New Braley ad touts military pay efforts

Iowa Senate hopeful Rep. Bruce Braley (D) has released his second ad in a week to highlight his work on behalf of U.S. service members. 

The new spot is another attempt by Braley to blunt criticism from his opponent, state Sen. Joni Ernst (R). A lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, the Republican nominee has slammed him for missing multiple hearings of the panel that supervises the Veterans Affairs Department. The agency has been racked for months by scandals over patient wait times.

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The ad, titled “Receive,” features veteran Todd Prichard, who served in the 133rd Infantry Unit of the Iowa National Guard.

He details his unit's 17-month long deployment during the Iraq War and the Defense Department’s failure to provide the extra compensation, or “respite pay,” it promised for the extended tour.

Braley spearheaded the effort to make sure the soldiers received the additional pay, Prichard, now a Democratic state representative, says in the 30-second spot.

“Bruce Braley went to bat for us and made sure that we were paid,” Prichard says in the ad that will run statewide. "He did this because he cared about us, because we were from Iowa. He fought for us and he got us results.” 

“As a veteran, I know what Bruce Braley did for me and my unit,” he adds. “He took care of us.”

The Republican Party of Iowa on Monday released a statement, blasting the congressman for voting against a 2012 defense appropriations bill that would have given soldiers a pay raise.

“During the same time period that he skipped 75 percent of the Veterans’ Affairs hearings, Washington liberal Bruce Braley voted against giving our brave men and women a pay increase,” party chairman Jeff Kaufmann said in a statement, noting that the Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) voted for the spending bill.

Braley's 'no' vote shows "why we can’t depend on him to standup for our active and retired members of the armed forces," according to Kaufmann.

This post was updated at 1:13 p.m.