The U.S. House Tuesday approved a bill that would name the Davenport federal courthouse in honor of former Republican Iowa Congressman Jim Leach. Representative, Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, co-sponsored the bill. Braley says he first met Jim Leach as a freshman in college as Leach was campaigning in what was then the First District in 1976.
Leach went on to win the election and was Braley’s representative. Braley says this is a “very important bill to me personally,” and says the last time he talked with Leach, they were at the Dan Gable Wrestling Museum in Waterloo. Braley says that election in 1976 was the first time he was eligible to vote, and says it was not a vote cast for Leach.
“I’m pretty confident that I voted for his opponent in that election,” Braley says. Braley says Leach had a long and distinguished career of public service representing the citizens of eastern Iowa for 30 years, and that’s why he sought to have the building named for Leach.
Braley says “this is going to be a great honor, and one that’s well deserved.” The other co-sponsor of the bill is Representative Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from Mt. Vernon, who defeated Leach. The bill will now moves to the Senate for approval. Iowa’s two Senators have introduced similar legislation in the Senate.