Rep. Steve King of Iowa tells Newsmax TV that the immigration reform bill that has emerged in the Senate is nothing more than a euphemism for the “most breathtaking, outrageous form of amnesty” for some 11 million illegal immigrants now in the U.S.
“The people that are for open borders — the people that are for granting amnesty — seem to be stuck on the idea that they can't pass their amnesty if it's called amnesty,” King said in an exclusive interview on Monday. “And so they try to redefine the word ‘amnesty,’ and they call it 'comprehensive immigration reform.’”
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The battle over immigration reform that is all but certain to take place in the House factored into King’s announcement last week that he will not run for the Senate.
“I didn’t want to arrive in the United States Senate in January of 2015 looking at a mess that had been created in the previous 20 or so months, and then not be in a position to undo — not be in a position to fix this immigration legislation that's coming at us,” said King. “If that is written into law — and the president could sign something that looks anything like the 844 pages in the Senate — that's a genie that you can't put back in the bottle.”
A member of the House Agriculture and Judiciary committees, King said that the urgency of the fight “outrode” his opportunity to gain a stronger voice in the Senate.
“Essentially, it is the most breathtaking, outrageous form of amnesty that's been seriously considered by the United States Congress, House or Senate in any time that I'm aware of throughout history,” he explained, acknowledging that the GOP has lost an increasing percentage of the Hispanic vote.
“Democrats know what they're doing. They're demonizing Republicans over the immigration issue in an effort to turn the Hispanic voting bloc in America into a monolithic voting bloc, similar to [what] the African-American vote is for Democrats,” according to King. “Democrats will gain about 92 percent of the African-American vote unless they have a Barack Obama on the top of the ticket. Then it's about 96 percent. And they're now at 71 percent of the Hispanic vote.”
King, who also is a member of the Republican Study Committee and the Tea Party Caucus, pointed to a report by the Heritage Foundation, that indicated that the immigration-reform legislation — as drafted — would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion.
“It should be all of the reasons that any conservative needs to vote ‘No,’” said King. “There are many other reasons why it's a bad idea, but the Robert Rectory study out of the Heritage Foundation is definitive.”
He added that the measure “also sends an invitation to all of those who have been deported in the past” to reapply for entry into the U.S.
With respect to Wednesday’s upcoming hearing on the Benghazi attack, King said that President Barack Obama should be held accountable if the facts point to a White House cover-up.
“I'm very troubled by a president, a White House — a president that can go to bed in the middle of the Benghazi attack and simply say, ‘do what you need to do,’” according to King, who likened the possible cover-up to Watergate, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
“Richard Nixon was re-elected after we knew about Watergate,” King explained. “As Watergate unfolded, that's what unraveled his presidency. This Benghazi situation needs to be drilled down into every aspect.”
King has joined other Republican lawmakers in calling for a select committee that can consider “all of the data on Benghazi and take depositions” to find all of the facts from the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission that led to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
With respect to two potential tax battles that are heating up in Congress, King said that he continues to oppose the so-called death tax, but he may support an Internet sales tax provided that it includes an exemption for small businesses with annual sales of $1 million or less.
“If it comes over to the House with a million-dollar exemption in it so that ma and pa, who are shipping products out, and doing Internet sales — those little startup businesses, those smaller businesses — that's a reasonable exception,” he said.
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