King: Supercommittee failure illustrates deadlock


November 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King of Iowa said Wednesday that the congressional supercommittee’s failure to reach a deficit reduction compromise this week is only the latest sign that Congress is hopelessly deadlocked. King said he doubted significant proposals would emerge from Congress until after the next election. “We want to hear from the American people,” King said.

The Republican congressman, who spoke during a taping of Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program airing over the weekend, said he believed all the deficit reduction proposals discussed by the supercommittee called for too much spending, something he said he would oppose. “I never believed it would produce a proposal that would pass the House and the Senate,” King said of the committee. “In my opinion, they didn’t address the problem. I have yet to see a proposal that takes us to a balanced budget in a reasonable time. ”

King noted the last election swept 87 new Republicans into office and shifted the debate in Washington. Republicans gained control of the House, while Democrats retained the Senate. “This is a split government, so it does bring about inaction,” King said. King currently represents northwest Iowa’s 5th Congressional District. But this year’s reapportionment cost the state a seat in Congress and he’ll be seeking another term in office from the 4th Congressional District, where he’s being challenged by Democratic former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack. The district is the most heavily Republican in the state and King starts out the race as the favorite.

King has taken a sharply tough position on immigration issues and said he was disappointed to hear former House Speaker Newt Gingrich outline a position this week that would allow a path to citizenship for those who come to the country illegally. He called it a form of amnesty and would make it tougher for him to support Gingrich. King has not endorsed a Republican presidential candidate and said he hasn’t decided if he will take that step.

In Congress, King has often been allied with Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, but has not endorsed her bid for the Republican presidential nomination.