Politics

Braley Flip-Flops on Military Operations in Iraq

Voted against combat in country, then said he supported airstrikes

U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley / AP

Rep. Bruce Braley (D., Iowa) voted against funding for U.S. combat operations in Iraq before he said he supported President Barack Obama’s military efforts in the country during the first Iowa Senate debate Sunday.

Braley tried to be tough on the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), saying he voted to authorize the airstrikes Obama ordered in Iraq and Syria. However, that vote never happened—lawmakers only approved a program to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels, not to perform airstrikes.

In June, Braley joined 141 Democrats in voting for an amendment that would have barred appropriations for any combat operations in Iraq. That amendment failed 165-250.

"After voting to prohibit funding to fight terrorists in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Congressman Braley falsely told Iowans that he voted for military strikes in the region," Republican Party of Iowa spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement. "There are only two explanations for this flip flop: either Congressman Braley intentionally misled Iowans about his national security record, or he actually voted on the most important foreign policy resolution to come before Congress this year without knowing what was in it.  Either explanation shows that Congressman Braley cannot be trusted on national security."

Republicans have also blasted Braley for voting against a pay raise for troops in July 2012 and missing more than three-fourths of full Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearings in 2011 and 2012.

Politifact rated Braley's claim that he voted to authorize airstrikes in Iraq and Syria "False" on Wednesday