December 1, 2015

Democrat Loebsack joins Republicans in vote on refugee resettlement

Congressman Dave Loebsack.

Congressman Dave Loebsack.

All four members of Iowa’s congressional delegation voted for the bill that would suspend the program allowing Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the United States.

The legislation calls on key national security agencies to certify to congress that refugees from Iraq and Syria don’t pose a security risk. Iowa Republican Congressmen Steve King, David Young and Rod Blum all voted for the measure, as did Democratic Congressman Dave Loebsack. Loebsack was one of 47 Democrats who joined Republicans to pass the bill. That coalition would be able to override President Obama’s threatened veto.

Loebsack issued a written statement late last night.

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the House voted on H.R. 4038, the American SAFE Act of 2015.

“I have spent my time in Congress working to ensure the safety of the American people and the security of our homeland. This has been and continues to be my number one priority. But let me be clear: I fully support bringing in all those who are victims of terrorism in their own country that we safely can. The legislation that was voted on today does not stop that process, rather it simply asks our screening agencies to certify that those entering our country are not terrorists.

“It is reprehensible that those on the right have used this tragedy for fearmongering. It is time for that to stop. At the same time, while the Administration opposes this bill, it is their responsibility to certify to the American people that those entering our country will do us no harm. Going forward, we must work together to make sure our screening processes are strong and effective so we can welcome those who are truly seeking safety.”

King calls Muslim migration into Europe ‘colossal cultural suicide’

Train station in Sid, Serbia (photo from @SteveKingIA)

Train station in Sid, Serbia (photo from @SteveKingIA)

Republican Congressman Steve King has just returned from a trip to Europe to view the migration of Syrian refugees in person.

“I saw the erosion of the culture in Europe and I’m not very optimistic about whether they can ever be formed again to be the core of western civilization that they once were because of the colossal cultural suicide that they’re committing,” King says.

King went to the Kurdish-held areas of Iraq, then he made stops in eastern and western Europe.

“I went through Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Sweden,” King says.

In a city near the border of Serbia and Croatia, King says he saw “no end” to the exodus.

“Six trains a day, a thousand people. Over 2 million people going through one single port of entry, pouring into Europe. They cannot sustain that,” King says. “If they had the money and the infrastructure they can’t sustain it because their culture will eventually be shifted over to a culture of Islam.”

King says western Europeans have too much “cultural guilt.”

“They know that their population is collapsing,” King says. “They didn’t make a decision to have babies, to reproduce themselves. They said: ‘All we can do with our demographics being what they are, the only way we save Europe is to fill Europe up with anything but Europeans.'”

On Monday, President Obama re-commited to resettling Syrian refugees in the United States. King opposes the move.

“The president is determined to import to America hundreds of thousands of displaced persons who will never assimilate into the American civilization,” King says. “That’s the fruits of Obama’s feckless foreign policy.”

Some Republicans have called on the Obama Administration to admit Christian, but not Muslim refugees from Syria. On Monday Obama called that “shameful” and said the U.S. doesn’t “have religious tests to our compassion.” Authorities in Paris say a Syrian passport was found near one of last Friday’s suicide bombers. It has raised concerns Islamic militants are inserting themselves among the refugees and migrants in Turkey who are fleeing into Europe.

King says he’s ‘on the same cause’ for GOP unity as new House Speaker Paul Ryan

Congressman Steve King. (file photo)

Congressman Steve King. (file photo)

Iowa Congressman Steve King says the Florida congressman he’d been backing for House Speaker got just 43 votes in a private vote among House Republicans and Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan got 200. King then decided to cast his vote for Paul Ryan when the House took a public vote late last week.

“When you go out on the floor, Republicans need to stick together,” King says.

King says Ryan wants to “heal up” the divisions among Republicans in the U.S. House and King says his vote for Ryan sends the message that he is working “on the same cause.”

“I’m more effective in this kind of role, in this way,” King says. “I can work with Paul and I’m convinced that we are going to be able to work together to change the culture in the House of Representatives.”

King says former House Speaker John Boehner  was “heavy handed” and that’s why King and other conservatives “rose up” to push Boehner out. Boehner and King publicly clashed at times over some of King’s statements on immigration reform.

(Reporting by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars; additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)

Iowa’s three congressmen vote to elect Ryan as House Speaker

Rod-BlumThe three Republicans who represent Iowa in the U.S. House have voted to elect Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as the new speaker of the House.

Rookie Congressman Rod Blum of Dubuque and veteran Congressman Steve King of Kiron were among the few to vote against Speaker John Boehner in January, but today both King and Blum voted for “fellow Midwesterner” Ryan. Blum issued a written statement, saying he believes Ryan will improve House operations in a positive way.

King had been campaigning for over a year to get a Florida congressman elected speaker, but he wound up voting for Ryan. King tweeted this morning that he will “work this new beginning hard” to get the voice of the people heard in congress. King also said we need a new president and he ended the tweet with an exclamation point.

Congressman David Young, a Republican from Van Meter who is also in his first year in congress, voted for Ryan, too.

Steve King backing Webster, doubts Ryan has enough votes to be speaker

Congressman Steve King. (file photo)

Congressman Steve King. (file photo)

Congressman Steve King is still backing a Florida congressman in the race to lead Republicans in the U.S. House. On Tuesday night, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan announced he was willing to serve as speaker, if House Republicans agreed to a list of “requests”.

“The requests that he has put forth, essentially requirements, empower the speaker more, not less,” King  told Radio Iowa this afternoon. “The problem we have here is a speaker with far too much power rather than a speaker that doesn’t have enough.”

King spoke with Ryan this morning and describes Ryan as “a friend and a colleague.”

“There’s a genuine warmness and affection for Paul Ryan in this congress and I’m among those folks, but we have some significant disagreements on huge issues,” King said.

King has opposed raising the country’s debt limit, something Ryan has voted to do. But King’s biggest beef is with Ryan’s support for a series of immigration reform bills in 2013.

“Paul Ryan subscribes to the CATO economic theory that people — labor — should be able to transfer themselves as easily as capital can be moved around the country by the click of a mouse and, you know, you can’t do that with essentially a welfare state, which we are today,” King said. “Furthermore, that open immigration transforms our country, our society, our culture and our civilization.”

King is “firmly supporting” Florida Congressman Daniel Webster to be House speaker. King said he’s been “watching and working” with Webster for two and a half years to figure out how to change the “power structure” in the U.S. House so the members rather than the leaders are in charge.

King said he believes Ryan has more support among House Republicans than Kevin McCarthy did. McCarthy is the California congressman who abruptly withdrew from the speaker’s race.  But King calculates Ryan lacks the broad support among House Republicans to secure the speaker’s spot for himself.

Ryan has said if his list of requests aren’t met and he doesn’t have the support of all three major factions within the House GOP, he’ll be happy remaining in his dream job of leading the House committee that drafts tax policy.

King sends letter, asking colleagues to back Webster

Congressman Steve King.

Congressman Steve King.

Iowa Congressman Steve King is urging his fellow House Republicans to rally around a Florida congressman’s bid to become the next speaker of the House.

“Well for me — in for a penny, in for a pound. I’m all-the-way-in with Daniel Webster,” King says. “And I absolutely believe in him and I think that he could transform the House of Representatives and leave a legacy that would run well after whatever tenure he might have as speaker.”

On Thursday, King sent an email to House Republicans, urging them to publicly endorse Webster.

“Somebody who is not polarizing, who is not viewed as being one wing of the party or another, one who has a steady hand, one who respects every member,” King says.

Webster is a former state legislator from Florida. Nearly two decades ago Webster became the first Republican speaker of the Florida House for more than a century. King says the 66-year-old Webster, who is from central Florida, promises a “member-driven” approach to operations in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“And we need the House transformed in congress, that we know,” King says.

King says no other candidate running “or rumored to run” for speaker has matched Webster’s commitment to “bottom up governing.” King also praises Webster for his “excellent record opposing amnesty.” King’s letter to his House colleagues urges them to jump on Webster’s bandwagon to “build momentum” for his candidacy.

Others are urging Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan to change his mind and run for speaker. King says Ryan would face the same difficulties in uniting House Republicans that doomed John Boehner, the Ohio congressman who announced last month that he was resigning as House speaker and leaving congress.

Here is the email King sent to his House GOP colleagues:

Other than one candidate dropping out, nothing has changed in the race for Speaker. The best candidate, Daniel Webster, is gaining momentum for his demonstrated leadership. Dan is arguing for a principled member-driven approach that will transform the culture of the House. His approach will bridge the divides currently running through our Conference. Others are learning to speak the language of principle over power but no one else understands and has the necessary convictions to transform the House. Certainly no other candidate has actually done what Dan has done. And, no candidate running or rumored to run has matched his commitment to conservatism or bottom up governing. That is why I nominated him for Speaker last January and why I endorsed him again last week.
Daniel has a proven track record as Speaker of the Florida House and an excellent record opposing amnesty. He is staunchly pro-life, pro-traditional marriage and a defender of the Constitution. No one in the Conference has raised concerns to merit opposing Daniel or the demonstrated principled leadership at the foundation of his candidacy. To bring the Conference together in support of the cause of conservatism, I hope you will join me in announcing your support for Dan Webster for Speaker so the momentum behind his race will continue to grow. Please let me know if Dan can count on your vote for Speaker.
Dan is a consistent participating Member of our Conservative Opportunity Society and I hope he enjoys the full support of our organization.
Steve King
Conservative Opportunity Society
Member of Congress

(Additional reporting by Bob Fisher, KGLO, Mason City)

Congressman King says voters will reward, not punish GOP for speaker turmoil

Congressman Steve King. (file photo)

Congressman Steve King. (file photo)

Republican Congressman Steve King says there are a number of words to describe what happened last Thursday when the leading candidate to replace out-going House Speaker John Boehner withdrew from the race.

“There was turmoil and there was a bit of chaos and there was an amount of sadness and there were an amount of emotions that flowed back and forth and there was confusion and misunderstanding,” King says.

King is supporting Florida Congressman Daniel Webster to be the next speaker of the House.

“Hopefully he becomes the next speaker of the House in the next few days or a couple of weeks,” King says. “But in any case, (Webster) has laid down the parameters on how to restructure this House.”

On Friday, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan responded to pressure and announced he would consider running for speaker of the House.

“Paul is no doubt a capable individual and he has broad support in the conference,” King says. “Whether it’s broad enough to win the speakership in there, I think that’s a hard thing to guess after watching how Kevin McCarthy’s broad support, some of it, apparently disappeared.”

Some Republicans have suggested “the crazies” like King have damaged the Republican brand by undermining the current House leadership team, but King says he won’t respond to that. King contends the House may wind up functioning better as a result of this fight.

“If we respond to the voice of the people, we’re going to be better. We’re going to be better respected,” King says. “If this dip goes down a little bit longer and we come out of it better, we’ll be rewarded for that rather than punished.”

King is hoping a leadership vote is scheduled sooner rather than later, although the House is not meeting this week.

“By the time we come back in another week, I think we’ll be ready to take some action,” King says.

King made his comments Friday during an appearance on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal.