Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement after the House of Representatives voted on the House Republican budget:

"Fixing our economy is about shared responsibility - and that includes some shared sacrifice. But there's no sharing on this budget. Seniors and middle class families are being told to bear the whole burden while Wall Street pays nothing.

These are people who worked hard, who played by the rules all their lives. They paid into Medicare and it was supposed to be there for them. But politicians in Washington want to change the rules in the middle of the game - and now they want to eliminate Medicare for millions of Iowans for years to come. I won't let that happen.

Let me be clear, my constituents in Iowa didn't create this deficit or double the debt. The disabled single mom in Waterloo who receives modest Social Security benefits did not cause this recession. Grandparents in Davenport who need to see their doctor didn't crash the stock market. Yet that's what the Republican budget says to Iowans and other middle class families.

What really got us into this fiscal mess was letting Wall Street run wild, fighting multiple wars for a decade at a time, and giving the wealthiest Americans every possible break. But instead of fixing any of that, the Republican budget eliminates Medicare and gives more tax breaks to the wealthy. There's nothing shared or responsible about that."


Invites Iowans to create own balanced budget, reduce deficit

Washington, DC - Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) invites Iowans from across the first Congressional district to attend a series of budget and deficit reduction town halls the week of April 25th. The town halls will be fully interactive and attendants will be able to decide how to balance the budget and reduce the deficit.

"It's long past due time for a serious, responsible conversation about our fiscal future - and that's why I want to bring the budget discussion directly to my constituents," said Rep. Braley. "These town halls will give Iowans an opportunity to see first-hand how the budget process works in Congress. Together, we can find the best ways to balance the budget and reduce our deficit. I look forward to hearing from my constituents and discussing these important issues with them."  

***The town halls will be open to all press.***

Attendants can RSVP on Rep. Braley's website at: http://go.usa.gov/TQa

Rep. Braley will hold four town halls over the week of April 25th:

Monday April 25th - Quad Cities
The Rogalski Center
St. Ambrose University Campus
Corner of Ripley and Lombard Street
Davenport, IA 52803
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Tuesday April 26th - Cedar Valley
Commons Ballroom
University of Northern Iowa
1224 West 23rd Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50614
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Wednesday April 27th - Dubuque
Grand River Center
500 Bell Street
Dubuque, IA 52001
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Wednesday April 27th - Fayette
Student Center Ballroom
Upper Iowa University Campus
East side of Washington Street in the middle of campus
Fayette, IA 52142
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Washington, DC - March 30, 2011 - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) introduced a bipartisan bill to help get justice for victims of sexual trauma and assault in the military. The Support for Survivors Act would require the Department of Defense to ensure life-long storage of all documents connected with reports of sexual assaults and sexual harassment across the military branches. The legislation would also prevent the military from destroying any records relating to sexual assault.

"The men and women who serve our country need to know that their government is standing up for them," said Rep. Braley. "Just earlier today I heard testimony from Linda Schwartz, the President of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs. She cited reports showing that 23% of women serving in combat areas report being victims of sexual assault perpetrated by other members of the military. That's simply unacceptable, and we cannot allow it to continue. That's why this bill will help our brave troops get justice if they've been victims of sexual trauma or assault while serving. It will ensure that our soldiers have every record they need to get the justice they deserve."

Rep. Braley introduced the bill in the House today with Rep. Poe (TX-02), Rep. Pingree (ME-01) and Rep. Slaughter (NY-28). Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.  

Currently, there is no coordinated policy across the military branches to ensure the preservation of records connected with sexual trauma. Long-term preservation of records would help victims in obtaining benefits and pursuing legal action.

In recent years, there has been an increase in reports of sexual assaults in the military. According to the Department of Defense, there were 3,158 official reports of sexual assaults in the military in 2010. Because most incidents are not reported to a military authority, the Pentagon estimates this number represents only 13 to 14% of total assaults.

The Support for Survivors Act would:
-      Ensure that documents connected with reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military are preserved
-      Ensure full privacy and identity protection for both the victim and the perpetrator
-      Ensure life-long access by the service member to his or her personal documents
-      Grant the VA access to documents only at the request of a service member, for the purpose of assisting with the processing of a disability compensation claim
-      Allow the Department of Defense to review the data (but not the names of the individuals mentioned in the reports) to improve research and reporting.


Washington, DC - March 25, 2011 - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement after White House spokesperson Jay Carney was asked about Rep. Braley's letter calling for an accounting of the Libyan conflict. According to USA Today, Carney replied to reporters, "there are contingency funds...for this kind of thing." Today Rep. Braley said:

"Yesterday I asked for accountability on the question of how much this conflict is costing us, and I have yet to see a clear response from the White House. The fact that funds for contingency military operations exist doesn't answer the question of how much we're spending, and will continue to spend, in Libya. I'm not the only one asking these questions - the American people are demanding answers too. And the President must give Congress and all taxpayers an accurate answer."

Yesterday, Rep. Braley sent a letter to President Obama asking for a full accounting of the Libyan conflict and the costs to taxpayers. Speaker Boehner sent a similar letter to the President. Rep. Braley has previously called for a full accounting of the human and financial costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A copy of Rep. Braley's letter is available here: http://go.usa.gov/2K2

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Adds New Online Voting Component

Washington, DC - March 24, 2011 - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) invited high school students across Iowa's first district to submit original artwork for the annual Congressional Art Competition, "An Artistic Discovery". This year, Rep. Braley's office will be raising the stakes and taking the competition "high tech" by accepting submissions online and allowing constituents to vote for their favorite artwork on the internet. The winner of this year's competition will receive two roundtrip plane tickets to Washington, D.C. to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Capitol.

"Each year, talented students from across Iowa submit great artwork to the Congressional Art Competition," said Rep. Braley. "And this year, we're moving the competition into the 21st century. By allowing students to submit their artwork online, and allowing Iowans to cast their vote on my website to help choose the winner, we're giving more students the opportunity to participate."

The Congressional Art Competition, initiated by Congress in 1982, is a nation-wide high school arts competition sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. One piece from each Congressional district will be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. for a year.

All artwork must be submitted to Rep. Braley's office by April 22 and will be displayed in an online gallery on the Congressman's website. Constituents are encouraged to visit the Congressman's website to vote on their favorite student artwork between April 23 and May 8.

For more information about the competition or to submit artwork, please visit http://braley.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=85&Itemid=48

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Washington, D.C. - March 15, 2011 - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) introduced a bipartisan bill to ensure that Iowa farmers have a seat at the table during the decision-making process for environmental policies and regulations that could affect U.S. agriculture.

Rep. Braley introduced the bill with Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Congressman Marlin Stutzman (IN-03). The Representation for Farmers Act would give the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to appoint up to three members with agricultural backgrounds to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Science Advisory Board. This would ensure that the EPA gets technical advice from farmers when determining implementation of proposed regulations. Currently, only three of the board's 48 members have agricultural backgrounds.

"Our farmers must have a voice when it comes to their life's work," said Congressman Braley. "This bill will give them a chance to bring some common sense to EPA regulations that have an effect on them every single day."

The EPA Science Advisory Board provides analysis and recommendations for EPA regulations and other technical matters that often impact agriculture. Farmers have become increasingly concerned that EPA decisions are creating unnecessary and undue economic hardship. For example, proposals to regulate dust on farms have raised concerns. Braley recently voted to protect Iowa farms from these burdensome federal dust regulations.

The bill has been endorsed by the National Farmers Union, American Farm Bureau, National Corn Growers Association, National Wheat Growers Association, National Milk Producers Federation, and National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.


Washington, DC - March 15, 2011 - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) joined a bipartisan effort to keep the government running and voted to support a temporary measure that incorporates cuts from both parties:

"Let me be clear, passing two-week or three-week stopgap measures is no way to run a government," said Rep. Braley. "But when the choice is a temporary spending measure or a government shutdown that would deny care for our veterans and stop Social Security checks from going out - then I believe it's my duty to make sure crucial programs all over Iowa and the country are not disrupted by a shutdown.

"It's long past time that we sit down and have a responsible, adult discussion about the budget - and pass a long term spending plan that gives American families, soldiers and businesses the certainty they deserve."


Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) issued the following statement in response to the Iowa State House vote to pass a Republican bill that curbs collective bargaining rights for working families in Iowa:

"Today's action by the Iowa House of Representatives is a blatant attack on our state's middle class. At the very moment that our economy is showing signs of improvement, the Republicans in the Iowa House have thrown a punch to the gut of thousands of Iowa families. This bill is shameful."

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Washington, DC - March 3, 2011 - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) joined a bipartisan effort to avoid a government shutdown. After voting to support a temporary spending bill that incorporates cuts from both parties, Rep. Braley released the following statement:

"These are tough times and this measure includes some tough cuts," said Rep. Braley. "But without this bill, we would be facing a government shutdown at the end of this week. I promised to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to avoid a shutdown, and this is the first step. This measure is temporary - but it's essential to ensure that our veterans don't get denied care, that seniors continue to receive their Social Security checks and that crucial programs all over Iowa and the country are not disrupted by a shutdown."


Quad City Congressmen Travel to Afghanistan
Rep. Braley, Rep. Schilling Make Official Visit

Washington, DC - Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) and Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) traveled to Afghanistan to meet with top U.S. military officials and local Afghan leaders. The Congressmen also visited U.S. troops from Illinois and Iowa.  

Rep. Braley, a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said:
"I was pleased to meet General Petraeus and our top commanders in Afghanistan - and to get their sense of the full scope and progress of our mission there."

Rep. Schilling, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said: "It was important to me to be fully informed of American Military activity in Afghanistan."

Both Rep. Braley and Schilling praised U.S. troops and were pleased to hear directly from them during the visit.

Rep. Braley said: "I am proud of all our soldiers, and especially so of the Iowa National Guard troops that I had the chance to meet with. These brave men and women are doing an extraordinary job at protecting America."

Rep. Schilling said: "I am proud of the work being done by our troops in Afghanistan and I am inspired by their dedication to the mission. Our troops have made great progress developing relationships with local leaders and killing or capturing terrorist cells."

Both Congressmen traveled to Afghanistan on a fact-finding mission with the House Armed Services Committee.


Braley Meets with Gen. Petraeus, Iowa National Guard Troops

Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) is returning from a fact-finding Congressional delegation trip to Afghanistan, where he met with General David Petraeus, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, and Iowa National Guard troops from the First Congressional District.

"Yesterday, I met with General Petraeus and top commanders to discuss our mission and progress in Afghanistan," said Rep. Braley. "I also had the chance to visit several Iowa National Guard troops and talk to them about their experiences. Our brave soldiers make tremendous sacrifices to protect this country, and I want to make sure they can complete their mission and come home safely."

High-resolution photos from Rep. Braley's trip are available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/repbraley/sets/72157626077750269/