April 20, 2014

King accuses Pelosi of “money-laundering” with education bill

Republican Congressman Steve King is blasting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for calling the House back into session earlier this week.

The Democratic speaker reconvened the House so lawmakers could pass a bill that forwards billions to schools to avoid teacher lay-offs. The president has signed it into law. King says some of that money will wind up with the teachers’ unions.

“Much of those checks that will be distributed will have an automatic deduction in them that will transfer some of that money into the coffers of the unions and their political action money will go into the campaign accounts of 95 percent Democrats,” King says. “This is a blatant money-laundering scheme that’s cooked up by Nancy Pelosi.” 

A spokesperson for the Iowa State Education Association says once teachers are paid, it’s up to them how they choose to spend their salaries. Teachers who are dues-paying union members must sign a separate form to contribute to their political action committee. The three Democrats in Iowa’s congressional delegation voted for the bill. Iowa’s two Republican congressmen — Tom Latham and King — voted against it.

“The congress spent — over the objection of my vote and my voice — $26.1 billion as if Nancy Pelosi just couldn’t suffer the withdrawals of not being able to spend money in the month of August,” King says.

The U.S. House is typically on “recess” during August. But in 2008, the Democratically-led House returned to consider legislation for the ailing auto industry. When Republicans were in control in 2005, G.O.P. leaders summoned lawmakers back from a spring recess to consider legislation to try to block a Florida man’s desire to remove the feeding tube that had kept his wife alive for 15 years.

King made his comments during an interview with KJAN Radio in Atlantic.

(Reporting by Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic and Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)