Which representative is delivering for his constituents?

I got a press release yesterday from Representative Bruce Braley’s office about the National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act, which the U.S. House approved by a vote of 367-55. This bill includes language authored by Braley “to establish a pilot program to monitor structural flaws in highway bridges.”

The full text of the press release is after the jump. Braley was working on creating this pilot program before this summer’s flooding damaged even more Iowa bridges. That’s an example of how a forward-thinking representative can serve constituents, and not only Iowans living in the first district.

Compare this to Representative Steve King’s record. When the Sioux City Journal tried to answer the question “How effective is Steve King?”, they learned that

Of the 44 bills King has sponsored according to www.GovTrack.us, three have made it out of committee and only one has been acted. The piece of legislation? House Resolution 847: Recognizing the importance of Christmas [in] the Christian faith.

Keep in mind that Republicans controlled the U.S. House during King’s first two terms in Congress. What’s his excuse for not getting more accomplished? He points to helping expand a tax credit for small ethanol and biodiesel producers as well as securing some funding for widening Highway 20. But even King admits that in a Democratic-controlled chamber, he is mainly hoping to block Democratic bills:

“That very well may be the best contribution that I have made in this 110th Congress, is slowing down, sometimes stopping” Democratic-sponsored bills,” he said.

King said the extended 2007 funding debate for reauthorization of the federal State Children’s Health Insurance Program was a key moment. The measure was initially written for an increase of $35 billion, but was scaled back before being signed by President Bush in December.

King took to the House floor last fall with a sign that said the SCHIP acronym should instead stand for “Socialized Clinton-style Hillarycare for Illegals and their Parents.”

“I do believe if you took me out of the equation, there would have been a different (funding) result,” King said.

With the Democratic Party leading the GOP by nine points on the generic Congressional ballot, and the Republicans defending more than two dozen open House seats, it’s clear that the Democrats are poised to expand their majority.

Do Iowans in the fifth district want their representative to set his sights on blocking bills, disrupting the legislative branch’s oversight of the executive and being the loudest anti-immigration voice in the room?

Rob Hubler has a solid grasp of the issues and would be able to get things done for Iowans as a member of the majority party. Click here to get involved with Hubler’s campaign, or head out to meet him in person at a county fair this weekend.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 24, 2008

Contact: Nicole Buseman, Press Secretary

nicole.buseman AT mail.house.gov

(202) 225-2911 (office)

(202) 297-6725  (cell)

Braley Language Establishing Structural Monitoring Program for Highway Bridges Passes House

Bill would Establish Pilot Program to Test Monitoring Sensors, Provide Funding for Iowa Bridges

Washington, DC – Today, the House passed language authored by Rep. Bruce Braley (D- Iowa) to establish a pilot program to monitor structural flaws in highway bridges.  The language was included in the manager’s amendment to H.R. 3999, the National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act.

The National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act would provide funding to improve the safety of structurally deficient highway bridges.  As of December 2007, 122 Iowa bridges were designated as structurally deficient and thus eligible for funding under this legislation.

The National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act passed the House today by a vote of 367-55.

“As  Iowa begins to rebuild flood-damaged roads and bridges, we must ensure that our infrastructure is safe now and in the future,” Braley said.  “My pilot program would encourage the use of state-of-the-art technology to monitor highway bridges by proving accurate, real-time data.  This cost-effective technology would ensure safe driving conditions and keep Iowa ‘s roads and bridges safe.”

Braley originally proposed language to establish a pilot program last March.  Braley wrote to House Transportation Committee Chairman Oberstar requesting that language for a structural monitoring pilot program be included in the National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act.

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