Bruce Braley has represented 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 founded the House Populist Caucus in 2009 to draw renewed attention in Congress to strengthening America’s middle class.
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 and his wife Carolyn got married and moved to Waterloo, where they still live today. Their three children – Lisa, David, and Paul – all attended Waterloo West 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 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, Braley quickly established a reputation for being an outspoken voice for middle class Iowans. The Cedar Rapids Gazette has called Bruce a “smart, hardworking and engaged lawmaker who cares deeply about the needs of his constituents.” The Des Moines Register has said that “it’s hard to think of many members of Iowa’s [Congressional] delegation who have worked harder or smarter or who took his job more seriously.”
Braley serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he’s a member of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Braley is the second-highest ranking Democrat on the Oversight and Investigations panel.