Effective today, Sam Lau will be joining Braley for Iowa as our campaign's press secretary.  He most recently served as press secretary for the Iowa Democratic Party

Bruce Braley has a record of fighting to protect Social Security and Medicare, a promise he emphasized earlier this week at roundtable discussions with retirees in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines.

In contrast, state Sen. Joni Joni Ernst has repeatedly called for Social Security privatization, putting guaranteed benefits at risk. Privatizing Social Security and transforming Medicare as we know it would threaten the retirement security of over half a million Iowa retirees by gambling retirement savings on the stock market.

A roundup of local news coverage on Bruce Braley's commitment to protect Social Security and Medicare follows:

Braley Says Keep All Workers in Current Social Security System
Radio Iowa // Kay Henderson
The perennial issue of "privatizing" Social Security is now front and center in Iowa's U.S. Senate race.  Bruce Braley says all workers should remain in the current system.

Retirees Tell Braley about Social Security Worries
Quad-City Times // James Lynch
Braley predicted Social Security will be "one of the big topics" is his race against GOP nominee Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Red Oak, for the seat now held by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
He and Ernst "have drastically different opinions" on what should be done to ensure the long-term viability of Social Security.

Braley Talks Social Security, Medicare in Cedar Rapids
KGAN
Braley has fought against plans to privatize Social Security and end Medicare.  He believes that would put seniors at risk.  Instead, Braley believes the programs should be strengthened.

Braley Hosts Retirement Security Roundtable in Des Moines
WOI
Braley says these programs are more than just an income for retirees?they're a promise. He says he will continue to stand against privatizing Social Security, and will fight to keep Medicare from turning in to a voucher program.

National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare PAC Endorses Braley
WOI
Rep. Bruce Braley received an endorsement for his work to ensure benefits for older Iowans. He says this is an issue that is of vital importance for the tens of thousands of Iowa seniors.

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Braley predicted Social Security will be "one of the big topics" is his race against GOP nominee Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Red Oak, for the seat now held by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

He and Ernst "have drastically different opinions" on what should be done to ensure the long-term viability of Social Security, Braley added.

Social Security is "part of that promise of retirement security" that seniors rely on and younger Americans expect to be there when they reach retirement age. Privatization is nothing more than "gambling on the stock market," he said.

Full article: http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/retirees-tell-braley-about-social-security-worries/article_9f17ec8b-1481-5e0d-9b68-ea66118f070d.html

KGAN CBS2 Iowa
Braley Hosts Retirement Security Roundtable in Cedar Rapids
June 16, 2014

Full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJTKmv-gdEw

WOI ABC 5 News at 5
Braley Hosts Retirement Secuirty Roundtable in Des Moines
June 16, 2014

Full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22Q1U5pVmA0

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Braley hosts Retirement Security Roundtables with Iowans in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines

Des Moines, IA - Rep. Bruce Braley hosted a pair of Retirement Security Roundtable events in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines today to meet with Iowans and discuss the future of Social Security and Medicare and how to safeguard the programs for current retirees and generations of workers to come.

Braley said, "Social Security and Medicare are a promise that if you work hard, the benefits you've earned will be there for you when you retire. We need to protect Social Security and Medicare and ensure their promise is honored for current and future generations of workers.

"That's why I've fought against schemes to privatize Social Security and end Medicare as we know it, because gambling Social Security on the stock market and giving Medicare vouchers to seniors puts current retirees at risk. We should strengthen these programs, not undermine them."

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 530,000 Iowans were enrolled in Medicare in 2012. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare calculates that Iowa has more than 584,000 Social Security beneficiaries, with the average senior receiving a monthly benefit of $1,131.

Braley has strongly opposed efforts to privatize Social Security and transform Medicare into a voucher program. Braley has also opposed efforts to reduce future Social Security benefits for retirees if cost-of-living increases were shifted to a so-called "chained CPI" calculation.

Janice Laue of Des Moines said, "Social Security and Medicare ensure a more secure retirement for thousands of Iowa seniors who've worked hard to earn their benefits. We need a Senator who will protect these benefits for current seniors and future generations of retirees. Bruce Braley has long fought to protect Social Security and Medicare for Iowa seniors, and he'll keep fighting to preserve these programs in the Senate."

State Sen. Joni Ernst has called for privatization of Social Security, a position that would undermine benefits for current retirees. Sen. Ernst has also supported plans that would transform Medicare as we know it and pave the way for Medicare vouchers, increasing costs for retirees.

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es Moines, IA - Braley for Iowa released the following statement following state Sen. Joni Ernst's speech to the 2014 Iowa GOP State Convention.

Braley for Iowa campaign manager Sarah Benzing said, "Iowa GOP convention-goers today heard state Sen. Joni Ernst embrace the same right-wing obstructionism that won her the Republican primary. The clear choice in this race is more apparent than ever, between Bruce Braley, who's fighting for working families to raise the minimum wage and protect Social Security and Medicare, and Sen. Ernst, who is siding with her out-of-state billionaire backers to repeal the federal minimum wage, privatize Social Security, and transform Medicare as we know it."

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Braley: Help Doctors Repay Loans If They'll Work for VA
June 11, 2014

Doctors and nurses who are willing to work at VA hospitals and clinics should be eligible for a national loan-repayment program, Rep. Bruce Braley says.

The Iowa Democrat has introduced a bill that would open up the National Health Service Corps to doctors, nurses and other health-providers who go to work for the Department of Veterans Affairs or state veterans' homes. The program now provides scholarships or college-loan repayments to health-care providers who agree to work in "underserved areas," which are mainly in rural America.

Braley's bill is a response to the continuing scandal over waiting times at VA hospitals and clinics.

Full Article: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2014/06/11/braley-help-doctors-repay-loans-if-theyll-work-for-va/10340137/

As student loan debt reaches $1.3 trillion nationally, bill would allow Iowa students, graduates to refinance federal and private loans

Washington, D.C. - Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today signed onto the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, allowing individuals to refinance their student loan debt at lower interest rates, helping address the record high levels of crippling loan debt and delinquencies increasingly affecting millions of students and their families.

The U.S. Department of Education estimates this new legislation would benefit 311,000 Iowa student borrowers.

"Students that are getting an education and fighting for a brighter future shouldn't have to mortgage that same future in order to afford it," Braley said. "I was fortunate to have access to student loans when tuition was less costly and interest rates were dramatically lower?and it's important that current students and recent graduates have the same opportunities that I had."

Student loan debt today totals $1.2 trillion, $864 billion of which is backed by the federal government. More than 70 percent of students who graduated from college in 2012 had student loan debt.

The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act would allow eligible student loan borrowers to refinance their high-interest federal loans to the low rates offered to new federal student loan borrowers. The bill would also allow eligible students with loans from the private market to refinance their high-interest private student loans by converting the private loans to government loans. Those who refinance their private loans would gain access to the protections and benefits of the federal student loan programs.

Braley has repeatedly fought to keep student loan rates affordable for Iowa's students, writing Congressional leadership, urging them to make affordable student loan rates and priority. Braley also introduced the Student Loan Affordability Act in 2012 in an effort to prevent a significant spike in student loan rates.

 

A link to the bill can be found HERE. 

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DES MOINES, IA - Rep. Bruce Braley issued the following statement after winning the Democratic nomination for US Senate:

"My first thoughts tonight are with Iowans affected by the severe storms making their way across the state. I hope Iowans are staying safe.

"As someone who grew up in a working family in Brooklyn, Iowa, worked my way through college and law school here in Iowa, and spent my life representing people from all across our state, I'm deeply honored to win the Democratic nomination for US Senate tonight. I look forward to bringing my campaign to all corners of Iowa in the next five months to discuss my vision to improve the lives of working families and expand opportunities for all Iowans.

"No matter who my opponent is, I look forward to a rigorous debate about who can rise above the partisanship of Washington politics and fight for Iowa's working families who need a strong voice in Washington."

Bruce Braley grew up in Brooklyn, Iowa, and worked his way through Iowa State and law school at the University of Iowa doing jobs in road construction, at a grain elevator, and waiting tables. For nearly 25 years, Bruce worked as an attorney in Waterloo, where he represented Iowans: farmers struggling through the farm crisis, people who lost their jobs, and families denied insurance benefits they deserved. 

With no prior political experience, Bruce was elected to the US House in 2006, and has been re-elected three times. Among his accomplishments, Bruce has successfully worked to cut taxes for small businesses that hire unemployed workers and veterans; created a job training program for Iowans seeking work in renewable energy; and secured back-pay that was denied to 800 Iowa National Guard members. Bruce is running for the US Senate to fight for the middle class because that's where he comes from.

Bruce lives in Waterloo with his wife, Carolyn. They have three grown children: Lisa, David, and Paul.

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As GOP candidates race to outdo each other's obstructionism, Braley discusses motivation, approach to working for Iowans

DES MOINES, IA - As the Republican primary for US Senate takes an increasingly rightward turn in its closing days, Braley for Iowa launched a positive TV ad today featuring Rep. Bruce Braley speaking about why he's motivated to fight for Iowans and how he approaches standing up for people. The spot is the third of Braley's Senate campaign.

Braley said, "Fighting for Iowans means knowing them - who Iowans are, what Iowans care about, and the challenges that Iowans are facing. I grew up in Brooklyn, Iowa, and worked my way through college doing jobs like road construction, waiting tables, and driving trucks. I worked as a lawyer in Waterloo representing Iowans, from farmers struggling through the farm crisis to families denied insurance benefits they deserved. And I've fought for working families in Congress to improve wages and create job growth. I'm running for Senate to strengthen and expand opportunities for working families, because that's where I come from."

The 30 second spot starts airing on broadcast and cable TV today across the state of Iowa with no set end-date.

The ad can be viewed at the following link: http://youtu.be/w_4dCsa_FpI

n 30 second spot, Braley discusses how his mom inspired him to never give up
DES MOINES, IA - Launching on broadcast and cable TV across Iowa in time for Mother's Day, the second television ad of Bruce Braley's 2014 campaign for US Senate highlights the impact Marcia Braley -- Bruce's mom -- has had on his life.

After his father died during his first year of law school at the University of Iowa, Braley considered leaving school. But his mom urged him to keep going and never give up.

Braley said, "My mom is an incredible inspiration to me, and she's had a big impact on my life. She grew up in the Great Depression and taught us to work hard, put family first, and spend money wisely. But most importantly, she taught me to never give up no matter how tough things were. I'm running for Senate because I'm determined to fight for working families like the one I grew up in."

The ad can be viewed at the following link: http://youtu.be/x4r1ZpMbaEw

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