO initiative involves moving city and/or rural letter carriers from one Post Office, station, or branch to another nearby postal facility. 
Services such as purchasing stamps, mailing packages, Post Office boxes, passports, and any other service currently available at local postal facilities will continue to be offered at the Eldridge facility and ZIP Codes will remain the same.

A copy of the letter is available here: http://go.usa.gov/Wwp


Charleston, SC - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) stood up for the rights of working families at a field hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) Committee in Charleston, South Carolina. The Republican-controlled OGR Committee held the hearing despite objections that it interferes with an on-going case before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Rep. Braley defended the rights of working families in his opening remarks and throughout the hearing:

"We're facing a manufacturing crisis in this country - 15 factories are shutting down every day - but instead of addressing this issue and working to create new jobs, the Republican leadership has chosen to try and score political points. This hearing was a blatant attempt to interfere in an on-going judicial process - a process that should be free of tampering and interference to make it fair to both parties involved. By coming to a conservative region and calling conservative witnesses, the Republican members of the Oversight Committee are playing politics with the legally-protected rights of millions of working families across this country. Americans spokeloud and clear in November, they want us to create jobs and get our deficitunder control. That should be our focus, not attacking working families andtheir rights to organize and fight for fair wages."

 A video of Rep. Braley's remarks at the hearing is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjvOnhmMnMg