Steve King: Wikis


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Steve King

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 5th district
Assumed office 
January 3, 2003
Preceded by Tom Latham

Born May 28, 1949 (1949-05-28) (age 60)
Storm Lake, Iowa
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Marilyn King
Children Three sons
Residence Kiron, Iowa
Occupation Construction contractor
Religion Roman Catholic

Steven Arnold King, known as Steve King (born May 28, 1949), is an American politician who is a member of the Republican Party representing the 5th District of Iowa in the United States House of Representatives since 2003. The district is located in the western part of the state and includes Sioux City and Council Bluffs.


Early life and career

King was born in Storm Lake in Buena Vista County to Emmett A. King (1921-1991) and Mildred Lila King (born c. 1920). A lifelong resident of northwestern Iowa, his residence is now Kiron in Crawford County. He attended Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville from 1967-1970, where he was a member of Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity.[1] In 1975 he founded King Construction Company. In 1996, King sought election to the Iowa Senate. In that year's campaign, he defeated a 24-year incumbent in the Republican primary and went on to win election in November and was reelected in 2000.[2]

U.S. House of Representatives


In 2002, after redistricting took 5th District incumbent and fellow Republican Tom Latham out of the district, King ran in a four-way Republican primary for the seat. His most prominent opponents were fellow state senator John Redwine and State House Speaker Brent Siegrest. The 5th, then as now, was so heavily Republican that it was generally thought whoever won the Republican primary was all but assured of victory in November.

King won the Primary Election with 30% of the vote, short of the 35 percent required by Iowa law to be named the outright winner. Subsequently, a nominating convention was held which King won on the third ballot.[3] King easily won election in November over Council Bluffs city councilman Paul Shomshor, and he was reelected almost as handily in 2004.

In 2006, King won re-election in the 2006 general election against Democrat Schulte and Independent candidates Roy Nielsen and Cheryl Broderson with 59 percent of the vote. [4]

In 2008, King had been seen as a possible challenger for Tom Harkin's Senate seat, but on March 7, he announced that he would run for a fourth House term. King was opposed by Democrat Rob Hubler. King won with 60 percent of the vote and for the first time won all 32 counties in his district.[5]

Committee assignments

Agriculture subsidies

From 2003 through 2005, $14.7 billion in crop subsidies went to the congressional districts of members on the House Committee on Agriculture, an analysis by the non-partisan Environmental Working Group found. That was 42.4% of the total subsidies. King is reported to have brought $1.15 billion to his District. [6] That number is reflective of the amount of agriculture business in King's district which ranks at the top or near the top in most agriculture categories. [7]

Political positions and actions

King is an outspoken fiscal and social conservative. After winning the 2002 Republican nomination, he said that he intended to use his seat in Congress to "move the political center of gravity in Congress to the right."[8]

During the 110th Congress, King voted with the majority of the Republican Party 90.9% of the time.[9] King has continuously voted for Iraq War legislation, including funding without stipulations regarding troop withdrawals.

He was the only Representative from Iowa to score 100 percent on the joint Family Research Council Action/Focus on the Family Action Congressional Scorecard in the second session of the 109th Congress. In the 109th United States Congress, and again in the 110th Congress, King chairs the Conservative Opportunity Society, an organization founded by Newt Gingrich and others consisting of Republican members of Congress committed to representing the conservative agenda in the House of Representatives.[10]


King scored a 100% rating with the National Right to Life Committee.[11]

Second Amendment

King also supports an interpretation of the Second Amendment which asserts that the Amendment includes an absolute personal right for individuals to own firearms independent from any participation in "a well-ordered militia". Since this is the interpretation also favored by the National Rifle Association, King consistently receives an "A" from the NRA.[12]

Race and Gender

King has stated: “There’s been legislation that’s been brought through this House that sets aside benefits for women and minorities. The only people that it excludes are white men...Pretty soon, white men are going to notice they are the ones being excluded.” [13]


King fought against Medicare and Medicaid paying for a number of medications such as Viagra, which he described as "recreational drugs".[14] King also has voted against each stimulus bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, saying, “Our economy will not recover because government spends more. It will recover because people produce more.”[15]

King gained prominence by being one of 11 in Congress to vote against the $52 billion Katrina Aid package citing fiscal responsibility and the government needing a comprehensive plan for spending aid money. The Sioux City Journal wrote the following about King's vote:

"In September, we took our congressman, Steve King, to task for voting against a $52 billion aid package for victims of Hurricane Katrina. King - who was just one of 11 members of Congress who voted against the package which passed both houses and was signed by President Bush - based his vote on the need for "fiscal responsibility." He said the federal government needed to develop a comprehensive plan for spending aid dollars, including input from members of Congress, before more money was appropriated. He earlier had voted for a $10.5 billion emergency aid package. Well, after reading an Associated Press story about a report that details how perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars in Katrina disaster aid have been misspent, it appears we were wrong and King was right about his vote on the $52 billion." [16]


Post office naming debate

In September 2005, King rallied support to reject a motion in the House of Representatives to name a post office in Berkeley, California after the city's long-serving Councilwoman Maudelle Shirek. After winning the vote 190 for to 215 against, King cited Shirek's affiliation with the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library in Berkeley as his reason to block the motion, claiming, albeit in a different interview, that her past "sets her apart from ... the most consistent of American values." When the proponent of the Post Office's name change, Barbara Lee, claimed that King's "campaign of innuendo and unsubstantiated 'concern' is better suited to the era of Joseph McCarthy than today's House of Representatives," King claimed that history showed McCarthy to be "a hero for America". [17]

Statements about illegal immigration

In April 2006, conservative members of Congress proposed strengthening law enforcement against illegal immigration to the United States. When asked if "the US economy simply couldn't function without" the presence of illegal immigrants, King said that he rejected that position "categorically". He said "they", referring to the 77.5 million people between the ages of sixteen and sixty-five in the United States who are not part of the workforce, "could be put to work and we could invent machines to replace the rest."[18]

King said that "members of Congress that vote for a guest-worker plan ... will be supporting an amnesty plan and they should be branded with the scarlet letter 'A' and pay for that amnesty in the ballot box in November [elections]".

On April 27, 2006, the Des Moines Register published an op-ed piece by King regarding the planned May 1 "Day Without an Immigrant" rallies.[19] The op-ed read in part:

"What would that May 1st look like without illegal immigration? There would be no one to smuggle across our southern border the heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamines that plague the United States, reducing the U.S. supply of meth that day by 80%. The lives of 12 U.S. citizens would be saved who otherwise die a violent death at the hands of murderous illegal aliens each day. Another 13 Americans would survive who are otherwise killed each day by uninsured drunk driving illegals. Our hospital emergency rooms would not be flooded with everything from gunshot wounds, to anchor babies, to imported diseases to hangnails, giving American citizens the day off from standing in line behind illegals. Eight American children would not suffer the horror as a victim of a sex crime."

The editorial received strong reactions, both for and against, in Iowa and across the country.[20]

King's alleged daily numbers in the editorial are highly inflated, based on the false premise that 28% of all prisoners in all American jails and prisons are illegal aliens.[21] King has cited an April 2005 GAO report as the supposed source of that statistic.[22], but that report really says only that 27% of federal prisoners were "criminal aliens".[23] "Criminal aliens" doesn't mean "illegal aliens". It's a federal category that includes both legal and illegal aliens who have committed crimes, so illegal aliens would really represent only part of that 27%.

State prisons and local jails together hold the overwhelming majority (92%) of US prisoners, but King's GAO report in fact offers no percentage figures at all for illegal aliens in those systems. However, the actual percentage of illegal aliens held at the time in state prisons and local jails can be determined by comparing figures for SCAAP federal compensation to states and localities[24] with federal Bureau of Justice Statistics prisoner censuses.[25]

Such a comparison reveals that the accurate illegal alien percentage being held was less than 4%, far from the 28% claimed by King.

King has never explicitly retracted his "daily death toll" numbers, but in May 2008 he significantly downgraded his original claims about the contents and reliability of the GAO report from which he "extrapolated" them:

"We don't really know how many there are or what crimes they are charged with or convicted of or how much time they spend in our prison systems. And I particularly can speak to that, since I asked for the GAO study that was completed in April of 2005. I thought in that study I would get the answers to the percentages of our inmate populations that are criminal aliens, what crimes they might be convicted of, and quite a list of things that would help us establish our policy, both law enforcement policy and our immigration policy. However, that report came back not quite apples to apples."[26]

Statements about Washington, D.C.

In June 2006, King stated, "My wife lives here with me, and I can tell you… she’s at far greater risk being a civilian in Washington, D.C., than an average civilian in Iraq."[27] King said that there were 45 violent deaths per 100,000 in Washington, D.C., in 2003 while he calculated that there were 27.51 per 100,000 in Iraq as a whole.[28] The Iraqi Health Ministry casualty survey, however, estimated 151,000 violent deaths in Iraq due to the war from 2003 to 2006, or roughly 162.37 per 100,000 per year.[29][30][31] The Lancet survey published in 2006 estimated that 2.5% of the population of Iraq had died from the war as of June 2006.[32][33][34]

State Department appropriations

On June 21, 2007, King introduced an amendment to the $34 billion State and Foreign Operations bill to prohibit funds from being used by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to travel to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.[35] When asked why the measure did not apply to Republican House members who had also made trips to the countries in question, King's spokesman replied that he was unsure whether that had been considered, or why it might not have been.[36]

Remarks about Barack Obama

On March 7, 2008, during his press engagements to announce his reelection campaign, King made remarks about Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama and his middle name, saying:

"I don't want to disparage anyone because of their race, their ethnicity, their name - whatever their religion their father might have been," I'll just say this: When you think about the optics of a Barack Obama potentially getting elected President of the United States -- I mean, what does this look like to the rest of the world? What does it look like to the world of Islam? I will tell you that, if he is elected president, then the radical Islamists, the al-Qaida, the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11 because they will declare victory in this War on Terror. Additionally, his middle name (Hussein) does matter. It matters because they read a meaning into that in the rest of the world. That has a special meaning to them. They will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name. They will be dancing in the streets because of who his father was and because of his posture that says: Pull out of the Middle East and pull out of this conflict. There are implications that have to do with who he is and the position that he's taken. If he were strong on national defense and said 'I'm going to go over there and we're going to fight and we're going to win, we'll come home with a victory,' that's different. But that's not what he said. They will be dancing in the streets if he's elected president. That has a chilling aspect on how difficult it will be to ever win this Global War on Terror." [37]

Then on March 10, King defended his comments to The Associated Press, saying "(Obama will) certainly be viewed as a savior for them.... That's why you will see them supporting him, encouraging him."[38]

Obama said he did not take the comments too seriously, describing King as an individual who thrives on making controversial statemements to get media coverage. He said, "I would hope Senator McCain would want to distance himself from that kind of inflammatory and offensive remarks." The McCain campaign disavowed King's comments, saying "John McCain rejects the type of politics that degrades our civics…and obviously that extends to Congressman King's statement."[38]

In mid-January 2009, King acknowledged that terrorists were not dancing in the streets, and in fact "They have made statements against Obama." He also said that he found Obama’s decision to use his middle name, "Hussein", when he is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States on January 20, 2009, to be "bizarre" and “a double-standard."[39]

Remarks concerning Iowa Supreme Court

On April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a state ban on same-sex marriage violated the Iowa constitution.[40] King soon commented that the judges "should resign from their position" and the state legislature "must also enact marriage license residency requirements so that Iowa does not become the gay marriage Mecca." [41]

Remarks concerning US Capitol Slave Labor

On July 8, 2009, King was the sole nay vote on a House resolution acknowledging the use of slave labor in the construction of the United States Capitol. King later explained his vote saying, "I opposed yet another bill to erect another monument to slavery because it was used as a bargaining chip to allow for the actual depiction of 'In God We Trust' in the CVC."[42]

Remarks concerning Haitian Earthquake Crisis, 2010

On January 15, 2010, King offered to ABC News his opinion regarding the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's halting of all Haitian deportations due to the earthquake that struck the country January 12, 2010. "This sounds to me like open borders advocates exercising the Rahm Emanuel axiom: 'Never let a crisis go to waste.'" "Illegal immigrants from Haiti have no reason to fear deportation but if they are deported, Haiti is in great need of relief workers and many of them could be a big help to their fellow Haitians.”[43]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Giroux, Gregory L., King Promises Rightward Movement for Iowa , CQ Daily Monitor, 7/5/2002.
  4. ^ "Iowa Statewide Election Summary" (pdf), November 9, 2006, retrieved November 15, 2006
  5. ^ Office of the Iowa Secretary of State
  6. ^ Dilanian, Ken, " Billions go to House panel members' districts", USA Today. July 26, 2007.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Thompson, Kate. Fifth District Republicans Crown Their King. Sioux City Journal, 2002-06-30.
  9. ^ "Votes Database - Steve King". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-10-11.  
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Why is the GOP slighting Hispanics? (page 2)". Retrieved August 4, 2009.  
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Jane Norman, "McCarthy Comment by Steve King Stirs Debate", Des Moines Register, September 29, 2005, retrieved January 19, 2006
  18. ^ Robin Lustig, interviewing King on the BBC's programme 'The World Tonight' on BBC Radio 4
  19. ^ "Biting the Hand That Feeds You", op-ed by Representative Steve King, Des Moines Register, April 27, 2006, archived on King's website.
  20. ^ Jane Norman, "King rips on 'illegal invader' event: The National Day Without Immigrants is a farce and an insult, says the Iowa congressman", Des Moines Register, April 27, 2006
  21. ^ Congressional Record, May 3, 2006
  22. ^ "Unite to Fight Summit II", (11:27 to 12:28 in video) May 27, 2006
  23. ^ Information on Criminal Aliens Incarcerated in Federal and State Prisons and Local Jails (pdf), April 7, 2005
  24. ^ State Criminal Alien Assistance Program Archive
  25. ^ Bureau of Justice Statistics Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear, 2002
  26. ^ Congressional Record, May 6, 2008
  27. ^ Jackson, Henry C. (September 26, 2006). "Iowa Lawmaker's Brashness Earns Notice". Associated Press (The Washington Post).  
  28. ^ Norman, Jane (July 3, 2006). "Civilians are safer in Iraq than in D.C., King says". Des Moines Register. Retrieved July 14, 2006.  
  29. ^ "New study says 151,000 Iraqi dead". BBC News Online. January 10, 2008.  
  30. ^ Boseley, Sarah (January 10, 2008). "151,000 civilians killed since Iraq invasion". The Guardian.,,2238250,00.html.  
  31. ^ Altman, Lawrence K.; Oppel Jr., Richard A. (January 10, 2008). "W.H.O. Says Iraq Civilian Death Toll Higher Than Cited". The New York Times.  
  32. ^ Burnham, Gilbert; Lafta, Riyadh; Doocy, Shannon; Roberts, Les. (October 11, 2006). "Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: A cross-sectional cluster sample survey". The Lancet.  
  33. ^ Burnham, Gilbert; Lafta, Riyadh; Doocy, Shannon; Roberts, Les (October 11, 2006). "The Human Cost of the War in Iraq: A Mortality Study, 2002-2006: A supplement to the October 2006 Lancet study". The Lancet.  
  34. ^ Brown, David (October 11, 2006). "Study Claims Iraq's 'Excess' Death Toll Has Reached 655,000". The Washington Post.  
  35. ^ "Republican Rep. King Doesn't Want Pelosi to Meet With Foreign Leaders Sponsoring Terrorism". Fox News. 2007-06-21.,2933,285753,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-11.  
  36. ^ Greg Sargent, "GOP Congressman Introduces Legislation To Restrict Pelosi Trips To Enemy Countries", TPM Cafe, June 21, 2007
  37. ^
  38. ^ a b Rep. King Defends Comments About Obama, March 10, 2008, USAToday
  39. ^ Daniel Libit (January 15, 2009). "King: Obama 'bizarre' to use 'Hussein'". Politico.  
  40. ^ Des Moines Register
  41. ^ The Iowa Independent
  42. ^ Grim, Ryan (July 8, 2009). "Rep. Steve King Lone Vote Against Acknowledging Slave Labor Construction of US Capitol". Huffington Post.  
  43. ^ Sladja,Rachel (January 15, 2010). "Rep. Steve King: Deported Haitians Could Help With Relief Effort". TPM LiveWire.  

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tom Latham
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by

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