Census 2010: Iowa stands to lose member of Congress - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Census 2010: Iowa stands to lose member of Congress

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- U.S. Representative Bruce Braley toured the 1st Congressional District Wednesday to announce his plans to run for reelection in the fall. With Braley's announcement, something to consider: Iowa could lose a representative in the U.S. House of Representatives starting in the 2012 election.

That's because data from census 2010 could shift the 435 house seats, possibly from our state. Though it's not certain until all census data becomes official, early population counts show Iowa will likely lose a seat in congress. That would take us from five representatives to four.

"I want to be your voice in Washington for the next two years," Braley announced in Dubuque's historic Roshek Building (now home to IBM).

Braley is seeking a third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He says his top priority is job creation.

"A lot of what I'm going to be focused on is coming up with ideas on how we can put people back to work by creating the types of incentives that will encourage people to hire unemployed workers," Braley said.

Union members like Don Deuhr watched Braley's Dubuque announcement in support.

"Representative Braley has been fighting for the working man to continue for better benefits, health insurance, keep prevailing wage up there..." Deuhr said.

Something could change in the 2012 election; Iowa will likely lose a House seat.

"I'm very worried about that. I talk about that all the time because part of your influence as a state is based on the number of members you have in Congress," Braley said.

Less representation could mean less support for legislation that impacts Iowans.

"It's no accident California has great influence in the House of Representatives because they have 50 members. So when you lose 20% of your vote in the House of Representatives by going from five members to four, that's a significant concern for the people of Iowa," Braley said.

Some union members say they've recently seen firsthand the pull representatives have in national government.

"With all the FEMA money coming in, there has been a transient, migrant workforce coming in from, a lot from down south and southern companies and not hiring locally. Where Loebsack and Braley are both trying to get prevailing wage language tied to it to support a local workforce and get a decent living wage," Deuhr said.

With fewer representatives, new district lines would be drawn using a computer model and then voted on by the state legislature, likely putting more counties in each district and perhaps changing the state's political landscape in 2012.

There's no way to know how the redistricting would go until the final numbers come in. By federal law, the president will know how many representatives each state will have by the end of the year. The Census Bureau has to tell states about any districting changes by April 1, 2011. Those changes would affect the 2012 election.

Thursday is officially Census Day, the day you should base your household count on when you fill out the papers. Iowa has consistently been ranked in the top five states for returning Census 2010.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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