Congressman Steve King (R-Kiron, IA) voted against the deal presented tonight in the U.S. House. King called Radio Iowa this evening and the first question was this: You have been trying to repeal ObamaCare from the git-go. Did you think there would be a possibility you’d be able to get it done this time?
“I knew it would be very difficult. Having looked at the gov’t shutdown that was brought about by two or three Clinton vetoes back in ’95 and ’96, the scenario they had there was more favorable than the one we had and I advised the people putting this strategy together that was the case, but I also said this will be tried in the court of public opinion. If the American people step behind this thing strongly enough and insist strongly enough, then I can expect that we’ll see the House Republicans hold strong enough to get this done and instead too many of them saw that the polls they believe were going against them and they decided it wasn’t worth holding the ground we had taken and that’s part of what happened.”
King also said he argued against linking the debt ceiling with the end of the government shutdown.
“They put both of those together and once they got packaged together, the momentum to put an end to this all at once because the American people have fatigue and I understand that, but it’s worth the fatigue if we can accomplish the goal in the end. We didn’t get that done in this battle. This battle is not indicative of the entire war and I intend to continue my efforts to repeal ObamaCare,” King said.
Next question, about the 87 Republicans who voted for the bill: What is the next step for House Republicans as a unit, or is the idea that you are a unit by the wayside now?
“I think we’re actually more together than it might appear from final vote…There’s more support here for our leadership than one would think,” King said. “There’s less division. There’s very little acrimony of people pointing their fingers at each other and saying, ‘It’s your fault. It’s your fault.’ Instead, they understand that everybody went through their own crucible…and that doesn’t always come out to be a unanimous position…I think we’ve identified 25 or 30 emerging conservatives who are going to be a voice for a long time to come, so we laid a foundation to do good things in the future.”
Iowa’s other Republican congressman — Tom Latham of Clive — voted for the deal. He issued this written statement this evening, immediately following the vote: “We were given two horrible choices to pick from tonight. My vote tonight was the vote for the lesser of two evils. I could not support an irresponsible path that risks defaulting on the full faith and credit of the United States. And, I could not risk an irresponsible default that jeopardizes the retirement savings of hardworking Americans and globally undermines confidence in the US dollar. Washington has pushed the nation’s back against the wall – and this is no way to run a government – not even close. I share the urgent concerns of every responsible American about our $17 trillion dollar debt and the many fatal shortcomings of Obamacare. This was the first round in a long battle ahead. Tonight’s vote in no way signals that this fight is over from my standpoint. I have a 100% voting record on both a balanced budget amendment and the repeal and replacement of Obamacare and I will continue that fight with every tool available to me.”
Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Waterloo, IA) signaled his support for the deal earlier today. Read about/listen to Braley’s remarks during a conference call with Iowa reporters here.
Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa City, IA) issued the following written statement late this afternoon, signalling his yes vote on the measure: “Make no mistake about it, the bipartisan compromise announced today, at the end of the 11th hour, could have been avoided and dealt with months ago. It is unconscionable that a small group of Tea Party Republicans would take our economy to the brink. Congress must pass this compromise immediately and end this manufactured crisis that is already hurting our economy. While I stand ready to continue to work with any member of Congress to avoid a similar crisis in the future, unfortunately, I remain unconvinced that the result will be any different next time. This agreement once again kicks the can down the road. We should have already come to a long-term solution. Iowans are demanding that Congress turn its attention from brinksmanship and political games to growing the economy and creating jobs. Fixing the economy and getting Iowans back to work has been and will continue to be my number one priority.”