October 1, 2014

Congressman King says supplying equipment to Kurds can help in fight against ISIS

As U.S. led coalition forces continue air strikes targeting Islamic State Group positions, some wonder if troops will eventually be needed on the ground to finish the job against the radical forces.

Congressman Steve King, a Republican, isn’t advocating for troops, but he also doesn’t think the Iraqi Army is capable of eliminating the threat of ISIS. “The army fell apart and they ran away from the weapons that we gave them and the equipment that we gave them. And I don’t have faith that they can be put back together — not without a lot of Americans to stand shoulder to shoulder with them,” King says.

He says he’s not advocating sending in thousands of troops but says we know that if we send in equipment the Kurds will fight. King says the Kurdish people want their own state as opposed to a unified Iraq. “I am happy accepting a Kurdistan that would defend itself in that region. I think that would be a good thing for the United States, they would be an ally of ours. They’d be a counterbalance in that part of the world and they not let ISIS invade any further into the Kurdish region,” King says. “But they would not go to Damascus and they would not go to Baghdad, and I don’t think they should.”

King says it will likely take more than arming the Kurdish people to bring an end to ISIS though. He says air strikes are helping to slow down ISIS, but they aren’t enough either. “I don’t think its enough, it’s surely not shock and awe and it’s not rolling thunder, it’s pin pricks — strategic ones, though they seem to be strategic. So, it’s a start and they send a message,” King says. “If it can slow down the funding that’s coming into the ISIS war machine, that will be helpful.”

King says the military intervention is buying time and he hopes to see a better plan by America and its allies to defeat the insurgents.

(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)


Steve King predicts ‘politically nuclear’ reaction if Obama issues executive order on immigration

Republican Congressman Steve King says the reaction will be “politically nuclear” if President Obama bypasses congress and issues an executive order granting some sort of legal status to illegal immigrants.

“First, the president has no constitutional authority to make up laws as he wishes they would be, but he threatens to do so anyway,” King told KLEM radio in Le Mars. “…If the president does this and five to nine or more million people get a ‘you are now legal’ slip from the president of the United States, that throws us into an instantaneous constitutional crisis.”

Congress faces another deadline in September to approve a federal budget or pass a stop-gap measure to avoid a government shutdown. King said those discussions may break down if President Obama uses an executive order on immigration policy.

“This would be the most blatantly unconstitutional act by any president of the United States ever if he does what his trial balloons and his own threats have promised to do,” King said. “And so, as the intensity of that gets closer and closer, it’s more and more likely that something like that will happen.”

Reports indicate President Obama is considering executive action that would make more undocumented immigrants eligible for green cards and place more people on the “deferred action” list, so deportation procedings are delayed. White House spokesman Josh Earnest says it “would be a shame” if Republicans in congress decide to shut down the government over the immigration issue.

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



EMILY’s List, Iowa Farm Bureau PAC announce endorsements

EMILY’s List today endorsed the Democrat who’s running for lieutenant governor of Iowa. EMILY’s List is a group that helps women candidates from the Democratic Party who support abortion rights.

EMILY’s List is publicly backing Monica Vernon, the lieutenant governor candidate who is the running mate of Jack Hatch, the Democratic candidate for governor. It means the Hatch-Vernon campaign will get a cash infusion from the group.

In a prepared statement, the president of EMILY’s List called Monica Vernon “an experienced problem solver, small business owner and public servant.” Vernon is a member of the Cedar Rapids City Council who ran for congress this spring, then signed on as Hatch’s running mate in June.

In other endorsement news this week, The Iowa Farm Bureau’s political action committee endorsed Republican Terry Branstad in the governor’s race and Republican Joni Ernst in the U.S. Senate race. In a prepared statement, a spokesman for the Farm Bureau said the group’s “Friend of Agriculture” designations are given to candidates who support “key priorities for agriculture” like renewable fuels and expanding trade opportunities abroad.

The Farm Bureau is also supporting three of the four Republicans running for Iowa congressional seats. Republican Congressman Steve King serves on the House Ag Committee and he was named a “Friend of Agriculture” by the group. Rod Blum, the Republican running in the first congressional district, and David Young, the Republican running in the third district, also got the Farm Bureau’s backing.

Last week the National Federation of Independent Business endorsed Blum and this week the group endorsed Ernst.


Mowrer raps opponent’s view of America’s future (AUDIO)

Jim Mowrer

Jim Mowrer

Democratic congressional candidate Jim Mowrer (rhymes with power) told a crowd of Iowa State fairgoers this morning he presents “a great contrast” against Republican Congressman Steve King, his November opponent.

“Last week my opponent was here and he talked quite a bit about what he said was wrong with America and why we should be afraid of the future,” Mowrer said. “And what I want to talk about again is why I have so much confidence and talk about what’s right with America and why our best days are ahead of us, not behind us by any means.”

King has been an outspoken critic of the president’s immigration policy, but Mowrer did not mention that issue in his five-minute speech. Instead, Mowrer talked about raising the minimum wage — which he would vote to do — and preserving the “safety net” for America’s seniors.

“And that’s why there’s going to be such a great contrast in this race between my opponent and I because I want to strengthen and protect Social Security,” Mowrer said. “He has said that he wants to raise the retirement age to 75. He’s voted to raise the retirement age to 70 and he’s said that people should be working until 75 Walmart will hire people up until the age of 74. That’s not the right vision for the future of America.”

Mowrer did not mention King by name during his speech, which was delivered on The Des Moines Register’s “Soapbox” on the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

AUDIO of Mowrer’s speech

King talks about trip to southern border at Iowa State Fair

Twitter photo posted by Congressman Steve King of visit to Texas border with Michelle Bachmann.

Twitter photo posted by Congressman Steve King of visit to Texas border with Michelle Bachmann.

Iowa Congressman Steve King did not mention his Democratic challenger today) as he spoke at the Iowa State Fair. Instead, King used much of his time on Des Moines Register’s “Soapbox” to criticize President Barack Obama.

“Just in case you wonder if I might have changed my mind, no, Obamacare must be pulled out by the roots,” King said, as his supporters cheered. “Let me amend that, ripped out by the roots. It is a malignant tumor that is metastasizing and feeding upon America’s God-given liberty and it must go.”

King also talked about his recent trip to the U.S. border with Mexico. “We’ve got to secure our borders,” King said to more applause. He was joined on the trip by Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann.

King said their first stop was near Laredo, Texas and the Rio Grande River. “We planted an American flag right there at the tip of Texas and then we turned the volume up all the way on Toby Keith and drove up out of there,” King said with a laugh.

A short time later, King said they spotted a pregnant woman in a raft, floating across the river to the U.S. border. “And she stood there and waited for the border patrol where she could apply for asylum and of course that baby will be born in America and be treated as an American citizen,” King said. “That happens every day. We didn’t have to wait one hour and that’s only one little piece of the river we were looking at.”

There were some protesters who confronted King after his 19-minute long speech. King’s opponent in the November election is Democrat Jim Mowrer of Boone. He is scheduled to appear on the “Soapbox” on Tuesday, August 12 at 10:30 a.m.


King says treating Ebola victims in U.S. not a good idea

A second American health care worker was flown from Africa into the U.S. today for treatment of the deadly Ebola virus, a move Iowa Congressman Steve King says may prove to be a terrible mistake. “I don’t have to think about it very long to figure it’s a bad idea,” King says. “I’d just seen a story that someone with ebola died in Heathrow Airport in London. Boy, that’s got to be a calamity.”

King, a Republican from western Iowa, says he’d prefer to see medical aid provided on site in Liberia instead of treating victims in Atlanta. He notes, both of the infected Americans contracted Ebola while trying to treat -other- Ebola patients. “They would be taking the appropriate precautions and they would be the experts on the disease so why did they get it if they knew they were working in it and they were taking all the appropriate precautions?” King asks. “That tells me that we might think we can take appropriate precautions in the United States but that doesn’t give me confidence.”

King says his heart goes out to those who went to Africa to help victims, but he says they knew the risks. “Let’s be as humanitarian as we can be but I would have not brought them into the United States,” King says. He suggests flying over an entire health care ward, if necessary, but “do that in Africa, keep them there.” Nearly 890 people have died of ebola in three west African nations in recent months, making it the largest outbreak since the discovery of the virus.

(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)

Congressman King and ‘Dreamer’ have heated conversation in Okoboji

Republican Congressman Steve King was confronted last night during his campaign fundraiser in Okoboji by an undocumented immigrant. Erika Andiola told King she was a recent Arizona State University graduate who was brought into the country by her mother when she was 11.

“We have a process to apply for asylum,” King told Andiola. “She could have gone to the United States Embassy in Mexico City.”

Andiola replied: “She applied. She got denied.”

King asked: “And so, you decided it was O.K. to violate the law?”

An iPhone video of the exchange was posted on youtube last night by the DREAM Act Coalition.

“I am here to realize why you’re fighting so much against DREAMers,” she said.

King is a critic of the president’s 2012 decision to suspend the deportations of young adults — the so-called DREAMers — who were illegally brought into the country by their parents.

“This county should not be a country that’s run by one king — Barack Obama — deciding what the laws should be,” King told Andiola. “The constitution is the supreme law of the land and the laws are written by the congress, not by the president.”

Andiola twice held out the work permit card she’s been given by the government and told King to rip it up.

King said he wouldn’t give Andiola that kind of a “video op.”

“I am really sorry that you come from a lawless country. I hope that you can have a happy life,” King said. “But please, do not erode the rule of law in this country.”

Andiola again referred to her card: “If you want to rip into it, let me know.”

A man standing nearby began shouting: “Go home,” as the conversation concluded.

King had been eating when Andiola approached him and King stood up and faced her soon after Andiola started talking. King told reporters later that he decided to stay and engage rather than walk away from Andiola, who was accompanied by a Harvard Law graduate who has become an activist for undocumented immigrants.