Bruce Braley was born in Grinnell, Iowa, and grew up in Brooklyn, Iowa. He earned a bachelor's degree from Iowa State University and a law degree from the University of Iowa.
Braley began practicing law in 1983 with a Waterloo firm, Dutton, Braun, Staack and Helman, and has argued numerous civil law cases during his career.
He is a former head of the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association and has served on the Democratic Party's platform committee. He also served as regional director for former Sen. John Edwards' 2004 presidential campaign, and he endorsed Edwards in 2008 before ultimately supporting then-Sen. Barack Obama.
Braley was elected to the U.S. House in 2006.
He and his wife, Carolyn, have three children.
Bruce Braley, who was first elected to Congress in 2006, has worked mainly behind the scenes helping to draft legislation and shape Democratic platforms at the local, state and national levels.
He has earned a reputation as a hard worker in the House, taking on a number of legislative projects that benefit Iowa's 1st District.
In a June 2012 letter, Braley encouraged House leaders of both parties to come together to pass the Food, Farms and Jobs Bill.
"The uncertainty surrounding the farm bill is affecting business investments and decisions across rural America. It's critically important that we get to work passing a farm bill so we can provide stability and certainty in the agriculture economy. Millions of American jobs depend on it," he says.
Braley was an early skeptic of the Iraq war, and in May 2012 called for the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
Braley pushed in 2009 for increased funding for flood recovery in his district, and has been an outspoken advocate for improving and expanding passenger rail service between Davenport and Chicago.
He has worked to steer more federal money to small businesses, and has given special attention to disaster relief and the aftermath of a 2008 immigration raid in Postville.
Braley voted in 2008 against the initial $700 billion Wall Street bailout package because he said it did not include enough protections for small-town, "main street" Americans. He supported a revised version of the bill.
He has called for expanding health care coverage to all, particularly children.
Braley founded the Populist Caucus in the House, which has grown to more than two dozen members.
In the 2008 presidential race, he endorsed former Sen. John Edwards in the 2008 presidential race before switching his endorsement to then-Sen. Barack Obama after Edwards dropped out.
Braley says individual states have the right to define marriage, especially between homosexuals. At the same time, he says lawmakers should do more to protect people and provide equal opportunities for everyone.
On abortion, he believes the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision is settled law and that government should be kept from infringing on the decisions of women. He supports policies aimed at reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies.
Braley serves on the Oversight and Government Reform and the Veterans' Affairs committees.
Many view Braley to be a future contender for higher office. He is a close ally of Sen. Tom Harkin and has helped Harkin organize in his district. Many of the key strategists who have helped Harkin also work for Braley, and the two often campaign as a team, leading many to believe that Braley will be the chosen candidate when Harkin decides to leave office.
Committee Assignments: Veterans' Affairs; Oversight and Government Reform
American Conservative Union Rating: 4
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 80
Bruce Braley is not seeking re-election in Iowa's 1st Congressional District. Braley won his June 2014 primary for Iowa's Senate seat, he will face Joni Ernst in November.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on June 11, 2014.)