Tom Latham

Tom Latham

IOWA's 3rd DISTRICT

Congressman Latham to Host Annual Academy Day for Area Students

2014/04/07


Iowa Congressman Tom Latham is inviting all Iowa students interested in the opportunities offered by the five U.S. military service academies to his annual Congressional District Military Academy Day on Saturday, April 26.

The program will feature representatives from the various military academies and a chance for interested students, family members and teachers to ask questions about these storied institutions, which offer some of the most prestigious undergraduate programs in the country.  

“The students who enroll in the service academies are some of our best and brightest young people,” Congressman Latham said. “Those who are accepted take on an incredible journey of academic challenge and national service, and I encourage every student with an interest in making that powerful commitment to consider applying to a service academy.”

A prospective student must receive a nomination from a member of Congress to gain entrance to the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.  Entrance into the U.S. Coast Guard Academy is determined by an annual nationwide competition. All candidates applying for one of my nominations must be citizens of the United States and legal residents of Iowa's 3th Congressional District.

Congressman Latham’s Military Academy Day will be held April 26, at the Iowa National Guard Gold Star Museum, 7105 NW 70th Avenue - Johnston, Iowa. Representatives from the various service academies will be on hand from 9:30am - 12:00pm to provide information and answer questions.

“The men and women who enroll in our country’s service academies deserve the respect and gratitude of every American,” Congressman Latham said. “It’s a great pleasure for me to see Iowa students taking part in the proud tradition and integrity that are the hallmarks of these institutions.”

Students who wish to attend a service academy as a freshman in 2015 must turn in their application to Congressman Latham’s office in Des Moines no later than Oct. 1, 2014. Applications are available in Congressman Latham’s Des Moines office or online at http://www.latham.house.gov/ConstituentServices/serviceacademynominations.htm.

Congressman Latham encourages any high school or middle school student interested in leadership, public service and the defense of our country to attend the District Military Academy Day. Anyone with questions about the event can contact the Des Moines Constituent Services Office at 515-282-1909.

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Graduating High School Students Eligible for Recognition from Congressman Latham

2014/04/03

Iowa Congressman Tom Latham once again is offering graduating high school students in Iowa’s Third Congressional District the chance to get special Congressional certificates of recognition.

Congressman Latham’s office is accepting requests for the personalized certificates from schools, students and family members. Each certificate of recognition includes the graduate’s name, high school and date of graduation. The certificates are personally signed by Congressman Latham and are printed on high quality card stock with colored seals.

“Graduating Iowa high school students are taking an important step in becoming leaders and positive contributors to society when our country needs them,” Congressman Latham said. “As these individuals prepare to transition into the next phase of life, I am pleased to mark their progress and personally congratulate them on their achievement.”

High schools in Iowa’s Third Congressional District can request the certificates on behalf of graduating students, or requests can come directly from the student or a family member. All requests for graduation certificates should be emailed to Latham.Graduation@mail.house.gov. Anyone with further questions may contact the Des Moines - Central Iowa Constituent Services Office at 515-282-1909.

The following information is required to complete the certificates for each student:

  • the graduate’s name exactly as it should appear on the certificate;
  • the high school from which the student is graduating;
  • the date of the graduation ceremony;
  • the mailing address to which the certificate should be sent.

If a school or student wishes to have a certificate by the date of the graduation ceremony, requests must be turned in by April 18th. Those who make requests after the deadline will still receive certificates, but they may not arrive until after the student’s graduation ceremony.

 
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One Man Can Change the World – The Legacy of Norman Borlaug in the Halls of Congress

2014/03/26

He lived the Iowa values of hard work and innovation and his fight against world hunger will continue to improve lives around the globe for generations to come. It is a great pleasure and honor to call Dr. Borlaug a friend, who is now honored with his statue placed in National Statuary Hall. I have consistently strived to honor this great man. However, none of this happened overnight; the effort to honor Dr. Borlaug in our nation’s Capital began back in 2006 and it has never been difficult describing how deserving Dr. Borlaug is, he's been working hard his whole life.

Borlaug grew up in rural Cresco and attended the University of Minnesota where he received his bachelor’s, masters and Ph.D. He worked in Forestry and Microbiology before he started his work developing crops that increased yields and resisted disease. Borlaug’s advancements in crop production helped him become known as the “Father of the Green Revolution.” The Green Revolution was a time when drastically increased crop yields over a short period of years helped alleviate world hunger.

Borlaug’s work in agriculture saved hundreds of millions of people from famine and starvation. In 1970 he was given a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts and is still the only person to receive this honor from working in agriculture. It is said that Borlaug saved more lives than any other person in history. Borlaug served as the Chairman of the Council of Advisors for the World Food Prize. The World Food Prize presents a $250,000 award each October at an international ceremony in Des Moines, to the Laureate who has made an exceptional achievement similar to Borlaug’s breakthrough forty years ago.

In 2006, Senator Chuck Grassley and I introduced a resolution in the Senate and the House to honor Dr. Norman Borlaug with a Congressional Gold Medal. The Congressional Gold Medal has been given since the American Revolution and is Congress’ highest expression of appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. Dr. Norman Borlaug is an American superhero that few people have heard of and he was well deserving of this award. Congress commissioned the U.S. Mint to design and create the medal specifically honoring Dr. Borlaug and was awarded in 2007.

In 2009, Dr. Borlaug passed away. As a way for us to honor his legacy, I wrote a letter calling on the Iowa Legislature and governor to begin the required procedures for a Dr. Norman Borlaug statue to be displayed in the U.S. Capitol. I also asked the six other members of the Iowa delegation in the U.S. Congress to sign the letter.

An act of Congress in 1864 allows each state to provide two statues of notable citizens for display in the Capitol. In 2000, Congress passed legislation allowing states to replace the statues if a resolution to do so is approved by a state’s legislature and governor. Norman Borlaug is one of the most accomplished Iowans in the history of our state I was ready to work with any of Iowa’s elected leaders to move the process to honor Dr. Borlaug forward and grant him a place in National Statuary Hall.

In 2011, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed the joint Borlaug statue resolution and a copy was sent to the Architect of the Capitol. In 2012, The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced that the state-appointed Dr. Norman E. Borlaug statue committee selected artist Benjamin Victor to create a sculpture of Dr. Borlaug for display in the U.S. Capitol. This past week was the 100th Anniversary of Dr. Borlaug’s birth (March 25th) and the day we dedicated and celebrated the unveiling of his statue in National Statuary Hall.

I greatly appreciate the work of Dr. Norman Borlaug. The continued work of my Congressional staff, Senator Chuck Grassley and his staff, and the Iowa Delegation played a large part in supporting the resolution that started in my office. I applaud the Iowa State Legislature and Governor Branstad for passing the Joint Resolution and commissioning the statue creation.

On the 25th of March, 2014 we celebrated the legacy of Dr. Norman Borlaug with a statue in National Statuary Hall that will stand as long as the Republic. To see my efforts come together over these many years is heartening. I can think of no better man, no more deserving Iowan, to be honored like this.
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Statue Unveiling Highlights Events Honoring Iowan Who Saved More than 1 Billion People from Starvation

2014/03/21

Washington, DC – The unveiling of a new statue in the National Statuary Hall Collection of one of the greatest humanitarians and scientists will highlight two days of events to honor Iowan Norman Borlaug, the Iowa congressional delegation said today.  The statue unveiling is on Tuesday, March 25, at 11 a.m. (ET).

Borlaug is one of only five people to have been honored with the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Medal of Honor.  A renowned agricultural scientist, born and raised in Cresco, Iowa, Borlaug is often recognized for eradicating famine in Mexico, India and Pakistan during the mid-20th century with his development of a disease-resistant, high-yielding wheat.  He is known as the Father of the Green Revolution and credited with saving more than 1 billion people from starvation in developing countries.
            
“Dr. Borlaug’s efforts to advance biotechnology and agronomy vastly improved the levels of food security in nations around the world.  He was an extraordinary man, with a brilliant vision, and the common sense and commitment to turn his dreams into reality.  He inspired future generations of scientists and farmers to innovate and lift those mired in poverty, all while never forgetting his Iowa roots that started the journey,” Senator Chuck Grassley said.

“Dr. Borlaug surveyed a world where starvation and malnourishment were rampant. And he had a vision–a vision for a Green Revolution,” said Senator Tom Harkin.  “Dr. Borlaug’s mission to alleviate hunger and human suffering, improve quality of life around the globe, and foster peace will benefit people for generations to come.  The statue to be unveiled and dedicated this week will preserve that mission in the halls of the U.S. Capitol and serve as a reminder to all who pass by that one person really can make a difference.”

“To see the effort I started in 2009 to honor Dr. Borlaug come full circle is heartening. His lifetime of selfless contributions to mankind have earned him this honor in the nation’s Capitol Building. Dr. Borlaug's work has saved billions of lives across the globe from starvation, and I can think of no better example of a great Iowan to the millions of people who visit the Capitol each year," Congressman Tom Latham said.

“It was a privilege to get to know Dr. Borlaug personally. He was humble, engaged, and inspiring all at the same time. It is a memorable honor to help bring his statue to our Nation’s Capitol. Now millions of Americans can be part of celebrating a life so well lived. I look forward to the unveiling in the US Capitol and the continuing story of the greatness of Dr. Borlaug. He was an inspiration to me when I met him, and his story will soon serve as an inspiration to all who visit the Capitol,” Congressman Steve King said.

“Norman Borlaug had a combination of ingenuity, intelligence, and compassion that represents the very best of Iowa,” said Congressman Bruce Braley.  “He improved the lives of billions of people around the world and I’m proud his statue will be representing Iowa in the United States Capitol.”

“The world is a better place because of Norman Borlaug’s efforts to feed the hungry and promote peace. From growing up in a small agricultural town in Iowa boasting a one room schoolhouse to saving one billion lives by fathering the ‘Green Revolution,’ Norman Borlaug is a true American pioneer. I look forward to joining my fellow Iowans in honoring all of the work he has accomplished,” Congressman Dave Loebsack said.

The statue unveiling will be held in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol on March 25, which is also National Ag Day and the 100th anniversary of Borlaug’s birth.  Events on Monday, March 24, include a media availability with the sculptor and Iowa political leaders, a reception for any interested parties, and a dinner banquet.  Following the statue unveiling, which can be seen live on www.speaker.gov/live, a reception will be held in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.  More information about the events is at www.iowaborlaugstatue.org

The statue of Borlaug will join others in the collection that honors men and women who are, according to the 1864 law creating the collection, “illustrious for their historic renown or for distinguished civic or military services such as each state may deem to be worthy.”  Each state was invited to contribute two statues to be housed in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.  The collection, now totaling 100 statues, is currently located throughout the U.S. Capitol and the Capitol Visitor Center

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Ensuring Quality Health Care for Seniors

2014/03/16

Dear friend,

For too long, our nation’s seniors have been forced into a position where their health care provider’s uncertainty has caused them to stop seeing those who use Medicare. In rural states like Iowa, this involves a majority of patients and reduced health care options and choices is just as problematic as health care denied.

The nation’s Medicare program has been using the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) system that was enacted in 1997 to attempt to control health care spending. This system has failed to work as it was intended and it has caused American taxpayers to continually lose access to the Medicare healthcare program that they have been paying into their whole lives and plan to rely on for retirement security.

This is wrong and the SGR needs to be repealed.

This past Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 4015, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014. This bi-partisan solution prevents a 24% cut in Medicare payments to health care providers and rewards them for high quality service.

The legislation provides for a final SGR “fix” and replaces the Medicare health care provider reimbursement system by moving it towards a quality – not quantity - of service based system. This policy reforms the short term patches from years of pushing the problem down the road and transitions to a new common sense system based on rewarding health care provider performance, alternative payment models, and expands the use of Medicare data for transparency and quality improvement.

The House passed solution is also fiscally responsible because it is fully paid for by delaying the individual mandate tax penalty in President Obama’s new health care law for the next five years. This delay results in a nearly $21 billion net deficit reduction according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

I have always favored and worked for a permanent solution to this problem that repeals or replaces the flawed SGR formula. As a co-sponsor of this legislation, my hope is that the United States Senate will understand the importance of this legislation to America’s seniors and the stability of the Medicare health care program on which they rely.

Best Wishes,

 

P.S. Read H.R. 4015 for yourself here: http://beta.congress.gov/113/bills/hr4015/BILLS-113hr4015ih.pdf  and offer your thoughts and comments with one of my staff members at one of our upcoming Traveling Help Desks (put in the official website help desk page address instead of the facebook page  http://latham.house.gov/constituentservices/travelinghelp.htm )  Read More

Latham Votes to Ensure Quality Healthcare for Seniors

2014/03/14

Washington, DC - Iowa Congressman Tom Latham voted to pass H.R. 4015, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014.  “This bi-partisan solution prevents a 24% cut in Medicare payments to physicians and rewards doctors based on good performance” said Congressman Latham.

“For too long, our nation’s seniors have been forced into a position where doctor’s uncertainty has caused them to stop seeing those who use Medicare. In rural states like Iowa this involves a majority of patients, and our seniors have been paying into this system their whole lives just to be denied service and it is wrong.”

“I have always favored a permanent solution that repeals or replaces the flawed SGR formula. As a co-sponsor, I urge those in the Senate to pass this legislation so our physicians can regain a sense of stability and predictability regarding their participation in the Medicare program and Iowans have confidence that they can use the services they deserve.”

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U.S. House Approves Republican Measure to Reduce Home Heating Costs

2014/03/06

Washington, DC - Whether you heat your home with natural gas, electricity, or propane, heating costs are on the rise this cold winter season.  Hardworking Americans who are still experiencing a long struggling economy are not looking forward to opening their monthly energy bill.  For most, it is the one surprise they want to avoid.

The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure this week to keep energy prices and steep fluctuations in prices down by cutting bureaucratic red tape that has restricted access to greater supplies of energy resources in America. The House passed H.R. 2641, the Responsibly and Professional Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act streamlining federal approval of construction products, including energy and natural gas infrastructure. The measure also promotes wind and natural gas projects already identified in 2011 that will create more abundant energy supplies here at home.

“Iowa families have been hit hard by both harsh winter temperatures and outrageous energy prices when heating their homes,” said Latham.  “This common sense solution clears the Washington roadblocks that have prevented the completion of a diverse energy infrastructure.  Projects that will increase the supply of American controlled energy resources and lower the home heating bills of struggling Iowans.”

The legislation now awaits approval by the U.S. Senate before it can go to President Obama for his signature.

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Latham Votes To Keep Flood Insurance Rates From Rising

2014/03/04

Washington DC - Today, Iowa Congressman Latham voted to halt rising flood insurance rates in Iowa. The US House of Representatives approved the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (H.R. 3370) helping to protect homeowners from unreasonable and unrealistic premium increases and delays the implementation of certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

Currently, Iowans who bought a home with subsidized insurance after July 6, 2012 have to pay full-risk rates without clarity from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The new act provides refunds for the people who purchased pre-FIRM subsidized homes without the full transparency from FEMA.
 
The act ensures that the National Flood Insurance Program is fully funded to effectively ensure taxpayers can handle super storms. It also includes affordability measures such as high deductible options, flood-proofed basement exemptions, map certification, flood protection funding recognition, optional monthly installment plans, exceptions on escrow requirements, and removing the funding cap on the affordability study.

The act also rolls back to grandfathered rates for those who built to code and to standard of existing flood insurance rate maps and permanently removes the home sale/ new policy rate increase trigger for primary residences so that purchasers of a home are treated the same as those selling it.

The passage of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act represents a true effort to contest unaffordable flood insurance that devastates home values, small businesses, and entire communities across the country and repeal unintended consequences of prior actions.

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Making Government More Responsive To We The People

2014/02/28

Dear Friend:

Finding smarter ways to deliver good services and products is the American tradition.  Henry Ford did it with the automobile assembly line and Steve Jobs did it with the home computer.

If they want to be successful, businesses do not have the luxury of being inefficient.  We expect this of our employers, ourselves, so why wouldn’t we expect this same standard of our government? This week the Republican led U.S. House of Representatives debated and approved a number of common sense measures that protect hardworking taxpayers and their tax dollars with smarter approaches to government.

My service to Iowans in Congress has been built upon a foundation of my belief that we must always be looking for ways to identify and cut waste – and find better ways to solve problems and deliver services.  Measures we considered and approved this week further build on that foundation through transparency and common sense.

We protected the property rights of hardworking taxpayers from the growing abuse of eminent domain powers being used by state and local governments.  The Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 1944) gives landowners standing against the use of eminent domain being used to take private property and giving it to another private entity.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has for too long operated in intrusive ways to individual taxpayers. We approved legislation this week that requires the IRS to tell taxpayers when they share their personal information with another government agency. We also place a time limit on how long an individual can be subjected to an IRS Audit in the Taxpayer Transparency and Efficient Audit Act (H.R. 2350). Our legislation will prevent the IRS from inquiring about an individual’s religious, political, or social beliefs in the Protect Taxpayers from Intrusive IRS Requests Act (H.R. 2531).

We also approved the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act (H.R. 1423) which requires  federal agencies to provide the American people  with an annual report card on all of its programs, detailing  administrative costs and staffing information, expenditures for services, and the number of recipients in each program that agency administers . This bill gives taxpayers a transparent, no nonsense report so that individuals can decide for themselves if an agency is effectively serving the people who pay their bills.

While this may be my final year representing my Iowa neighbors in Congress, I will fight until my last day in Washington to do my part to make our federal government smarter, less wasteful, more responsive and transparent to and for all the people.  Iowans expect this of ourselves and we should demand the same of our government.

Sincerely,

 
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Iowa Congressman Tom Latham Joins Bipartisan Effort To Protect Seniors From High Unexpected Medical Costs

2014/02/11

Des Moines, IA - Iowa Congressman Tom Latham highlighted his support for bipartisan and bicameral legislation that protects America’s seniors by ending a punishing Medicare policy that is causing seniors to unknowingly be hit with large, unfair costs after receiving necessary post-acute medical care.

Currently Medicare policy dictates that a patient must have an inpatient hospital stay of at least three days in order for Medicare to cover post-hospitalization nursing care.  Patients that receive hospital care on "observation status" do not qualify for this benefit and they get billed, even if their hospital stay lasts longer than three days.

"While in a hospital, seniors should only have to concentrate on getting better," said Latham.  "They shouldn't have to worry about huge medical bills threatening their life savings because of quirks created by complicated Medicare policies,” said Latham.  “This bipartisan legislation is proof that this is not a political issue – but an issue of healthcare fairness for America’s seniors.”

The bill that Latham has cosponsored in the House with Democratic Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney, H.R. 1179 the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act, would allow for the time patients spend in the hospital under observation status to count toward the 3-day hospital stay for coverage of skilled nursing care, and hence, be covered by Medicare.

H.R. 1179 has companion legislation, S.569, introduced in the United States Senate by Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

“I am proud to join with Congressman Courtney and Senator Brown to protect seniors from this ongoing problem.  This legislation and effort is a positive sign that even those from different political parties can set aside their differences to find common ground solutions to the concerns all Medicare participants share.”

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Contact Information

2217 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5476
Fax 202-225-3301
tomlatham.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Appropriations

Tom Latham came to Washington with a vision of changing the way Washington works and changing the work that Washington does. Latham, a ten-term Republican, has represented the people of Iowa since January of 1995.

Latham, 65, knows the Iowa traditions of hard work, community service, and strong values very well because it is where he was born, raised, and educated. He grew up and raised his family near Alexander, Iowa, a town of 168 people. He is a farmer and a small business owner. Tom, along with two of his brothers, ran Latham Seeds, the family seed company that his father started in 1947. Today, the company is operated by Congressman Latham’s niece and nephews, making them the third generation of the family to run the company.

Congressman Latham and his wife, Kathy, have three adult children: Justin, Jennifer, and Jill.  They also have one granddaughter, Emerson, and four grandsons named Jack, Keaton, Mason and Carson.

Since his very first day in Congress, Tom Latham has been dedicated to the ideals of change in Washington. His Iowa values and common sense are a testament to the work he strives to accomplish, such as the promotion of individual liberty, economic opportunity, personal responsibility, and a smaller and smarter federal government.

Latham, the Dean of Iowa’s delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives, has established himself in Washington as a champion of fiscal responsibility. One Iowa newspaper proclaimed that Latham is “a fiscal conservative who not only talks the talk but walks the walk when it comes to spending he controls.” His work in Congress has also been noted with awards and recognition by several budget, taxpayer, senior, agriculture, small business, and anti-government waste advocacy groups.

He is Iowa’s only member of the House Appropriations Committee, considered to be one of the most influential in Congress. Through his work on the committee, Latham has provided significant support for Iowa’s homeland security first-responders, law enforcement, the Iowa National Guard, transportation projects, agriculture, environmental and public education initiatives, health care, community, and economic and small business development. Congressman Latham serves as the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.  He also serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

Tom Latham believes in this country and her people. He sees a great future in a nation that protects individual freedom and responsibility over that of an intrusive federal government that spends beyond its means. Congressman Latham believes if we hold to these values, America’s greatest days are yet to be seen.


Serving With

Steve King

IOWA's 4th DISTRICT

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