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Daily Iowan Endorsement: Vote for Loebsack for Congress

BY DI EDITORIAL BOARD | OCTOBER 31, 2012 6:30 AM

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With Congressional approval ratings supremely low, it is tempting to vote against any incumbent candidate to replace old members of Congress with fresh faces and ideas.

But in terms of Iowa’s 2nd District, we resist such feelings. We endorse Democratic incumbent Dave Loebsack for a fourth term in the House of Representatives.

In a time of hyper-partisanship in Congress, Loebsack has been a champion of the 2nd District’s values, and he has shown an admirable capacity for compromise.

Loebsack is a supporter of the Affordable Care Act and has voted against its repeal twice in the House. He is an advocate for a balanced-budget amendment but supports a sensible plan to cut the deficit that includes increasing government revenue, cutting defense spending, and making government programs such as Medicare more efficient.

As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Loebsack has worked to support veterans and has called for the end of the war in Afghanistan.

On the economy, Loebsack has shown a willingness to work with House Republicans. He was one of only 18 Democrats to support a tax cut on small businesses put forward by Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Currently, Loebsack is working on a legislative compromise on the future of the Bush tax cuts that would allow the cuts to expire for individuals making more than $250,000 per year — as the Democrats have proposed — but create an exemption for all small-business owners in order to allay a key Republican concern about the potential effect of higher taxes on the economy.

This is not to say that Loebsack’s tenure in Washington has been overwhelmingly productive or that we support his views on every issue. He has faced repeated attacks following a May story in the Des Moines Register that named him the least effective member of Iowa’s Congressional delegation.

Loebsack’s rank was largely determined by perceptions of his national recognition and his insular focus on Iowa’s 2nd District.

Aside from his ardent championing of small businesses and wind energy, Loebsack’s plan to create jobs also leaves something to be desired. Too often, he drifts toward protectionism in his opposition to free-trade agreements and his antagonism toward China, a trading partner of vital importance.

We believe that the current House leadership must change and compromise must be fostered, but Republican challenger John Archer has offered no compelling reason — glittering campaign rhetoric aside — to believe that he is the person to do that job. We cannot, in good faith, add another party-line Republican to a caucus that has committed itself so strongly to obstructionism and contrarianism at the expense of the American people for the past two years.

Loebsack is this race’s true ideological moderate with a track record of bipartisanship in service of the 2nd District. He has proven himself to be a thoughtful, well-informed member of Congress. We support sending Loebsack back to Washington and holding him to a higher standard of action in the House.


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