Nineteen-year-old Paul Braley, son of Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, has been charged with possession of marijuana, first offense, and he faces a weapons charge, too. Paul Braley was the passenger in a car that was pulled over last Friday, at about 2 a.m. Details here.
Four Iowa congressmen issued statements shortly after President Obama announced the world’s most-wanted man had been killed in a U.S. military operation.
Waterloo, IA — Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement after the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death:
“Today the world is a safer place. Tonight’s announcement that Osama Bin Laden has been killed by U.S. forces is good news for all Americans. Nearly ten years after his cowardly attacks on innocent Americans and citizens of the world, and on the eighth anniversary of declaring “Mission Accomplished,” we can finally close a tragic chapter in our nation’s history. Our troops have made tremendous sacrifices, with many lives lost and many changed forever, and we must never forget the real cost of this war on terror.”
Des Moines, IA – Congressman Leonard Boswell released the following statement after President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden.
“After hearing the news of Osama bin Laden’s death tonight, I immediately thought of our men and women in uniform who have bravely fought al Qaeda forces in the pursuit of the man responsible for attacking our nation on September 11, 2001,” said Congressman Leonard Boswell, who recently returned from a congressional trip to Afghanistan. “President Obama and our military leaders should be commended for their steadfast commitment to pursuing Osama bin Laden and his followers. I look forward to joining Iowa’s military families in welcoming our brave troops as they return home.”
WASHINTGON, DC- Congressman Loebsack issued the following statement after President Obama’s announcement that Osama Bin Laden has been confirmed dead.
“Tonight’s announcement is a testament to the men and women of our armed forces’ and intelligence community’s commitment to tracking down the man responsible for the death of thousands of innocent Americans. Tonight stands as a profound chapter in our nation’s fight against those who work every day to do harm to the American people. Even as we mark this day, however, we must remain vigilant – the threat against the American people remains and there are those who may seek revenge. The safety of our nation is paramount. Having just travelled to Islamabad to discuss critical counter-terrorism issues, and as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I will continue to work to ensure the security of our nation.”
WASHINGTON, DC – Iowa Congressman Tom Latham issued the following statement after President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed:
“The reign of a ruthless killer has been brought to an end. The death of Osama bin Laden is welcome news for America and her allies around the globe. We owe a debt of gratitude to the military and intelligence officials who carried out this operation. This is a critical victory for the cause of freedom and liberty. God bless the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and God bless the United States of America.”
Neither of Iowa’s U.S. Senators issued statements Sunday evening, nor did Congressman Steve King.
Wagons are already circling — way before the state legislature takes a vote on a reapportioned map of Iowa’s congresional districts (as well as districts for Iowa House and Senate seats).
As you may recall, the first map unveiled last week would pit two Democratic congressmen (Bruce Braley of Waterloo & Dave Loebsack of Mount Vernon) in the new firt congressional district.
Senator Tom Harkin & Congressman Bruce Braley are co-hosting a fundraiser for Congressman Dave Loebsack in the middle of May….in Scott County. Scott County is currently in Braley’s first congressional district, but Scott County would be in Iowa’s new second congressional district if legislators approve the redistricting plan. (Loebsack is likely to move into Johnson County/the Iowa City area — which is in the newly-proposed second district — to avoid a head-to-head match-up with Braley.)
Congressman Leonard Boswell also has agreed to host a fundraiser for Loebsack in…wait for it…Jasper County. Jasper is in the current third congressional district, which Boswell now represents, but it will be in the new second congressional district if the redistricting plan is approved.
Eric Witte, an aide to Loebsack, says these two fundraisers should erase ”any doubt about people’s efforts to help Loebsack in the new Second CD should the map pass…Both Scott and Jasper are in the new 2nd CD as are 14 of the 15 counties Dave currently represents.”
See headline above. Read statement below.
Braley Statement on Iowa Redistricting Process
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement after the first redistricting maps came out:
“This map is a first draft and the first step in a process that will determine new Congressional districts. We’ll all have to wait and see how the process plays out. I’m honored to represent northeast Iowa in Congress, and I’m focused on the very important work we have in front of us: monitoring the conflict in Libya and working on passing a responsible, long term budget to provide stability and certainty to American families and businesses.”
The redistricting plan for Iowa’s congressional and legislative districts was released this morning. It pairs Congressmen Tom Latham of Ames and Steve King of Kiron in one district. They’re both Republicans. It pairs Congressmen Bruce Braley of Waterloo and Dave Loebsack of Mount Vernon in another district. They’re both Republicans.
It is possible, no probable that if the Iowa General Assembly approves this plan that two of those aforementioned congressmen will move. Latham has moved before. Loebsack could move into Johnson County, the Iowa City area. In the last reapportionment, then-Congressman Jim Leach moved from Davenport to Iowa City. And Congressman Leonard Boswell moved from Davis City to Des Moines.
It will be a few hours before the full extent of pairings in state legislative races for House and Senate seats is known.
Three of the seven members of Iowa’s congressional delegation emailed me responses to President Obama’s speech last night. Read them below, in the order they were received.
Braley Responds to President’s Speech on Libya
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement following President Obama’s speech on the conflict in Libya:
“I’m concerned, and I know many Americans are concerned, that tonight we didn’t get a clear and accurate accounting from the President on how much this conflict in Libya is going to cost American taxpayers. We’ve got two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – and Americans deserve to hear from our President what this third conflict is going to cost us. I look forward to meeting with Secretary Gates and Secretary Clinton later this week and hearing their explanation of the costs of this operation and their strategy for moving forward in Libya.”
Last week 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
Below is a statement from Senator Chuck Grassley regarding the President’s speech tonight about U.S. military involvement in Libya.
“I was an early advocate of a no-fly zone. Today, despite the President’s delay in offering this help, the Libyan opposition has made progress in defending itself against the brutality of Gadhafi, thanks to the strength and capability of U.S. military forces.
“The burden remains on the President to convey how he sees the mission of the United States going forward. What is the long-term commitment of the United States in supporting the effort that now is NATO led? If America’s armed forces are put in harm’s way, what is the objective, if not regime change? How long does President Obama envision our involvement, should Gadhafi hold on?
“It’s unclear when our involvement will end and under what terms. Debate in our system of government is necessary. Congress needs to be involved regarding the way that the United States is to continue making a commitment to this military action. The President needs to speak with the kind of passion that shows that America is credible as a world leader, and the speech didn’t go as far as it should have to do that.”
Harkin Statement on the Situation in Libya
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement on the situation in Libya and the President’s national address this evening.
“It is tragic to see Colonel Gaddafi continuing to ignore the will of his people and continue his brutal crackdown. Based on those humanitarian atrocities, I was supportive of the initial UN-backed military strikes. But with the U.S. ongoing military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have concerns about an open-ended engagement in Libya.
“Tonight, President Obama rightly addressed a skeptical public about this mission. I believe that while there is merit in handing over operations to NATO, ultimately, a political solution is needed to end the conflict in Libya.
“As we move toward that goal, I would like to commend and thank all of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who have been carrying out this operation.”
The five congressmen from Iowa voted along party lines today as the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that would repeal the federal health care reform law President Obama signed into law in the spring of 2010. All 242 Republicans and three Democrats in the U.S. House voted for the repeal. (None of those three Democrats were from Iowa.)
Congressman Steve King (R-Kiron, Iowa) made several cable TV appearances and spoke on the House floor a few times over the past couple of days. Check out King’s YouTube channel to watch those videos. King issued the following written statement after tonight’s vote:
“When ObamaCare passed, I made a pledge to work to uproot the law from the U.S. Code. To fulfill this promise, I drafted and introduced language to repeal ObamaCare ‘as if such Act had not been enacted.’ Today, the House of Representatives passed this language, and we are one step closer to fully repealing the law,” said King.
“Today’s historic vote was made possible because Americans have consistently demonstrated both resolve and fervor for repeal. In fact, Americans even elected 87 new Republicans to the House of Representatives to provide repeal supporters with the reinforcements we needed to answer their calls for repeal.”
“Today’s repeal vote represents not only a promise kept, but also the beginning of the end of ObamaCare itself. I will continue to work for ObamaCare’s repeal until this unconstitutional law is no longer on the books.”
An Arizona congresswoman was shot in the head today as she held a town hall meeting in Tucson. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has a link to Iowa. Her brother, Alex Giffords, was Iowa State’s kicker from 1979-1982.
Initial reports indicate five people were killed. A federal judge and a nine-year-old girl are among the dead. The congresswoman is among perhaps as many as 10 other shooting victims. Doctors say they’re optimistic about her chances for recovery. Congresswoman Giffords was among the members of congress who read the U.S. Constitution aloud on the House floor this past week. She read the First Amendment.
Congressman Braley Statement on Shooting in Arizona
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement on the shooting in Tucson, Arizona:
“While we still don’t have all the details, Carolyn and I are praying for Gabby. Our thoughts go out to her husband Mark, her family, her staff and all who know and love her. And I add my deepest condolences to the families of the other victims of this morning’s tragic, senseless shooting.
I also should note that Gabby’s brother, Alex Giffords, was a placekicker for the Iowa State football team. She gave me a print of Beardshear Hall at Iowa State that I have in my office, which she got from her brother.”
LATHAM STATEMENT FOLLOWING ATTACK ON CONGRESSWOMAN GABRIELLE GIFFORDS
WASHINGTON, DC – Iowa Congressman Tom Latham released the following statement today following an attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others in Arizona:
“Kathy and I are keeping Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, her family and the other victims of today’s senseless tragedy in our hearts and prayers. I know Congresswoman Giffords to be a dedicated servant to her constituents and the cause of democracy in the United States.
“No rational person could ever think that a political disagreement in this great nation should be solved with bullets, and I’m horrified by today’s events.”
Harkin Statement on Arizona Shootings
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement after learning that 18 people had been shot and six died at a public event in Arizona. U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) remains in critical condition and U.S. District Court Judge John M. Roll is among those who were killed.
“When public servants and innocent civilians are struck down at a public event, a shudder goes through the hearts of all Americans. This news is nothing short of a tragedy. My thoughts are with Congresswoman Giffords and all of the families affected by this terrible turn of events.”
King Statement on the Shooting of United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords
Washington D.C.- Congressman Steve King (R-IA) released the following statement after United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot during a public event in Tuscon, Arizona today.
“My prayers continue to be for Gabrielle Giffords, her family, her staff, and all those that are in agony today,” said King. “We serve together and she is outgoing, personable and widely respected. It is inconceivable that anyone could harbor a vile, vindictive or malicious attitude towards her. I will continue to pray for her swift recovery and for the recovery of all those injured in this tragedy.”
Congressman Loebsack Issues the Following Statement on Shooting Involving Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after news that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others were shot at an event in Tucson, Arizona:
“I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news of Representative Giffords, her staff members and others involved in this tragedy. I have the distinct privilege of working with Congresswoman Giffords as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. She is a great colleague and a fine public servant. It is unspeakable that such a tragedy occurred while she was meeting with her constituents, whom she serves with distinction and honor. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family, and the families of those affected by this senseless act of violence.”
This is a sort of Friday potpourri post, covering everything from the controversy swirling in Washington to the potential ’12ers who will be in Iowa soon.
In case you missed it, short-time Governor Chet Culver and Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie have issued statements in support of President Obama’s deal with the GOP on taxes. (Cownie endorsed Obama before the ’08 Caucuses.) The chair of the Iowa Democratic Party took a slightly different slant than her two Democratic counterparts. And Congressman Bruce Braley is the only one of Iowa’s three Democratic congressmen to issue a written statement on the subject. Braley hints he’s dismayed by the deal, but doesn’t come right out and say it. You can read all of those statements below.
Issued 12.9.10 @ 12:08 p.m.: Braley statement on tax cut negotiations
Washington, DC – Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) released the following statement on the tax cut negotiations:
“As the tax cut package takes shape, I want to reiterate my support for a tax cut extension for every American family on incomes up to $250,000. I continue to fight for an extension of unemployment benefits, especially during the holiday season. I remain extremely concerned that extending Bush’s tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of Americans will explode the deficit.”
“I continue to fight to cut taxes for Iowa’s families and I am working to ensure our future generations are not saddled with extreme debt. I look forward to reading the legislative language produced on the bill before making a final decision on these important issues.”
Issued 12.9.10 @ 3:05 p.m.: Mayor T.M Franklin Cownie’s Statement on President Obama’s Tax Cuts for Amerlca’s Middle Class
Des Moines Mayor Cownie issued the following statement in response to President obarna’s economic incentive package for America’s middle class families.
“I want to commend President Obama for his leadership in securing tax cuts for America’s middle class, extending unemployment benefits forthe nation’s jobless, and providing important tax incentives for small businesses to create jobs. Preventing tax rates for the middle class from rising on January 1 and the payroll tax reduction that will take effect next year will put hard earned dollars back into family budgets in Des Moines and all across thecountrv, While we know that the President did not want to extend these benefits to the nation’s wealth lest and therefore worsen the federal deficit, we also know that the perfect cannot be the enemy of the good. The nation and its middle class working families need relief now. President Obama has demonstrated his leadership by pulling together an economic package that the country desperately needs.”
Issued 12.9.10 @ 3:53 p.m.: Governor Culver: President Obama is Working to Help Middle Class
Governor also calls for package to include extension of ethanol tax credits
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Governor Chet Culver today said he supports President Obama’s efforts to extend unemployment insurance, tax cuts for working families and other tax incentives.
Culver, who is in Washington, D.C., as the chair of the National Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, is pushing to get an extension on ethanol tax credits. The Governor said he appreciates President Obama’s work.
“I am proud of the fact that the President is working for Iowa’s working families during these extraordinary times,” he said. “Without the extension, more than 8,000 Iowa families were going to lose their benefits during the holiday season.”
The Governor also is urging Congress to include in the final tax package the ethanol tax credits.
“This is critically important for creating new jobs in Iowa,” Culver said. “The ethanol industry is a growth industry that promises good-paying jobs for Iowans now and into the future.”
“You’ve just got to try to do everything you can when it’s your time to do it.” – the advice Salvatore Giunta says he heeded in a 2007 fire fight in Afghanistan
A 25-year-old who grew up in Hiawatha, Iowa, was honored today with the nation’s highest military honor. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta (pronounced JOON-tuh) is now a member of an exclusive fraternity of American war heroes. As President Obama noted during today’s ceremony, Giunta is the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. A ceremony for Guinta and his family is being planned in Des Moines, at the statehouse, on Tuesday, November 23.
[Photo at left courtesy of Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa)]
Headlines about today’s event use words and phrases like “patriot” and ”gallant” and “as humble as he is heroic.” Watch the video of the ceremony. Giunta was only 22 years old when the fire fight happened in the fall of 2007. Obama recounted it in gritty detail before he placed the blue ribbon holding the medal around Giunta’s neck. (Read the president’s full remarks below.)
It’s not just news in the United States. The BBC, The Canadian Press and Radio New Zealand all have stories online. The Hill posted a few of the tweets from famous folks like former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullin. Giunta’s hometown paper, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, has a gallery of photos from today’s ceremony.