Republican Congressman Steve King is disputing his Democratic opponent J.D. Scholten’s assertion that King’s views on many issues, including immigration, are out-of-step with fourth district voters.
“He is the antithesis of the values of this district,” King told Radio Iowa this afternoon, “and I happen to embody them and that’s a matter of record, not a matter of conjecture or opinion.”
Earlier today, Scholten said King’s stand on immigration is “10 miles down the road” from most Democrats and Republicans.
“First thing I thought when I heard that was: ‘There’s Steve King…standing right shoulder-to-shoulder with Donald Trump, who by the way borrowed my immigration policy when he came to Iowa to run for president,” King said. “…We sat at his desk in the Oval Office just a couple of weeks ago and agreed how we were going to move them.”
And King — who has sponsored bills in congress to end “birthright citizenship” — points to Trump’s recent comment that he’d issue an executive order to end citizenship for babies born to parents who are in the country illegally.
Scholten also has said the VISA guest worker program must be revamped so businesses, like the pork processing plants in northwest Iowa, can hire more workers. King said the border must be secured before those kind of immigration-related issues are discussed in congress.
“The employers, they knew what the demographics were when they built these places,” King said. “I want to help them as much as I can, but they invested their capital and they shouldn’t be coming to congress saying, ‘Oh, whoops. I need cheap labor. Please change the laws.'”
King said his own evaluation indicates there are more than 100 million people already here who could or should be working.
“We need to put more Americans back to work. They’re sitting there right now, drawing down welfare checks. We’re borrowing money from China to pay people not to work and I’ll say short-term, narrow-minded people just want to take a look at how do we solve this problem in the here and now, real quick and real cheap,” King said. “You know, one thing that’s happening today is this tight labor supply is moving wages and benefits up. That’s a good thing because it broadens our middle class.”
King, who is recovering from laryngitis, spoke by phone with Radio Iowa this afternoon.