Leonard Boswell

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This is a profile of a former U.S. Representative. (See the Iowa portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
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Leonard L. Boswell is a Democratic former member of the House of Representatives since 1997, representing the 3rd District of Iowa.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union 8 - 2/25 not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action 90 - 18/20 95 - 19/20
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce 60 - 12/20 not avail.

Iraq War

Boswell voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Health Issues

Boswell had a non-cancerous tumor removed from his stomach in 2005. The surgery and resulting recovery period caused him to be the most-absent member of congress for the year. Rumors circulated that Democrats were looking to replace him on the ballot for 2006's congressional race against Iowa GOP Senate leader Jeff Lamberti, but Boswell's return to work and apparent good health have put an end to the speculation.

Veteran health

On March 21, 2007, the House considered the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act, introduced by Rep. Boswell, to address the problem of mental illness following service in wars and high suicide rates among veterans. Specifically, the bill would require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to:

  • Provide screening for risk factors of suicide, track veterans at risk, counsel and treat them and provide for referral for counseling and treatment. Counselors would be expected to work with local emergency rooms and police, mental health organizations and veterans services organizations to engage in outreach. Mental health care would be provided on a 24-hour basis and a hotline would need to be established and implemented.
  • Provide research and mental health care for veterans who have experienced sexual trauma while in the military.
  • Make an effort to remove the stigma associated with mental illness, encourage veterans to seek treatment and assistance for mental illness, promote skills for coping with mental illness, and help families with veterans understand the issues of assimilating to civilian life after war.

The bill passed 423-0.

Main article: U.S. veterans and soldiers legislation


Boswell was born January 10, 1934 in Missouri. He was educated at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, served in the United States Army, and was a farmer and a member of the Iowa Senate before entering the House. Boswell was also the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor of Iowa in 1994.

Boswell was drafted in the Army in 1956, but worked his way to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars, and the Soldier's Medal. "He served two one-year tours of duty as an assault helicopter pilot in Vietnam. He also served two NATO tours of duty in Europe, first for four years in Germany, and later three years in Portugal." Due to his extensive military background, Boswell has Top Secret clearance. [1]

Congressional career

According to his House biography, "Boswell has participated in bringing about the first balanced federal budget in nearly three decades, provided meaningful tax relief to working families, supported the most comprehensive education reform ever undertaken, and has been instrumental in crafting aviation security legislation. He also continues to fight for keeping Iowa's small businesses and rural communities vital, preventing crime, and fighting for Iowa's families."[2]

2006 elections

In 2006, the Republicans nominated Jeffrey Lamberti to face Boswell in his November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [3] Boswell retained his seat.

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Campaign contribution data could not be found.

Links to more campaign contribution information for Leonard Boswell
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)


Science policy tracking by Michelle Brook, SEA (International Science Policy) Intern

STEM Education


Harkin, Boswell comment on DOE study on biofuels' pipelines http://www.iowapolitics.com/index.Iml?Article=203536 July 19, 2010

A study by the Department of Energy has suggested a profitable dedicated ethoanol pipeline to transport ethanol from the Midwest to the East Coast is feasible under certain circumstances. Rep. Leonard Boswell, along with Rep. Lee Terry recently introduced a bill that would provide federal loan guarantees for the 1,800 mile pipeline. Boswell said of the pipeline “In addition to reducing greenhouse gases emitted during truck and rail transport of biofuels, it would also reduce the overall cost of these renewable fuels to consumers outside of the Midwest. This would create a greater demand and bolster the renewable fuel industry in Iowa. A renewable fuel pipeline not only creates jobs, but it helps our rural communities thrive.”


Environmental group grades Iowa congressional delegation http://www.radioiowa.com/2009/12/30/evironmental-group-grades-iowa-congressional-delegation/ 30th Dec 2009

Leonard Boswell was given high marks as he “consistently decided to put the environment ahead of big polluters” according to an environmental study, voting “for” the environment on 15 bills designed to cut global warming, air and water pollution in 2008-2009.

DART secures $6.5 million grant for transit hub http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2010/07/08/dart-secures-6-5-million-grant-for-transit-hub/ 8th July

Boswell announced a $6.5 million grant for the Des Moines Area Transit Authority (DART) to "fund construction of a new transit hub". Senator Tom Harkin, who wasn't able to attend the announcement said that “Building this new DART transit hub will improve public transportation and reduce the number of cars on the road, all the while boosting economic development. It’s a win-win for our state.”

House Ag Committee Seeks Support for Truck-Weight Bill http://www.idfa.org/news--views/headline-news/details/4932/ 9th July 2010

Leonard Boswell signed a letter agreeing to co-sponsor the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (H.R. 1799). This legislation would increase the federal weight limits for six -axles trucks on interstate highways which would allow increased trucking efficiency and reduced emissions.

July 14 HR 1722, “The Telework Improvements Act” Vote Passes http://www.examiner.com/x-1350-DC-Government-Business-Examiner~y2010m7d15-July-14-HR-1722-The-Telework-Improvements-Act-Vote-Passes 15th July 2010

Leonard Boswell voted "Aye" on H.R. 1722, a bill which was unanimously passed by House subcommittee. The Bill permits Government employees to Telework at least two days every two weeks from their home or satellite offices, a move that is understood to reduce the carbon footprints of both individuals and organisations. The article states that the Act would have a "positive effect on air quality, energy expenditure reductions... human capital productivity [and] traffic congestion".

Climate Change


Intel needed on breast cancer’s threat to armed forces http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/65211-intel-needed-on-breast-cancers-threat-to-armed-forces-rep-leonard-boswell 28th Oct 2009

A blogpost by Leonard Boswell in which Boswell explains his reasoning for introducing H.R. 3926, the Armed Forces Breast Cancer Research Act. Anecdotal evidence seemed to be indicating a large incidence of breast cancer amongst service members and veterans, and this Act was designed to mandate a study into such a potential correlation. Boswell stated that "If the joint study indicates that service members are being diagnosed with breast cancer as a result of their military service, I pledge to work with the VA to classify breast cancer as a service-connected disability in order for these men and women to receive the necessary VA benefits to treat and cope with the disease."

Boswell & Vilsack Discuss Child Nutrition in First 2012 Farm Bill Hearing http://www.iowaagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=389&yr=2010 22nd April 2010

Leonard Boswell discussed a report about the health and obesity of young adults with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and urged Vilsack and the USDA to continue support for programes enabling schools to provide nutritious and local foods. He referenced a report from Vilsack and the U.S. military which he called alarming due to the issues it raised about the "health and obesity rate of our young adults ages 18-24 and their physical preparedness to defend our nation should the need arise." Boswell added "Engaging children with planting and production, whether it's visiting a farm or tending a garden, will educate kids on where food comes from and make them more aware of what they put in their bodies."


High Speed Rail in Iowa http://www.threechickspublications.com/riversidecurrent/news/2010/02/07/high-speed-rail-in-iowa/ 7th Feb 2010

Leonard Boswell announced the Department of Transporation had awarded over $18 million for two high-speed rail projects, including $1 million for a number of studies for a line to run between Chicago and Omaha via Iowa. Boswell was quoted as saying “As a longtime advocate for high-speed rail, I have fought for a passenger line that spans the state and connects Chicago and Omaha for quite some time”.

Boswell Votes to Support Innovation and Jobs for the 21st Century http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbIFkC30Bb8&feature=channel 28th May 2010

Video link in which Leonard Boswell explains his support for the America COMPETES Reauthorizations Act 2010 (H.R. 5116), saying he believes "investment in STEM education [which] will help move our students and nation forward" and linking innovation to "economic vitality".

U.S. Rep. Boswell: Announces $71 million for broadband services in Iowa http://www.iowapolitics.com/index.iml?Article=201891 2nd July 2010

Leonard Boswell announced Iowa received over $70 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act loans and grants to improve broadband services. This money will be used to update and extend broadband in the state with funding going to such operations as the Farmers' Telephone Company of Riceville and the Grand River Mutual Telephone Corporation.

Research and Development Funding


DC office
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District offices
  • 300 East Locust, Suite 320 Des Moines, IA 50309
    Ph: 515-282-1909 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
  • No official website entered
  • This member of Congress does not have a YouTube channel.
Campaign office
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Articles and Resources



Local blogs and discussion sites

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