Rep. King: Why I can’t vote for Boehner

By Greg Corombos

Rep. Steve King, R-
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, is one of about a dozen House Republicans publicly committing to oppose Speaker John Boehner’s efforts to secure another term, saying he cannot in good conscience swear to defend the Constitution and then vote for Boehner to lead the House.

Boehner easily won the vote of Republicans in the upcoming Congress to continue as speaker back in November, but his push to pass the “cromnibus” bill by recruiting Democratic votes is seen by King and other conservatives as the last straw for a leader they accuse of surrendering to President Obama on key issues and failing to honor his promise to do everything possible to stop Obama’s unilateral action on immigration late last year.

On Saturday, Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., announced he would challenge Boehner in Tuesday’s vote. The next day, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, threw his hat into the ring as well. Other conservatives, including King, have announced they will not support Boehner again.

The opposition to Boehner comes two weeks after WND’s Joseph Farah began the grass-roots “Don’t Be Yellow: Dump Boehner Now!” campaign, which has already sent some 525,000 letters to House Republicans attempting to mobilize the palace coup.

For King, the reason is simple.

“We have an obligation to keep our oath of office, and it requires that we support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” he said. “It doesn’t say to just defend the United States but the Constitution itself. When the president does violence to the Constitution and violates it as he has multiple times, then our oath to defend the Constitution becomes even more paramount.”

King said it is the obligation of every lawmaker to defend the original intent of America’s Founding Fathers.

“This is something we must protect and revere and restore,” he said. “These are pillars of American exceptionalism, the principles of the separation of powers. You cannot have a president who assigns himself as the legislative power. He’s done that over and over again,.”

How does Boehner fit into all this? King said the speaker has failed to vigorously defend the Constitution against Obama’s power grabs.

“I’ve tried to defend this Constitution, and I’ve been blocked at many turns, often by the speaker’s office and by the leader’s office because they don’t want the controversy,” he explained. “So now we’ve seen Obamacare fully funded out as far as the appropriations eye can see. We’ve seen the president’s lawless, unconstitutional executive amnesty be funded until Feb. 27. They’ve given away the constitutional tools that we have to restrain this president.”

Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa:

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The congressman said Boehner has made it very clear to Republicans that he has no intention of using the appropriations process to block what many GOP members believe to be unconstitutional actions.

“He’s told us in not quite uncertain terms we will not use the power of the purse to restrain a lawless, unconstitutional president,” King said. “So if you take that tool away, you’re just about out of tools you can use. This was very much envisioned by our Founding Fathers, that the power of the purse would be the most powerful tool that the Congress has. He has refused to allow us to use it. If we do that, we cannot defend the Constitution.”

The last straw for King and the others looking to defeat Boehner was passage of the continuing resolution and omnibus bill known as “cromnibus” last month without taking a strong stand on funding of Obama’s immigration actions. Boehner struck a deal with the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to fund most of the government through September 2015 but fund the Department of Homeland Security only through February so the new GOP majority in Congress can weigh in on the amnesty question.

King is convinced nothing will change in this fight if Boehner is still running the House.

“There’s no sign that if we play this movie over and over and over again, that it’s going to turn out to be different,” he said.

While going public in his opposition to Boehner, King said he does not know who he will vote for. He said he has “no better friend” in the House than Gohmert and also has great respect for Yoho. King also sees Rep. Dan Webster, R-Fla., as having the qualities to be a fine speaker of the House, although Webster has neither joined the race nor indicated he will oppose Boehner.

GOP opponents of Boehner need to wrangle at least 29 Republicans to oppose Boehner and force a second ballot. Most media head-counting suggests about half the votes are there. King said he’s less worried about the latest tally than communicating with as many members as possible before Tuesday’s vote.

“Once I’ve made up my mind on what I’m going to do, I’ve set about convincing others and the chips have to fall where they may,” he said. “If there’s a number out there then some will diminish it and say it’s going to fall short. If the number is strong, they will turn up their efforts to try to twist their arms to get them to back off.”

What do YOU think? Whom do you support for speaker of the House? Sound off in today’s WND poll!

Two years ago, Republicans leaders stripped three GOP members of prime committee assignments over insufficient support for the GOP agenda. Do King and others fear there will be major consequences for their opposition if Boehner survives this challenge?

“I expect there to be retribution. I anticipate it,” he said. “It’s not what I would call fear. It’s simply this. I fear not doing my duty.”

King said that scenario presumes efforts to defeat Boehner will fail, and he believes momentum is squarely on the side of Republicans looking for new leadership.

“The attempt at retribution presumes that this is not going to be a successful effort. This is a growing number. There will be more people voting for a different speaker than there were last time. That number will be greater. I know that,” he said. “Will that number be greater than 28 or 29? We don’t know that yet. But if it is, then we don’t have to worry so much about the retribution because we’ll have a new speaker, and that’s the right result.”


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