Republican Congressman Tom Latham was the only member of Iowa’s delegation to vote for a bill that would have provided federal aid to Midwesterners hit by this year’s Missouri River flooding.
Latham is moving to a new congressional district and, in 2012 he plans to seek reelection from that area, which includes southwest Iowa counties along the Missouri River which have been hard-hit by the flooding.
The bill Latham voted for not only provided federal aide for a wide range of disasters, it was designed to provide enough money to keep the government operating past September 30. The new federal fiscal year begins October 1, but the two parties in congress haven’t agreed on a spending plan yet. However, in a surprise to House Republican leaders, the bill failed to pass late today.
Too many Republicans — like Iowa Congressman Steve King — objected to the measure, saying it didn’t make deep enough cuts. Democrats objected to the part of the bill that made deep cuts in a program that boosts the manufacture of electric vehicles and said it didn’t provide enough money for disaster relief.
Iowa’s three Democratic congressmen — Bruce Braley, Dave Loebsack and Leonard Boswell — all were no votes, along with King. King currently represents the entire western third of Iowa, including the counties which border the Missouri River. Boswell lives in Des Moines and the newly-drawn lines for the congressional district in which he lives now encompass the southwest Iowa counties which have been hit by the Missouri River flooding. Boswell and Latham are expected to run against one another in 2012.