Bruce Braley has represented northeast Iowa in Congress since 2007, and has become known for his outspoken advocacy for the middle class and his work on behalf of Iowa's veterans. Braley's key priorities include creating jobs, strengthening the economy, and investing in education.
Braley was born in Grinnell, Iowa, in 1957, the son of Byard Braley, a Marine veteran who fought on Iwo Jima, and Marcia Braley, a schoolteacher. He grew up in Brooklyn in Poweshiek County and graduated from BGM High School. A proud Cyclone, Bruce attended Iowa State University in Ames where he was awarded a bachelor's degree in 1980. Bruce then attended the University of Iowa's College of Law, graduating in 1983.
Later that year, Bruce married Dubuque native Carolyn Kalb and moved to Waterloo, where Bruce and Carolyn still live today. Their three children – Lisa, David, and Paul – all attended West Waterloo High School, where Carolyn works as a teacher.
Bruce applied for his first job when he was in third grade and has been working ever since. He's delivered newspapers, baled hay, detassled corn, worked at a grain elevator, and driven dump trucks. To help pay his way through college and law school, Bruce worked as a restaurant server and in highway maintenance, among other jobs.
After law school, Bruce worked in Waterloo as an attorney for 23 years, holding corporations accountable to their employees and consumers. Bruce represented employees challenging dangerous company safety standards and fought for people who lost their jobs and pensions.
After he was elected to Congress in 2006, Braley quickly established a reputation for being an outspoken voice for middle class Iowans. The Des Moines Register has said Bruce "sets the standard for what Iowans should expect from their representatives." The Quad City Times praised Bruce for being a "meticulous student of Congress and extraordinarily responsive to constituents."
Braley founded the House Populist Caucus in 2009 to draw renewed attention in Congress to strengthening America's middle class. He serves as the group's Chair.
Braley serves on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and is the highest ranking Democrat on the Veterans' Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. From this position, Bruce has fought for our veterans, successfully lobbying the Pentagon to award full GI Bill education benefits to hundreds of Iowa National Guard soldiers denied them because of an Army error, passing the Andrew Connolly Veterans' Housing Act, and successfully helping to push a bipartisan tax credit to reward businesses that hire unemployed veterans.
Braley also serves on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and sits on the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending and the Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations.