The decision by Indiana lawmakers to make a "fix" to the religious freedom law specifying that homosexuals are protected from discrimination is both unnecessary and ill-advised, said Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King.
"I thought they got it right the first time. I would have said let's step and see what actually happens, if there's a problem created by it, fix it then. I say that out of a long experience of dealing with these issues at the state level and also at federal level," he told me
Monday night in an interview for The Podium radio show.
"I would have rather had them ride this thing out. There's a problem in the thinking and the rationale with people on the left but also on the right."
King said that Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act has correctly set out protected classes of people and that homosexuality should not be one of those categories.
"Once you start protecting people on the basis outside of immutable characteristics, on the basis of self attested, unverifiable characteristics, anyone could claim they are the victim of discrimination and you've gone into a very murky legal world. And I think that's the mistake that they're following right now."
He added, "I see it as an unnecessary fix."
King didn't hold back on illegal immigration. He said that former President Ronald Reagan's decision to grant amnesty to millions of people in 1986 set in motion a cycle of eroding the rule of law, rewarding those who have broken the law by entering the country, and encouraging more people to come to America illegally.
"Each succeeding president has enforced immigration law less, from Ronald Reagan through Bush 41 and then Bill Clinton and then George W. Bush and now getting into Barack Obama," he said. "Barack Obama has essentially just jettisoned immigration law. He has ordered his Department of Homeland Security not to enforce the law and he's threatened to punish them if they do enforce the law," he said.
"The policy the president has today is that if you can get in to America you get to stay, and by the way, we're not going to prohibit you from coming into American in any effective way."
King said he believed that border security and implementing E-verify would go some way towards rectifying the problem.
Meanwhile, King said he has taken a liking to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in his bid for the presidency, noting he was very well received on a recent visit in his all-important early voting state of Iowa.
"I did an event with him in Sioux City that was a packed, packed house. There was a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm. I am looking for a full spectrum Constitutional conservative that understand where America is and the decline that we've had during this presidency."
He said Cruz fits that profile.
"He has an excellent educational foundation and a track record of arguing before the Supreme Court and I know him personally," he said. "I'm glad that he's in this race."
King also said that Donald Trump "brings a lot to the table as well."
He noted that Trump enjoyed enormous enthusiasm at the Freedom Summit in Iowa in January.
"There's no question that Donald Trump understand the economy and the business world and he has demonstrated his ability to succeed in that. I think he understands foreign trade very well and he would put America on top as a world power again. I like his confidence and I like the track record he has," he said.
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