Braley hoping to be next U.S. senator from Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Braley hoping to be next U.S. senator from Iowa

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley has represented much of eastern Iowa on Capitol Hill for the last eight years.

Voters first elected him to the U.S. House in 2006.

KWWL sat down with him earlier this week in Waterloo during a brief break in his campaign schedule.

"It's not a popularity contest," Braley said. "It's a question of who is gonna be the best for Iowa over the next six years. That's why I'm talking to voters about the clear choices they face in this election."

Braley says if elected, he would work to raise the minimum wage, keep the Renewable Fuel Standard, and lower student loan debt.

"My first bill is to try to make sure we're doing everything we can to keep college affordable and I think that's something that should be bi-partisan," said Braley.

TV Ad - "He missed the VA vote"

Braley says campaign ads over missed Veterans Affairs Committee meetings are personally troubling because he says they're lies.

"The ad lied about the fact I wasn't at the VA meetings because I attended three fundraisers, and that's absolutely false -- and the veterans in this room know how passionate I am about veterans' issues," said Braley. "The day in question, I was at the World War II Memorial greeting an Honor Flight from eastern Iowa. I have photographs with World War II and Korean veterans at that memorial on the date that ad refers to."

Braley's enlisted big names in the campaign - First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have all appeared in the state in his behalf.

President Bill Clinton will also make two appearances Saturday.

"What you need is the ability to remind Iowa voters why this election matters," Braley said. "We all know that typically voter turnout in Iowa is higher in presidential election years than non-presidential election years, and yet a vote in a Presidential election determines the future of America for four years.

"This Senate race will affect Iowa's future for the next six years, and that's why it's important to let them know how important it is that your vote matters," Braley added.

Braley says he can work with Republicans to get bills passed.

"The most important lesson I've learned in Washington is it's the same way you get things done in Iowa: You work hard to build relationships with the people you work with so when an opportunity presents itself, you can work to bring people together to solve tough problems. And that's what we need more of in Washington," said Braley.

Braley says while many are cynical about the role of government, he says it can work.

He points to the response to the 2008 natural disasters which hit eastern Iowa.

"Helping people through tough times and being there as your friend, not as an obstacle, not as somebody who's making your life difficult, and that's how I think the role of government should be in Congress," said Braley.

Democrats are hoping early voting helps get supporters to the polls.

Braley and his wife cast their ballots last week in Waterloo.

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