Tom Latham

Tom Latham


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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VA Accountability Does Not Stop With Secretary Shinseki's Resignation


The President announced that The Department of Veterans Affairs, Secretary Eric Shinseki, has resigned in the wake of reports of preventable veteran deaths and "secret" waiting lists that were intended to conceal the lengthy wait times for patients.

"Secretary Shinseki's resignation  is a good first step in establishing accountability at the VA. However, his resignation is not the answer to the over-arching and far reaching systemic problems at the bureacratic VA. There must be changes within the culture of the VA, significant changes that hold those accountable who do not put the veteran above their own person gain. I will not let the failure of the VA be forgotten and I will continue to push for real change at the VA," said Congressman Latham.

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Tom Latham Calls on VA Secretary to Resign


“Government leaders must be accountable to the American people they serve.  I believe that since Secretary Shinseki refuses to hold those in his agency accountable for mismanagement and horrendous mistakes then he has to be held accountable.  In light of the information I have now seen, I join the growing number of my colleagues  on both sides of the political aisle in calling for him to step down," said Congressman Tom Latham.

An interim report released this week by the VA OIG “identified about 1,400 veterans who did not have a primary care appointment but were appropriately included on the Phoenix Health Care System’s [electronic waiting list].  However, [the report] identified an additional 1,700 veterans who were waiting for a primary care appointment but were not on the list. The report “confirmed that inappropriate scheduling practices are systemic throughout VHA.” Despite calls for the resignation from many Congressmen, Senators, and fellow Veterans, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs - Eric Shinseki - has not resigned.
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Honoring Those Who Sacrafice


Dear Friend,

To observe Memorial Day is to call to mind the collective memories we share of those Americans who sacrificed everything for our country and our freedom.  These individuals were everyday Americans – our friends, our family and our neighbors – who took on extraordinary challenges and made the ultimate sacrifice.  

They did it because it was right. They sacrificed because they wanted a brighter future for every single one of us.  They did it because they knew in their hearts that the United States of America – this great experiment born in liberty and justice – was worth giving everything they had.

If we don’t remember them, who will?          

Iowa’s proud history is full of heroes who served our country stretching all the way to the earliest days of our state. Every major America conflict of the 20th and 21st centuries has born witness to ordinary Iowans making extraordinary sacrifices.  On Memorial Day, I think it’s appropriate to take a few moments to recall some of these great patriots who fell in the line of duty.

Merle Hay is a name familiar to virtually everyone who has lived in the Des Moines area for any length of time because of the road and landmarks that have been named after him. Hay grew up in Glidden and served in the trenches of France after the U.S. entered the Great War.  In the early morning of November 3, 1917, German forces raided Hay’s trench.  He fought valiantly with his bayonet in the dim light provided by flares, but, when the Germans withdrew, it was discovered that Hay was among three American casualties.

Darrell B. Lindsey, a native of Jefferson, led a formation of 30 B-26 bombers on a mission to destroy a strategically important enemy-held railroad bridge in France two months after D-Day in 1944.  His bomber encountered fierce anti-aircraft fire, and his right engine took a direct hit before the bombing run could be completed.

Lindsey continued to lead the formation toward the target.  Only after the bombing run had been completed did he order the crew of the aircraft to parachute to safety.  With no regard for his own life, he held the doomed plane in a steady glide long enough for the rest of the crew to jump.  Before he could evacuate, however, the gas tank exploded and his plane crashed.  He was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for his selfless heroism.

Sergeant First Class Junior D. Edwards, an Indianola native was also awarded a posthumous medal of honor.  After serving in World War II, he later re-enlisted in 1947.  His platoon was ordered to defend a strategically vital high ground in Korea in early 1951.  The platoon was forced out of its position by withering enemy machine-gun fire.  Edwards individually charged the hostile position with grenades three times.  His third charge enabled his platoon to regain its vital position on the high ground, but the final daring assault also resulted in Edwards taking mortal wounds.  Without his heroic sacrifice, an entire corps of South Korean troops likely would have been captured by communist forces.  

Then there’s 2nd Lieutenant Robert J. Hibbs, a graduate of Cedar Falls High School and the State College of Iowa.  Hibbs received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Vietnam.  While commanding an ambush patrol in a dense jungle area, Hibbs learned that a wounded American soldier was stranded between the two opposing forces.  Although he was near safety, he refused to leave a man behind.  Hibbs and another of his comrades attempted to rescue the stranded soldier.  While his partner dragged the wounded man back toward friendly lines, Hibbs laid down suppressing fire.  He was eventually struck down and succumbed to mortal wounds.    

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jaime Jaenke died in June 2006 when her Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb in the Al Anbar province in Iraq. A native of Iowa Falls, Jaenke was the first Iowa woman to lay down her life in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  

Army Sergeant Brent Maher, of Honey Creek, Iowa, made the ultimate sacrifice in April 2011 when the vehicle he was traveling in struck an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.  Both Jaenke and Maher left behind young children. Their stories remind us that the families of fallen servicemen and women must also bear a heartbreaking burden and are equally deserving of our thanks.

While we remember and honor the fallen Iowans I’ve just mentioned, we must also note that the pain that many veterans go through does not end on the battlefield. Their sacrifices can follow them and their family the rest of their lives.

The ones that support our veterans deserve a special thanks. Most of us continue to thank a uniformed soldier for his or her service. We also must thank a spouse, parent, child or sibling for their great sacrifice. Often times it is the family member that must continue to hold the memory of their fallen loved ones. This burden can follow family for a long time and that is the purpose of a Gold Star.
This Memorial Day, I want to take a moment to remind you what a Gold Star represents.
The U.S. Army has created a wonderful resource—not tied to any particular non-profit or advocacy group—to help explain the gold star to the public through a series of public service announcements and video vignettes. I invite you to visit to learn more.

No one has done more for the cause of freedom than those who gave up their lives in the service of our nation.  Veterans died because they selflessly assumed the responsibility of defending the United States of America.  Because of that, it’s our responsibility to make sure they are never forgotten. It is also our responsibility to continue to provide for veterans and their families that carry the scars of battle for a lifetime.

Because if we don’t take the time to remember and care for our veterans and families, who will?

Best Wishes,

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Contact Information

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Washington, DC 20515
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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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