The Iowa delegation & the Energy Bill

The U.S. House passed an "Energy Bill" today on a 219-212 vote. Five congressmen represent Iowa in the House and the delegation voted along party lines.  Congressmen Bruce Braley of Waterloo, Dave Loebsack of Mt. Vernon and Leonard Boswell of Des Moines voted "yes."  All three are Democrats.  Congressmen Tom Latham of Ames and Steve King of Kiron voted "no."  Both are Republicans. 

During floor remarks, Latham used a "visual aid" to make his main point about the bill.  No, trivia buffs, it was not a paper bag with holes cut out for his eyes (that's a reference to former Congressman Jim Nussle and his House speech in which he asked to "unmask" the members of the House who had bounced checks at the House bank). Latham pulled a hat out of a box. Lest you worry, Latham did not don the hat.  Watch the video.

King also spoke during today's debate.  Find a link below, as the statements from four of the five Iowa congressmen released this evening are posted below.

Braley Supports Landmark Energy Bill
ACES Act will create thousands of Iowa jobs, reduce dependence on foreign oil, address climate change

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) today released the following statement after voting to pass HR 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act.  The bill was approved by the US House this evening, 219-212. 

“This landmark energy bill will create thousands of clean energy jobs in Iowa, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and take a big step forward toward tackling climate change.  This represents a huge new investment in renewable energy in the United States.  While this bill is far from perfect, it does include provisions that help consumers and exempt agriculture.  The bottom line is that we need to act now to address our nation’s energy problems and create jobs.”

Congressman Loebsack Adds Critical Flood Recovery Provisions to American Clean Energy and Security Act; Votes to Create New, Clean Energy Jobs and Decrease American Dependence on Foreign Oil

WASHINGTON DC – Congressman Loebsack today voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The final bill included provisions that were added by the Congressman to make the rebuilding process easier for disaster stricken families and businesses. The provisions in the amendment make sure Iowans are able to take full advantage of funding to rebuild in an energy efficient and cost saving manner.

“My amendment to the bill will make the rebuilding process easier for disaster stricken families and businesses by making sure that as we repair homes and businesses, Iowans are able to take full advantage of funds to rebuild in an energy efficient and cost saving manner,” said Congressman Loebsack. “As we rebuild our communities, it is critical that Iowans are able to utilize energy efficient measures so that we can create long-term energy cost savings for our middle class families.”

Congressman Loebsack’s amendment to the bill will amend the Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) program so that building owners receiving disaster assistance can use the disaster assistance funds to leverage additional or matching funds to make energy efficient improvements to their homes and businesses. The REEP program provides funding to improve energy efficiency in homes and buildings. Congressman Loebsack’s amendment will maximize the benefits of the REEP program for disaster victims by helping Iowa homes become more energy efficient. It would also require that FEMA make information available to disaster victims that the REEP program is available for them to make energy efficiency improvements post-disaster.

“This bill takes steps to create good paying jobs for clean energy economy with less dependence on foreign oil,” said Congressman Loebsack. “I look forward to working further to improve the bill and ensure Iowa increases its role as a global leader in clean energy and ensure further savings for Iowans through clean energy.”

The bill also included measures that will create millions of new clean energy jobs, increase our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and protect our environment.

“I am pleased that after several rounds of negotiations, this legislation will ensure Iowa’s farmers will have a larger and more prominent seat at the table,” added Congressman Loebsack. “As we move forward, I will work to protect Iowa families, and make sure that Iowa is a global leader in a new, clean energy economy.”

WASHINGTON, DC – Iowa Congressman Tom Latham voiced his opposition to the cap-and-trade energy bill on Friday with the help of a visual aid to drive home his point that the legislation will force U.S. jobs overseas.  In the middle of his speech on the floor of the House, Congressman Latham pulled from a box marked ‘To China from the U.S. Congress’ a hardhat with the words ‘American Jobs’ written on it.

A video of the speech can be found at Congressman Latham's Web site, and a higher quality video file is available on request.  A transcript of the remarks  follows below:

CONGRESSMAN LATHAM:  Everyone understands that we’re in the middle of a very difficult downturn in the economy, a recession. It’s difficult enough today to create jobs. We have the second highest tax rate in the world. We have the most onerous regulatory burden in the world.  We have the most litigation in the world. So how do we create new jobs?  Well, it’s not with this tax and cap bill. I tell you, in China today they must think that Christmas is coming in June.  If you look at this box here, it says, ‘To China from the U.S. Congress.’  Well, let’s see what’s inside of it, okay?

[At this point, Congressman Latham reaches into the box and pulls out the hardhat with the words ‘American Jobs’ written on it.]

That’s what’s inside of it, is U.S. jobs. This is going to cost 17,000 jobs in Iowa in 2012 and each year after that.  Nationwide, two-and-a-half to 3 million jobs will be lost because of this bill. If we’re going to do anything to help the economy, let’s not put another burden, let’s not make us less competitive in the world, let’s not destroy hope for the next generation, which this bill does.  Please vote ‘no’ and save our country.


King Opposes Pelosi’s National Energy Tax
Says Cap and Trade Bill Is “The Most Colossal Mistake in History of Congress"

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Steve King today made the following statement after voting against Nancy Pelosi’s energy tax legislation, also known as “cap and trade.” Video of Rep. King speaking against on the bill on the House floor is available at

“Today liberal Democrats voted to slap a massive new energy tax on every American. This cap and tax bill increases energy costs for Iowa’s families, farmers and small businesses and will cost millions of Americans their jobs.  It forces American companies to comply with costly new regulations, while companies in foreign countries without these rules, like China, won’t have to.

“In these tough economic times, why do liberals want to add to your family’s burdens by raising your energy costs and giving China a leg up?  This bill is the most colossal mistake in the history of this Congress.

“My only hope is this bill won’t have the votes to pass the Senate.  I encourage all Iowans and Americans to contact their Senators and ask them to oppose this cap and tax bill.”

Note: Heritage Foundation research reveals the “cap and trade” bill will result in a $362.81 million personal income loss in 2012 in Iowa’s Fifth District – Heritage Foundation research also reveals the bill will cost American families $2,979 a year –

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Clearly only a few of our representatives care to actually listen to their constituants. To them I say thank you. To the others you now bear the burden of this bill and are now responsible for the largest tax increase in American history shame on you.