President Barack Obama’s abandonment of a rule that would require religious institutions such as Catholic colleges and hospitals to provide birth control coverage changes little, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, tells Newsmax.TV.
King, in an exclusive interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, said it was unclear whether the president’s flip flop will harm him with the Catholic vote in the fall.
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King said it “looks like the president has decided that he’s going to retreat from the Catholic Church on the imposition of requiring all insurance policies, all healthcare providers, to provide contraceptives, birth control, the morning after pill … and sterilization he shifted that now over to the insurance companies.”
“Instead of compelling the Catholic institutions to provide those things that violate the conscience of the church, he’s compelling the insurance the insurance companies to do that,” he said. “He can regulate them directly by just disqualifying the policies that don’t include the things that he insists they include.
“What he’s doing is compelling Catholics to still fund the things that violate our conscience but he’s not doing it through the institutions of the Catholic Church so he’s avoiding the resistance.”
As to whether the move will harm Obama at the polls in November, King said, “There are a lot of Democrats that are Catholics, and many of them have very short memories.”
“I don’t know how many he’s lost,” he added. “This is a strategic political move on his part and probably, if he was going to step in it the way he did, he’s done about as much as he can to recover. And he’s still going to end up with the same policies. If Catholics are well-informed, then he has still hurt himself. “
On other issues, King said:
-- That he hoped to see Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s measure to repeal Dodd-Frank come to the floor of the House and said that the “number one thing we need to do is, very soon, bring up the 100 percent repeal of Obamacare.”
-- The recently passed measure restricting members of Congress from using information to make stock trades was an “act of self-flagellation on the part of Congress.”
He said tougher legislation was needed so that members disclose financial holdings to the “nearest dollar” and it should be “reported in a searchable, sortable, downloadable database so the public can go on the Internet and see, incrementally, if members get rich, how are they getting rich and, if it’s explainable, that’s fine. But if it’s not explainable, then there will be an investigation.”
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