Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, is highly critical of President Bush after the House passed a 3.7 billion dollar spending bill. Braley says despite his frustration with the president and the bill, he is also "very proud of the accomplishments that we have made in trying to re-prioritize some of the programs within the appropriations bill and particularly the impact that’s going to have in a very positive way on the people that I represent in the first district."
Braley says the bill contained many of the same funding issues that Congress has already talked about, and he believes it will pass in the Senate. Braley says the bill was the result of "intense" negotiations between the House, Senate and the President’s budget director on a total that was going to be a compromise within the president’s guidelines for total budget, but would not match the president’s priorities.
Braley is critical of the President for cutting too much from programs Braley says are vital to Americans. He says they would liked to have seen great funding for veterans, education,renewable energy incentives, while eliminating some incentives for fossil fuels. Braley says having to vote on the spending in one big bill is a perfect solution.
Braley says it’s not the type of spending bill he would prefer, but he says they were facing an enormous time crunch, as they were targeting adjournment for October 28th, and are nearly two months behind. Braley says it’s been a very busy time, and have passed more bills this year than any Congress in recent memory, "so it’s not like we’ve been sitting around twiddling our thumbs."
Braley is a freshman congressman, and an article in U.S.A. Today lists him as the fifth most effective new congressman for securing funding for his district. The article says Braley brought home nearly 10.6 million dollars to the first district in what are called earmarks, or dollars linked to a specific project in a congressman’s district.