Steve King on Planned Parenthood, Obamacare Funding: GOP House Will ‘Allow It to Happen’

September 26, 2011 - 6:57 PM
Rep. Steve King

Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa) (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa) is predicting that--despite his own and other conservatives' efforts to the contrary--this Republican-controlled House of Representatives will continue throughout its two-year tenure to allow funding for Planned Parenthood and the implementation of Obamacare.

“They are going to allow that to happen, the way it looks to me,” King said in a videotaped interview with CNSNews.com.

Shortly after midnight on Friday morning, the House voted to approve a continuing resolution to keep the government funded from the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30 through Nov. 18. According to an analysis by the conservative Republican Study Committee, the CR permits funding for both Planned Parenthood and implementation of Obamacare.

Virtually the same CR had been defeated in the House last Wednesday when 48 conservative Republicans broke with the party leadership and voted against it. But, on Friday, only 24 Republicans voted against it, and the bill passed 219 to 203. King was one of the initial 48 opponents of the CR and also one of the final 24.

The Congressional Research Service has reported that $105.5 billion in automatic funding to implement Obamacare was embedded in the massive health-care law President Obama signed last year. Of that $105.5 billion, $26.3 billion is slated to be spent during the term of the current Congress in which the Republicans won a majority in the House. The only way that Obamacare money can be stopped is if House Republicans put language in a must-pass spending bill—such as the CR—that prohibits the administration from spending it.

After last year’s election, King advocated that the Republicans include such language in the CR needed to fund the government for the rest of fiscal 2011. He and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.) circulated a pledge asking fellow members not to vote for any CR that did not prohibit spending this Obamacare-implementation money. The Republican leadership took a different position, however, and the CR that House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama agreed to did not prohibit funding for implementation of the president’s health-care law.

That Boehner-Obama CR also permitted funding for Planned Parenthood, which according to Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report, took in $363.2 million in government money in 2009--with 90 percent of that money coming either directly from the federal government or from Medicaid, a federal-state program. Also in 2009, according to a fact sheet published by Planned Parenthood, the group did 332,278 abortions—or about 910 per day.

Steve King had also advocated putting language in the CR that would prohibit funding to Planned Parenthood.

He told CNSNews.com he believed that it would have been the right thing to do for the Republican-controlled House to use its constitutional authority over federal spending to have a showdown with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama over the money to implement Obamacare and Planned Parenthood funding—even if that showdown had to be played out over a government shutdown.

“I think it is unconscionable to be charging taxpayers and borrowing money and having them have to pay the interest and the principal on federal dollars that go to organizations that provide abortion services or counseling,” King told CNSNews.com. “This principle should be fought harder than it is being fought today.”

However, King said, in the face of a possible government shutdown, the Democrats showed “more conviction” to defend giving tax money to Planned Parenthood than Republicans did to defund it.

“Democrats have more conviction on funding Planned Parenthood than the body of Republicans have on shutting it off--if it comes down to a government shut down,” King said. “From my standpoint, I say: Let’s have that fight. And if it becomes the confrontation that results in Harry Reid or the president shutting the government down over taxpayer funding to organizations like Planned Parenthood, let’s have that fight. Let’s see what the public says. I think they are going to side with those of us who decide on the side of innocent unborn babies.”

When asked if he was ready to carry on the debate to defund Planned Parenthood if the government was shutdown over that issue, King’s response was unambiguous.

“I am. I am,” he said. “I don’t think that it’s good enough to step in here and try to judge what the president and Harry Reid will say no to, and then draw a conclusion that if it is going to be rejected by the Senate or the president we’re going to have to adapt our policy.

“The Constitution let’s Congress be in this power, and in this authority, and the reason we are up for election every two years, every 24 months we are back on the ballot again, is because the Founding Fathers envisioned that the House would be the people who came in here to defend the ramparts of liberty, who came from the hinterlands. And there would be a quick change, every two years,” said King.

He argued that it was fear of Obamacare and government overspending—including on Planned Parenthood—that drove voters to give the Republicans a majority in this House.

“Eighty-seven new freshman Republicans came into this House of Representatives, driven by the voters out of fear of what happened with Obamacare, out of budgetary concerns because of the over-spending, and part of that was also the Planned Parenthood component of this,” said King.

“That energy that came into this House needed to be applied,” said King. “And I believe that the Founding Fathers wanted us to draw the line. And, then, in a way, it becomes a stare down. If you say: I am not spending any more money. I am not spending it to Planned Parenthood. I am not sending it to Obamacare. And there won’t be any money spent if it is going to go there. Then the people on the other side have to decide: Who is going to crack first? It is a stare down.

“And in the end that gets decided in the court of public opinion,” said King.

Watch the entirety of CNSNews.com Editor in Chief Terry Jeffrey’s interview with Rep. Steve King here: