By Jack Hellie
Congressman David Young (R-IA) serves Iowa’s third congressional district. Unless you are from Iowa’s third congressional district, you probably don’t know who he is, and that is not by accident. Rep. Young is intentional in his low profile, unlike his congressional neighbor to the north, Rep. Steve King from Iowa’s fourth district.
Rep. King is a conservative firebrand, garnering attention for contentious statements he’s made, including keeping a confederate flag on his desk. Des Moines millennials’ favorite screen-printed tee shop, Raygun, has a shirt dedicated to the seven term congressman. David Young will never have a Raygun tee shirt with his name on it.
As a member of Congress, Rep. Young has avoided the spotlight by not seeking it. This could also be as a result of his place on the House Committee on Appropriations. The House Appropriations Committee oversees spending in the legislative branch. The House Appropriations Committee, for example, does not carry the news value that the Oversight Committee, which held hearings on the email investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton does.
Young arrived in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015, after a ten point victory in the 2014 election. He had initially entered the U.S Senate primary to fill the seat left open by retiring longtime Democratic Senator Tom Harkin, but exited the senate race for the third congressional upon Rep. Tom Latham announcing his retirement.
Rep. Young came to the House of Representatives with a particular set of skills, having served as the Chief of Staff to Iowa’s senior Senator, Chuck Grassley, for seven years. Young’s intimate knowledge of congress as an institution gave him an advantage over his fellow freshman congresspersons and secured him a place on the Appropriations Committee. Rep. Young often talks about how important it is for Iowa to be represented on this committee, as it historically has been, in order to prevent congress’ decisions on spending to be made only by those who represent New York and California.
Congressman Young has introduced a few notable pieces of legislation, most recently the No Veterans Crisis Line Call Should Go Unanswered Act, which aims to better serve veterans who need assistance was singed into law by President Obama on November 28, 2016.