Steve King: House GOP Serious About Pulling Obamacare 'Out by the Roots'

Thursday, 06 Jan 2011 01:18 PM

By Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter

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Rep. Steve King tells Newsmax it’s “ridiculous” to view a House vote to repeal Obamacare as merely symbolic, insisting that enough Democrats will vote against healthcare reform to defeat it in the Senate as well.

The Iowa Republican also asserts that “it’s time to play hardball” with President Obama on the healthcare reform issue, and says he’s hopeful the House will stop funding Obamacare as early as February.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Rep. King — who was first elected in 2002 — says the Republican-controlled House is expected to vote for the repeal of Obamacare on Wednesday, and declares: “That is a big statement to make.

Story continues below.

Republicans will take an aggressive approach to cutting the budget, beginning with a vote to repeal President Barack Obama’s sweeping healthcare law, says Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. King is confident Republicans can roll back the law.

“Of the 87 freshman Republicans, I don’t know if any of them will not vote to repeal Obamacare. In fact I think all Republicans will vote to repeal it, and we will get some Democrats. Probably some of the Democrats that didn’t vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker [on Wednesday] will vote to repeal Obamacare.”

Referring to media reports that the House vote would be merely symbolic, since the Democrats still control the Senate and President Obama is likely to veto a repeal bill, King tells Newsmax: “I’d say that’s completely ridiculous, and that’s the best talking point that they have.

“We would put out a piece of policy, which is to pull Obamacare out by the roots, pull it lock, stock, and barrel, and pass that out of the House of Representatives with a resounding vote, perhaps unanimous on the part of Republicans, and more than likely significantly bipartisan, and send it over to the Senate.

“That becomes a huge hot potato to sit on [Obama’s] desk, and he’s going to have to figure out how to deal with that, with 21 Democrats in the Senate up for re-election in 2012.

“So I don’t think it’s beyond reach. I think we can push the Senate hard, and I think we’ve got a reasonable chance to force a vote in the Senate. And if it comes up for a vote in the Senate, they will vote to repeal Obamacare. Then the president can veto it and then we’ll start the process over again while we shut off funding Obamacare in each of the appropriations bills.”

A new appropriations bill that will extend funding of the federal government until the end of the fiscal year “must have in my view language in it that prohibits any of the funds from being used to implement or enforce Obamacare,” King says.

“If we do that with the extension of the funding, then we can put an end to Obamacare in the month of February, send that over to the Senate and see what they do with it.

“It’s time to play hardball with President Obama. If we can shut off the funding we can get this fight over with, and we can get on with the business of creating jobs and stimulating the economy and allowing for the free markets to create those jobs.”

Emphasizing that he remains optimistic that Obamacare can be repealed, King says: “It’s one of my life’s missions. I wouldn’t have started on this if I didn’t think this was possible.

“We can do this. We’ve already won the debate with the American people.

“We cannot reach the next level of our destiny as a nation if we are going to be saddled with the albatross of Obamacare. Let’s put that around his neck and not the neck of the American people.”

King believes that rolling back federal spending to the 2008 level is a “very likely thing.” He wants a balanced budget amendment but doubts “that the leadership will allow it to the floor.”

King has introduced legislation to deny automatic citizenship to “anchor babies” — children born in the United States whose parents are in this country illegally.

“That’s something we should have done a long time ago,” he tells Newsmax. “We must push that through I think in this Congress.”

King says he would welcome the support of Democrats in dealing with the budget deficit, federal spending and other issues.

“I want to reach out to Democrats and work with them where I can. They may well be in the majority again if we don’t get this done. But I don’t think there will be very many Democrats who will join us in cutting spending.

“The Democrats who will join us in shrinking government will be welcomed over on our side. And I would not be surprised if there is a Democrat or two that would switch sides and come over to this party, because they will have learned that their party has left them.”

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