High-risk play by Braley yields big reward for Iowa

Representative Bruce Braley was an active and vocal supporter of Henry Waxman’s effort to replace John Dingell as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It was risky for a second-term member of Congress to speak out against someone as powerful as Dingell. At the time, many people (myself included) believed Waxman would not win the Democratic caucus vote.

Now Braley has gained a spot on Waxman’s committee:

The appointment, announced Thursday, to what is considered one of the House’s most coveted committees points to a quick rise for the Waterloo lawyer entering just his second term.

It also amplifies Iowans’ voice regarding a vast spectrum of federal economic policy during stormy times.

“Every state wants someone from their delegation on the committee, and having Congressman Braley on this committee is a positive thing for the state so that the state’s interests are reflected in the deliberations of the committee,” said Tom Tauke, a former Republican congressman who served on the committee prior to leaving office in 1991. […]

The committee is the first stop in the House for such nationally significant legislation as the comprehensive health care reform that Obama discussed Thursday. It will also be the entry point for the new administration’s priority of increasing renewable energy and reducing global warming.

The committee will consider the wind-energy tax credit next year. The tax credit, expected to be renewed for seven years, has been a boon to Iowa, one of the nation’s leaders in wind-generated electricity.

I expect good things to come out of Energy and Commerce under Waxman’s leadership, and having an Iowan on that committee is a nice bonus.

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