James A. Leach (born October 15, 1942), American politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 1977, representing the 2nd district of Iowa in the state's east central and southeast area (map) (previously the 1st district from 1977-2003). He was born in Davenport, Iowa, was educated at Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Economics, and was a foreign service officer with the Department of State, a member of the U.S. delegations to the Geneva Disarmament Conference and the United Nations General Assembly, a business executive and director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board before entering the House.
According to personal finance disclosure reports released in 2002, Leach owns between $3.1 million and $14.2 million of stocks, mutual funds and farmland. This includes between $167,000 and $430,000 worth of stock in Lee Enterprises (which owns newspapers in Davenport, Waterloo, Muscatine, Mason City and Sioux City, Iowa) and between $2,002 and $30,000 worth of stock in Gannett Co. Inc., which owns the Press-Citizen and Des Moines Register (Iowa City Press-Citizen and Muscatine newspapers are in his congressional district).
Leach is consistently one of the most liberal Republicans in the House. He voted against the 2002 Iraq War Resolution and favors abortion rights. He supports strong environmental measures. He was the only House Republican to vote against the 2003 tax cut. His district is considered Iowa's most Democratic district and became even more Democratic after redistricting in 2000. His hometown of Davenport was moved to Jim Nussle's district, forcing Leach to move to Iowa City. He faced his closest contest ever, winning by only four percentage points. Leach is a member of many moderate/liberal Republican groups such as the Republican Main Street Partnership (which supports Stem-cell research) The Republican Majority For Choice and Republicans for Choice (both support upholding Roe v. Wade), Republicans for Environmental Protection and Its My Party Too.
Despite having served on then-Congressman Donald Rumsfeld's staff in the mid-1960's and later working with both Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney in the Nixon administration, Leach has been one of the few Republicans in congress reluctant to support continued expansion of the US military role in Iraq.
Leach is a member of Parliamentarians for Global Action and opposed U.S. withdrawal from compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice in 1985.
In Congress, Leach is a powerful figure; he formerly served as chairman of the Financial Services committee and the Chairman of the International Relations committee's Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
Iowa Congressional Delegation currently serving in the United States Congress Senators : Charles Grassley (R), Tom Harkin (D) Representative(s) : Jim Nussle (R), Jim Leach (R), Leonard Boswell (D), Tom Latham (R), Steve King (R) Current Delegation: AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV