David Wayne Loebsack was born on December 23, 1952 in Sioux City, Iowa. He earned both a BS and an MA in political science from Iowa State University in 1974 and 1976, respectively, and a Ph.D. in that same field from UC Davis in 1985. Prior to launching a career in government, Loebsack was a professor of political science at Cornell College in Iowa.
A longtime committed Democrat, Loebsack was a local leader of the Bill Bradley Presidential Campaign in 2000, and a Linn County (Iowa) coordinator of Howard Dean's White House bid four years later. In 2006 Loebsack was elected to represent Iowa's 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House, where he continues to serve as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. His political campaigns have been supported and endorsed by the Council for a Livable World and J Street.
In August 2007, Loebsack was one of 90 Members of Congress who signed an open letter to President Bush, stating: “We will only support appropriating funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq during Fiscal Year 2008 and beyond for the protection and safe redeployment of all our troops out of Iraq before you leave office.” At that time, Bush's “troop surge,” which would ultimately turn the tide of the war and crush the Iraqi resistance, was in high gear. The letter was initiated by the Peace Pledge Coalition, an alliance led by such notables as Medea Benjamin, Bill Fletcher, Kevin Zeese, and representatives of the Progressive Democrats of America, Democrats.com, AfterDowningStreet.org, Velvet Revolution, and the Backbone Campaign.
In May 2015 Loebsack endorsed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's “Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality.” For details of that agenda, click here.
In December 2015 Loebsack co-sponsored legislation introduced by Rep. Don Beyer, Jr. which condemned “violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.” The bill was based on unsourced and insupportable claims that America was experiencing a “rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance,” and a “disproportionate targeting” of “Muslim women … because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances.”
On the premise that all women should have an unrestricted right to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand, Rep. Loebsack has voted: (a) against prohibiting the federal funding of abortion services; (b) against a bill requiring healthcare practitioners who are present when a baby survives an attempted abortion, to do everything in their power to preserve the infant's life; and (c) against banning abortions on any fetus that has reached the 20th week of its gestation period—except in cases where a pregnancy endangers the mother's life or is the result of rape or incest.
A member of the American Federation of Teachers, Loebsack opposes voucher programs that enable low-income parents to send their children to private or parochial schools. In 2011, for instance, he voted against reauthorizing the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program.
During his years in Congress, Loebsack has also voted:
- in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Obamacare);
- against a 2011 proposal to extend the USA PATRIOT Act's expiration date by four years;
- in favor of a 2007 bill to raise the national minimum wage three times in a two-year period;
- in favor of the DREAM Act, legislation designed to create a path-to-citizenship for illegal immigrants who first came to the United States as minors;
- against a 2015 bill which called for the cessation of federal funding to any state or local governments that willfully shield illegal aliens from federal immigration authorities;
- against a 2014 bill prohibiting the President from canceling or deferring, by executive order or otherwise, the deportation of illegal aliens pursuant to existing immigration law;
- against a 2015 proposal to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood, in light of new revelations about that organization's participation in the illegal harvesting and sale of fetal organs and body parts;
- against opening America's Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling (2011);
- against barring the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases (2011); and
- against maintaining a work requirement for welfare recipients (2013).
As matters of principle, Loebsack strongly believes that:
- private employers should be legally required to implement affirmative-action hiring and promotion policies that give preferenceto nonwhites and women;
- Obamacare ought to serve as a first step toward the eventual implementation of a single-payer healthcare system administered entirely by the federal government;
- high earners should pay much higher tax rates than people who earn less;
- the American immigration system should be reformed in a manner that offers a path-to-citizenship for the millions currently residing in the country illegally;
- all U.S. residents should have access to publicly funded social services regardless of immigration status;
- U.S. defense spending should be reduced dramatically;
- voter ID laws are generally intended to suppress minority voting; and
- the best strategies for addressing the problem of climate change include: the imposition of carbon taxes on all industries; massive federal spending on the development of wind and solar energy technology; and the raising of CAFE standards for all vehicles manufactured in the U.S.
For additional information on Loebsack's issue positions and voting records, click here, here, and here.