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Iowa's 2014 Senate Race: A First Look with BillTally Data

Dan Barrett
February 7, 2013

With Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) not seeking reelection in 2014, the race of both major parties to find electable candidates has begun. So far, three currently serving Congressmen have at least indicated that they are interested in the opening seat: Bruce Braley (D-IA), Steve King (R-IA), and Tom Latham (R-IA).

News organizations have already begun to theorize how these three potential candidates, as well as other possibilities including Former Governor Chet Culver, Former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack, and current U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, might fit into the contest but, aside from mentioning who supports certain energy policies, hard data is hard to come by. Thankfully, NTU Foundation’s BillTally tracking project has the data to what spending changes Braley, King, and Latham might support if elected as Iowa’s next Senator.

Delving further into the data, I found some recurring policy areas and measures that each of the Representatives have supported during their federal legislative careers.

Proposed Spending Agendas Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA)
(previous three terms) (in millions of dollars)
Career Average
Source: NTUF BillTally System

Congressman Braley has been in office since 2007, or for four Congresses, and has repeatedly proposed two policies. He has supported offering concurrent retirement benefits to both government retirees and veteran servicemembers and establishing either new programs or increased funding for existing efforts to provide for jobs (to serve local communities or to complete public works projects). In the last two Congresses, he has also supported the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank that would pool public and private funds for public works.

Proposed Spending Agendas Congressman Steve King (R-IA)
(previous three terms) (in millions of dollars)
Career Average
Source: NTUF BillTally System

Serving since 2003, or for six Congresses, Congressman King has reintroduced legislation centering on health care and tax reform. He supported a refundable health credit during President Bush’s Administration, promotion of health savings accounts, and, more currently, repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In the fiscal vein, he has cosponsored the Fair Tax Act each Congressional term. Like Braley, he supports providing concurrent benefits to military veterans.

Proposed Spending Agendas Congressman Tom Latham (R-IA)
(previous three terms) (in millions of dollars)
Career Average
Source: NTUF BillTally System

Congressman Latham has been in Congress since 1995 and so had a larger BillTally file than the other two potential candidates. He also supported providing concurrent veterans benefits and, like Congressman King, would seek the repeal of ACA. Earlier in his career, he supported terminating the entire income tax code in favor of a more simplified system.

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation does not endorse specific policies or candidates but seeks to inform Americans of what their elected officials support to change government spending.

* NTUF has yet to finalize and release data for the entire 112th Congress. These figures are based on the BillTally First Session report.


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