Rep. Steve King Sees 'Bright Side' to Bruising Fight

October 17, 2013 - 6:52 AM

steve king

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

(CNSNews.com) - There is a "bright side" to the failed Republican effort to protect the American people from Obamacare, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told Fox News's Megyn Kelly Wednesday night. He spoke after Congress passed a deal ending the government shutdown, raising the debt limit, and commencing bipartisan budget negotiations.

"I think we've identified 20 to 30, maybe more, strong conservatives here in the House of Representatives who have now gelled into a team," King said. "We hadn't been in that place where we did those meetings, had those dinners, talked and really related in this way before, so I think that will pay dividends over the long run."

King also mentioned a "core of effective, conservative senators" who now have a "national presence."

"And I think we'll be able to gel together and move a more conservative, fiscally responsible agenda. And that's the bright side of all this."

King said he thinks the House Republican conference is "stronger and more unified than it may appear" after Wednesday's vote. (The bill ending the government shutdown and raising the debt limit passed the House on a 285-144 vote, with 87 Republicans joining all House Democrats in voting for it -- and 87 Republicans, including King, voting against it.)

King said there is no "personal acrimony" in the House, although there seems to be a "sharp, sharp division" in the Senate.

Asked what happens next with Obamacare, King said, "It would be hard to gin up this kind of effort again. I just think that's clear. But we will see there's a resistance to Obamacare (premium) bills, as people see their premiums going up 30, 40, 70 percent..."

King predicted that such cases will start to accumulate: "I think that if they hit all at once -- if this were dropped in our lap on, say, the first part of January next year, the timing of it might be just right to do some of this all over again. But I'm concerned that it will come in incrementally, and the American people will accept it and just forget all the promises that were made to get Obamacare passed. And just accept this and capitulate and maybe drop their insurance altogether -- pay the penalty...

"I just don't know if the malaise sets in or the resistance sets in," King said.

As for House-Senate budget negotiations, King said he doesn't have high hopes: "There's got to be leverage before you're going to slow down the president's spending."

He said he's concerned about Congress "abdicating its responsibilities to restrain the president."

The U.S. is the richest country in the world, with the ability to "fix everything that could ever have been fixed by any civilization," King said. "Yet, still we can't restrain ourselves to living within our means. And so we're mortgaging the labor of children yet to be born, and I think it's immoral to do that, but I don't see it guilting people to go out there and carry their share of the load, on balance."

King said he's expecting a grandson next month, whose share of the national debt will be $53,000 when he's born and will only go up.

"America's got to get a conscience, we've got to keep the pressure on, we've got to have another election or two, and we need a new president -- that's for certain."