Dave Loebsack

Rep. Dave Loebsack is shown being interviewed inside Cedar Falls Utilities on Wednesday, January 14, 2015. Loebsack was one of many in attendance to hear President Barack Obama speak about wider access to broadband internet and its importance in the economy. (The Daily Iowan/Sergio Flores)

Rep. Dave Loebsack is shown being interviewed inside Cedar Falls Utilities on Wednesday, January 14, 2015. Loebsack was one of many in attendance to hear President Barack Obama speak about wider access to broadband internet and its importance in the economy. (The Daily Iowan/Sergio Flores)

By Maria Curi | maria-curi@uiowa.edu

When Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, reflects on the highlights of his fifth term, he thinks about the legislative opportunities working in the Energy and Commerce Committee has given him.

One such opportunity is the bipartisan passing of the Rural Spectrum Accessibility Act, which led to the expansion

Dave Loebsack Age: 63 Lives: Iowa City Education: Undergraduate and master’s degree at Iowa State University; Ph.D. at University of California-Davis Family: Wife, Terry, and four children

Dave Loebsack
Age: 63
Hometown: Sioux City
Education: Undergraduate and master’s degree at Iowa State University; Ph.D. at University of California-Davis
Family: Wife, Terry, and four children

of broadband and Internet accessibility in rural areas. The purpose of the act was to propel economic growth and provide means of communication for Iowans and others in rural areas.

Loebsack no longer serves on the House Armed Services Committee, but he is still active in veterans’ affairs and notes the Never Again Act he introduced as another highlight of his fifth term. The act would ensure that veterans who seek mental-health care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would get it.

Loebsack has served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee since 2015, advocating for renewable energy. In particular, Loebsack is a big proponent of wind energy, which makes up roughly 30 percent of electricity produced in Iowa and generates 6,000-7,000 jobs.

Overall, Loebsack’s favorite aspect of his time in office has been individual constituent work.

“More than the work I do in D.C., I have an even greater appreciation for folks at the local level,” Loebsack said.

Before kicking off his career as a politician in 2006, Loebsack was a political-science professor at Cornell College, a small liberal arts school in Mount Vernon, Iowa. The Sioux City native grew up in poverty, and when he was in fourth grade, he moved in with his grandmother.

“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for public education, financial aid for college, and the Social Security my grandmother used to raise me,” Loebsack said. He attributes these government programs to his success and finds it crucial that everyone has access to them.

In regards to his experience on the campaign trail, Loebsack said he can “sense the excitement for Democrats up and down the ticket.”