At a Glance
- Career History: Practicing attorney (1983-2006)
- Birthday: October 30, 1957
- Hometown: Waterloo, Iowa
- Alma Mater: B.A.-Iowa State University (1980), J.D.-University of Iowa (1983)
- Spouse: Carolyn
- Religion: Presbyterian
- Committees: Veterans Affairs Committee ; Oversight and Government Reform Committee
- DC Office: 1019 Longworth HOB,Washington, D.C. 20515Phone: 202-225-2911
- District Offices: Waterloo Office: 501 Sycamore St, Suite 610, Waterloo, IA 50703Phone: 319-287-3233 Davenport Office: 209 W. 4th St, Suite 104, Davenport, IA 52801Phone: 563-323-5988 Dubuque Office: 350 W. 6th St, Suite 222, Dubuque, IA 52001Phone: 563-557-7789
- Web site
Path to Power
Born and raised in southeastern Iowa, Braley obtained his undergraduate degree at Iowa State University before studying law at the University of Iowa. From 1983 to 2006, he worked as an attorney in Waterloo; he also served as the president of the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association.
In 2006, Rep. Jim Nussle (R-Iowa) announced he would run for governor rather than seek re-election to Iowa's 1st district, located in northeastern Iowa. The open seat was immediately seen as a top pick-up opportunity for Democrats. Not only did the party have a decisive edge in voter registration there, but Al Gore and John Kerry had both won the district by 7 points in the two previous presidential elections. Thanks to endorsements from the AFL-CIO and AFSCME and to the financial support of trial lawyers, Braley was considered the front-runner to win the Democratic nomination.
When he joined Congress, Braley was already well-positioned to become a key player on domestic policy. Months before he was even elected, Braley had been tapped to deliver his party's response to President Bush's weekly radio address. He proceeded to blast Republicans for seeking "to privatize Social Security."
In January 2009, Braley masterminded the creation of the Congressional Populist Caucus, getting 22 fellow Democrats representing all of the party's ideological sensibilities to join the initial wave of members.
Braley often works with his state's sole Democratic senator, Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and his support for Henry Waxman in his bid to head the Energy and Commerce Committee made the Californian a valuable protector.
Braley partnered with senior lawmakers like Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) in order to found the Congressional Populist Caucus, whose members make up the core of Braley's network.