The U.S. House passed the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011 on July 13 by a vote of 239 to 184 (roll call). Leonard Boswell (IA-03) joined Republicans Tom Latham (IA-04) and Steve King (IA-05) to support this bill, which is intended to undermine federal enforcement of the Clean Water Act. Boswell was one of only 16 House Democrats to cross party lines for this bill. He also voted for it on the House Transportation Committee last month. Bruce Braley (IA-01) and Dave Loebsack (IA-02) voted with most House Democrats to reject this assault on water quality regulations. Fortunately, the U.S. Senate is unlikely to approve the bill.
Maplight.org compiled data on contributions to House members by interest groups that support the bill. At that link you can view a list of the 44 organizations that supported the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act (mostly industry groups, especially agriculture, energy and mining interests) and the 14 environmental or social justice organizations that opposed the bill. It’s not the first time Boswell has voted with agribusiness against environmental regulation. With him facing a tough re-election match against Latham in the new IA-03, it won’t be the last.
Speaking of the 2012 Congressional races, a forthcoming post will discuss Federal Election Commission financial reports from all the Congressional candidates in Iowa. Campaigns must report to the FEC on their fundraising and expenditures by the end of July 15.