Representative Steve King.

Representative Steve King.

Republican Congressman Steve King says President Obama will provoke a “constitutional crisis” if he follows through with an executive order that would shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

“There’s just a growing coalition of people that are starting to see that this isn’t just a trial balloon that the president has been floating for several months,” King says, “but it is a very, very serious threat to our constitution and it is an impending constitutional crisis.”

King has been a leading critic of what he calls “amnesty” for illegal immigrants. Congress was in session last week and King talked with his colleagues about what action can be taken if Obama issues that executive order.

“We haven’t coalesced on an idea and a direction at this point, but I believe we that we’re digging in, ready to do so,” King says. “And there are a number of options that are in front of us.”

The “preferred” option, according to King, would be for the president to back off his threat to take executive action but, if Obama does, King says congress can act quickly in December to shut off funding for the agencies that would carry out the new immigration policy. As for filing articles of impeachment against Obama if he does issue an executive order on immigration, King says that’s a political decision.

“High crimes and misdemeanors are not defined. Congress defines them. That really means that the people need to weigh in,” King says, “so of course I don’t want to go there. I don’t want to say the word (impeachment) but we have this: The president has taken an oath…to uphold the constitution, to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. We also take an oath and the president’s oath to the constitution may or may not mean something to him, but ours had better mean something to us.”

Some Democrats have said executive action from President Obama on immigration would only be temporary, as it would put pressure on congress to act.

“There are a few Republicans who think that, but I think that there’s a huge flaw in that thinking,” King says. “…If the president could violate the constitution and insist that congress pass legislation to conform to his lawless legislative edict in order for the president’s edict to be constitutional, that is a ridiculous concept that our founding fathers sought to avoid. They want congress to restrain a president, not want to conform to a lawless one.”

King says he cannot fathom the “audacity” of President Obama thinking “he can completely destroy the rule of law with the stroke of a pen.”

King made his comments during a telephone interview with Radio Iowa.