Rep. Steve King, a leader of House Republicans seeking the repeal of Obamacare, tells Newsmax that the healthcare reform law constitutes “a theft of the liberty of the American people” and repeal is an ultimate certainty.
The Iowa Republican also declares that Obamacare was the “core issue” that ended Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats’ control of the House, predicts that the Senate will go along with the House and vote for repeal, and says if President Obama does not sign a repeal bill then Republicans will defund healthcare reform until Americans elect a president in 2012 who will support repeal.
Ahead of Wednesday’s anticipated vote in the House on Obamacare repeal, Rep. King is presenting hundreds of thousands petitions from Americans demanding the repeal. In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, King was asked what message he is hoping to send.
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“I want to make sure that members of Congress on the Hill here and across the country understand how deeply and how broadly Americans have rejected Obamacare,” says King, who introduced repeal legislation in March.
“It was the core issue that turned the majority around in the House of Representatives and caused Nancy Pelosi to have to hand the gavel to John Boehner. We want to carry on the momentum on this issue and send a message to those who might be on the fence. This is the beginning of the repeal effort. It’s not the end by any means.”
Referring to a new poll showing that strong opposition to Obamacare has fallen to its lowest level in more than a year, King explains: “I see different polls with different results. When you break it down, I’m still very confident that the American people reject Obamacare.
“One of the things is, should we require employers to provide certain benefits, and sometimes the answer is as high as 59 percent. But it’s job-destroying, and if you ask the question, if you knew your employer was going to have to lay off so many people or not open up a certain number of jobs, would you still want to impose this mandate on your employer, I think a lot of Americans would change their mind. I think we’ve already won the debate.”
King dismisses assertions that repeal of Obamacare would add $230 billion to the federal deficit over 10 years.
“It was a rigged score from the beginning,” he says.
“They calculated 10 years of tax revenue but only six years of expenditures. So if that’s the basis of their calculation I’ll say it’s not relevant.
“And when it comes to something that is unconstitutional, that is a theft of the liberty of the American people, then [there is no] price tag we can put on it. It’s too valuable. Our liberty is priceless, and we cannot be the country that we shall become if we’re going to become the ever-expanded dependency class living in a nanny state. And that’s what Obamacare does to us.”
Asked what kind of support the repeal effort can expect from Democrats in the House, King responds: “There would be a lot more votes [against Obamacare] from Democrats if many of those who lost the election had a do-over. A lot of them lost because of their support for Nancy Pelosi and Obamacare.
“I think there will be 15 no votes from Democrats, and I’m hopeful that number will grow as the debate continues.”
King outlined the defunding approach Republicans will take if the Senate does not support repeal and Obama doesn’t sign the repeal legislation.
“It’s been part of my strategy from the beginning when I introduced this repeal legislation. It was predicated on Republicans winning a majority in the House, which we did, and now we need to shut off any funding that could be used to implement or enforce Obamacare. Every appropriations bill [must] include the language that none of these funds shall be used to implement or enforce Obamacare.
“We can do that all through 2011 and 2012, until we elect a president who will sign the repeal of Obamacare.
“That puts pressure on the Senate as well. I think the repeal that goes to the Senate tomorrow, if all goes well, if there can be a vote forced in the Senate, I think the repeal of Obamacare will pass. So there are several components of this. Defunding is the most useful tool. But we will get to repeal one day.”
King also says he opposes a “piecemeal approach” that would save certain elements of Obamacare in order to gain Democratic support.
“There is a risk to the piecemeal approach. The bills that come out that want to carve one piece out of Obamacare, and another piece and another piece, if you go down that path it lets a little steam out of the pressure cooker and the opposition to it will diminish. So I say we have to pull it all out by the roots, every bit of it.
“The defunding component of it is difficult, but it brings about a confrontation with the president, and the president will have to decide whether his pet policy, his signature healthcare bill, is more important to him than the function of the United States government. That will be a presidential decision, not a congressional decision.”
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