Tom Latham

Tom Latham


Helping Iowa Students Achieve College Dream


To graduate from college is a celebrated accomplishment.  However, years of hard work culminate in a degree that often comes with a high price tag. To complicate things further, our broken tax codes add obstacles and make it difficult for Americans to truly plan for the cost of college.

H.R. 3393, the American Opportunity Tax Credit,  brings the American student a simplified solution.  It takes the 15 overlapping provisions and 90 pages of IRS instructions of the current American Opportunity Tax Credit, the Hope Scholarship Credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit, and the college tuition deduction and consolidates it into one simplified credit. It also allows Pell Grants to be used for more expenses, including room and board, without triggering additional tax liability.

“This legislation represents a true bipartisan collaboration in the U.S. House. Reducing the amount of bureaucratic red-tape helps students get the assistance they need without endless paperwork. I am proud to vote for H.R. 3393 which has bipartisan support and will give American students an easier route to increased opportunities and their American dream.“ said Congressman Latham.

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Making the Government Work Smart


Dear Friend,

Washington has piled a mountain of debt on our children and grandchildren during the spending binge of the last several years.  It’s absolutely critical that we use every tool at our disposal to end the out-of-control spending and borrowing.  Too many agencies, including the VA, do not provide effective or efficient services and continually waste taxpayer’s dollars. The announcement that over 57,000 veterans are currently waiting for their first appointment at the VA is appalling. This problem is systemic and shines light on a larger, more pervasive problem in the federal government: It wastes too much.

The vast scope of the federal government creates plenty of opportunities for waste, fraud and duplication to gum up the works and make government less efficient and more costly.  Sprawling federal bureaucracies with budgets that only seem to grow year after year make it increasingly difficult for taxpayers to even gain an understanding of just how much of their hard-earned money is wasted every year. We must do everything we can to make sure every single tax dollar is spent wisely. 

That’s why I’ve introduced legislation that would cut waste in every sector of the federal government and bring light into some of the darkest corners of the bureaucratic maze, HR. 5064, The Lean and Responsive Government Act

When veterans wait an unnecessarily long time to see a doctor, when agencies waste their time, they very well may be taking the only time the veteran has left. That time is precious to anyone who wants to see their loved ones or just enjoy a life they have fought hard for.

A coordinated and innovative approach to improve process speed, reduce waste, and incorporate data-driven analysis could save hundreds of billions of tax dollars and drastically improve government services, and that’s exactly what my Lean and Responsive Government Act would do.

Politicians have promised to cut waste for decades, but those pledges have almost always amounted to little more than lip service.  However, my legislation is different, and here is why:
This legislation centers around continuous process improvement methods that reduce waste and improve effectiveness.  The goals of a continuous process improvement operation are to drastically reduce defects, mistakes, and variation. Agencies will put taxpayers first and constantly use data to evaluate its results.

The process already proves successful in the government entities that use it, including NASA and State governments.  The Lean and Responsive Government Act requires the chief operating officer of every federal agency to implement these continuous process improvement techniques and include information on their efforts in an annual report to Congress.  

Unlike any successful company or business, the federal government does not operate under an overarching strategic plan.  Instead, the government operates under hundreds of individual operating plans for each agency.  The result is a vast and chaotic alphabet soup of agencies and programs that often duplicate services and sometimes compete with one another.  The Lean and Responsive Government Act would provide the federal government with a unified and consistent method for reducing the duplication and wasted resources.  

We can save massive sums of money by cutting waste and making government services more efficient.  Waste, fraud, abuse, and duplication gobble up hundreds of billions of tax dollars every year and can cause taxpayers to wait for services that may be life saving.

On one hand, we have a federal government that is piling up debt faster than at any point in our history and is so inefficient that veterans may die while waiting for care or trying to navigate the bureaucracy. 

On the other hand, the federal government wastes hundreds of billions of dollars every year through inefficiency and mismanagement that has destroyed American's faith in the federal government.  We simply can’t afford to lose so many tax dollars to waste. 

American taxpayers don't have an unlimited amount of time or money and neither does the federal government. That’s why I’ve introduced the Lean and Responsive Government Act.  With these innovative processes, we can significantly reduce wasted money and services, and reign in the new "fourth branch of government":  the sprawling federal bureaucracy.

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Latham Introduces Bipartisan Government Improvement Bill


This week, Congressman Tom Latham's efforts to craft legislation aimed at making the government more efficient was introduced in the US House of Representatives. This bipartisan measure - H.R. 5064, The Lean and Responsive Government Act, takes continuous process improvement measures successfully employed by state governments and small businesses across the country, and requires them to be adopted within the federal government.

Specifically, the bill calls for agencies to implement continuous process improvement methods, which are steps that require agencies to set clear, measurable goals, analytically evaluate overly bureaucratic systems, and reduce Washington red-tape in a sustainable manner.

Once federal departments and agencies universally implement these methods, it will result in improved performance and a better utilization of American tax dollars.  Embracing this approach empowers departments and agencies to take innovative steps to reduce waste in their organizations and apply those resources to other priorities without requiring additional funds.

"Washington has long needed measures that force government agencies to operate in an efficient and effective manner. My Lean and Responsive Government Act builds on the government reform efforts established by Congressman Henry Cuellar’s Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010, and ties continuous process improvement to the annual Congressional budgetary requests for each federal agency.  Many state governments, small and large businesses, and organizations take process improvement seriously, and it is time to for federal agencies to do the same," said Latham.

"I am pleased to join Congressman Tom Latham as an original co-sponsor of the Lean & Responsive Government Act,” said Congressman Cuellar. “This legislation builds off of the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act, which I authored in 2010 to raise the standard of government efficiency and accountability.  Today’s bill further raises the standard that taxpayers expect of the federal government and I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress to ensure a responsive and effective government.” 

Currently, this legislation has been sent to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.


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Latham Urges Action To Lift DRC Adoption Ban


The inter-country adoption situation between the United States and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has recently been suspended. As of September 2013, the DRC suspended issuing exit permits for Congolese children who were adopted by United States citizens.  Additionally, in a relatively recent development, the Congolese authorities have placed restrictions and/or stopped issuing visas to U.S. families who wish to visit their legally adopted children in the Congo.

Today, the House passed with bipartisan support H.Res 588 - Concerning the suspension of exit permit issuance by the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo for adopted Congolese children seeking to depart the country with their adoptive parents - co-sponsored by Congressman Latham. The resolution requests that the Congolese government resume processing adoption cases and issuing exit permits, prioritize the processing of inter-country adoptions which were initiated before the suspension, and expedite the adoption processing of medically fragile children.

"As an adoptive father myself, this matter takes on a personal note for me.  My heart breaks for both parent and child who, by no fault of their own, have been caught up in this unfortunate situation.  The governmental interference by the DRC must end and these families must be united.  These families simply desire the ability to provide the love and care for each other that they deserve" said Latham

"As a father and a Congressman, I am proud to co-sponsor H.Res 588, and I have written a letter also urging the State Department to increase its engagement with the DRC and get this suspension lifted as soon as possible."

Congressman Latham's letter to Secretary of State, John Kerry, was sent last month urging him to take every step possible in getting the adoption ban lifted. Read More

Iowan to Head USDA Center For Nutrition Policy and Promotion


The US Department of Agriculture announced that Angie Tagtow, MS, RD, LD will be the next Executive Director for the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion within USDA. This appointed position reports to USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon.

Ms. Tagtow received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dietetics and a minor in chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa. She received a Master of Science degree in Family and Consumer Sciences Education from Iowa State University.

Angie currently serves as Senior Fellow, Endowed Chair for the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, a Food Systems consultant and founder of Environmental Nutrition Solutions, LLC. She also serves on the Iowa Department of Public Health and is the Managing Editor - Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition.

As the new Executive Director of USDA for the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Angie Tagtow said, “It is truly an honor to be appointed as Executive Director and I’m thrilled to work with the outstanding staff at the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion for the USDA. To assist with spearheading dietary guidance and be connected with many important programs that provide healthy food access to the entire country is a thrill as a dietitian. I especially look forward to shaping key nutrition education messages and the launch of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2015."

Congressman Latham added, "I am especially proud to be able to support Angie for this important position. She truly represents the hardworking spirit of Iowa and will do great things for the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion."


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Tom Latham: Let Veterinarians Work Without Extra Washington Red Tape


When veterinarians have to treat animals on the farm, or away from their office, current law requires them to register with the Department of Justice first, and then register for each place they use powerful medicines.

Today the House passed a bi-partisan measure, H.R. 1528 - The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act that eliminates double requirements for veterinarians to have a separate registrations in order to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice away from the office, as long as the dispensing site is located in a state where the veterinarian is licensed to practice.

Congressman Latham said that, "The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act gets Washington out of the way and lets the veterinarian treat animals on the farm or away from the office without wasteful paperwork. I’m a proud co-sponsor of this measure that allows taxpayers to live their lives and run their businesses without Washington constantly requiring them to fill out unneeded or wasteful paperwork. This is another step in reigning in Washington bureaucrats that put paperwork before people".  Read More

Celebrate Independence Day


Dear Friend,

Happy Independence Day!

I hope for an America that continues to celebrate the foundational principles of freedom.

As we celebrate this country that turns a year older this week, I hope we think of the Founding Fathers and the great risk they took in declaring independence in July of 1776. Our great experiment in liberty and independence has continued to stand the test of time and the freedoms we celebrate remain as timeless now as that summer day in 1776.

I hope as we get ready to enjoy some time with our family and friends, parades, barbecue and fireworks over the Fourth of July holiday, that you’ll take a moment to remember the reason we celebrate – and to thank those who have sacrificed the most to safeguard our freedoms.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” 

This statement concisely sums up the core principles of what we believe as Americans. The sentiments expressed in this single sentence from the Declaration of Independence have motivated ordinary Americans to accomplish great things and make tremendous sacrifices, all in an effort to make sure future generations of Americans have the freedom to determine their own path.

However, I hope that we don’t lose sight of the profound importance of our freedoms in all the fireworks and parades.  I hope that we recognize and thank the men and women who have given the most to protect our freedom.

In all of my hopes, I know that no one has done more to advance the cause of liberty than our veterans and those who are currently serving in the military.  I hope that on a day when we celebrate our independence and our freedom, you believe it’s fitting that we also remember the incredible sacrifices they have made.  The Fourth of July is a time for patriotism, and there are no greater patriots than those who have served in the armed forces.

I wish you a happy, safe and fun Fourth of July.  Enjoy the celebrations and time with friends, family and neighbors.  But let’s also remember why we celebrate.  Let’s remind ourselves that we must cherish and protect our freedoms and let’s remember to thank those who have sacrificed to defend our liberty.

Best Wishes,

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Supreme Court: President’s Health Care Law Encroaches On Freedoms Of American People


The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it has struck down a mandate created by President Obama’s new health care law ruling that companies cannot be forced to offer insurance coverage that includes types of birth control that would violate the employer's religious beliefs.

“The highest court in the land confirmed again today that President Obama’s new health care law encroaches on the freedoms of the American people.  This is another set-back in a law that, while it may have been well intentioned, is clearly hurting more people than it is helping.  Americans are concerned that the Administration and Democrats in Congress continue to fully embrace a poorly written law, passed in the dead of night by legislators who had no clue what was in it.  The good news is that Republicans are dedicated to replacing the failed parts of the law with better solutions that deliver better results for patient-centered health care reform for all Americans" said Congressman Latham about the decision.

Congressman Latham has introduced the H.R. 3165 – the Common Sense Health Reform Americans Actually Want Act that repeals and replaces the President's 2010 health care law. Latham's legislation provides common sense ways to guarantee coverage of preexisting conditions, cover the uninsured and ensure affordable access for millions of Americans.

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Congressman Latham Co-Sponsors Amendment To Keep Six Day Mail Delivery


Iowa Congressman Tom Latham today announced that he will co-sponsor an amendment with Representative José Serrano (D-NY) to the FY2015 House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act that maintains six day delivery for the U.S. Postal Service.

“While the USPS absolutely needs to continue steps to improve cost saving measures, those steps should not come at the expense of providing for the Iowans and all other Americans who rely upon routine postal delivery. Last year, I joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in sending a letter to Post Master General Donahue explaining how important six day mail delivery is for those who live in rural areas and those who receive lifesaving medicines on Saturdays - that fact has not changed. I am also concerned about any proposals that could eliminate small town post offices or hurt those rural business that rely on Saturday mail."

"The US Postal Service must take a hard look at methods to improve their efficiency in efforts to save money and retain invaluable services. Moving to a five day mail delivery is not the answer" said Latham. Read More

Higher Energy Costs - No Thank You


Dear Friend,

Young Iowans are the future of our state. One of my most important duties as your Representative is to ensure that the voices of young Iowans are heard and that we act to not saddle our youth with higher energy costs. I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet and talk to some fantastic young leaders over the years and this year has been no exception.

Iowa 4-H programs continually serve as a positive impact in the lives of students. I learned many valuable lessons as a member myself.

Iowa's Future Farmers of America (FFA) gives young students agriculture education that many schools no longer provide in their normal curriculum. FFA's mission to provide agriculture education and promote careers in farming are invaluable to America.


Iowa's Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, through the Iowa Electric Cooperatives' Youth Tour of Washington D.C., sent three high school students from the district to Washington. Their questions were innovative and offer a glimpse into the bright future of the youth of Iowa.

The youth of Iowa are the future of the state. It is our responsibility to continue to renew and revitalize the American economy through innovation, effective, and efficient uses of our home grown resources so our students and families can afford to go to school or start a career.

With fuel prices set to rise this summer, responsible energy policies is a must to alleviate the middle class squeeze. Every penny counts to many families and I will continue to vote for responsible energy policies even if the White House refuses to compromise based on their political agenda.

The House has already passed a number of measures that will lower the cost of utilities, gasoline, and other energy costs this year:

-Increasing our access to North American energy by approving the Keystone pipeline (H.R. 3),

-prohibiting the EPA from issuing regulations that threaten to close portions of our electric generation capabilities (H.R.  3826), and

-requiring the EPA to take into consideration the impact of certain “high-cost” regulations are energy prices and prohibit regulations which would adversely impact the economy (H.R. 1582).

As many of you know, I have always been for an all of the above energy policy that utilizes responsible energy exploration and efficient uses of American sources of energy. As we look to tackle a number of pro-energy measures in the House this upcoming week, I will continue to work to ensure that energy is affordable for Iowans and we do not saddle our youth with higher energy costs.
Best Wishes,

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Contact Information

2217 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5476
Fax 202-225-3301

Committee Assignments


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


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