Rep. King: If Trump Makes DACA 'Amnesty,' His Political 'Base Will Leave Him'

By Michael W. Chapman | September 15, 2017 | 12:48pm EDT

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and

President Donald Trump. (FNC)


Commenting on President Donald J. Trump's negotiations with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) about DACA, conservative House Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said that if Trump works out some form of amnesty for the deferred action "dreamers," his political "base will leave him."

"They won't be able to defend him anymore," said King. He added that, although he has searched and contacted the White House, he has not seen any plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and that there apparently is "no commader of the wall" project.

On CNN's New Day, hosted by Alisyn Camerota, Rep. King said that "about 80%" of Trump's base "agree with me" on DACA, "that we cannot reward lawbreakers."

"If we do that, then we get more lawbreakers," he said. "And here's the irony out here is that in '86, Ronald Reagan led with amnesty. And in about 2006, Bush 43 led with amnesty. The Obama administration and the gang of eight led with amnesty in 2013. Every one of those initiatives failed because the American people know, we need enforcement."

"And if you give amnesty first with the promise of enforcement second, you got what Bush 41 got when he said no new taxes, read my lips," explained King.  "He got the taxes and not the spending cuts."

"I've worked for 30 years to restore the respect for the rule of law, especially with regard to immigration," said King.  "And we were on the cusp of doing that until the Trump announcement the other day on DACA, and now it looks to me like things are going downhill pretty fast and we'd better put it back together or the Republicans will be done in 2018 and 2020."

CNN's Camerota then asked, "Congressman, what does this mean for the Republican Party? If the president protects the dreamers or has a deal with Pelosi and Schumer to protect the dreamers and the wall that he promised really is refurbishing old fences?"

King said, "What it means is that the base will leave him. They won't be able to defend him anymore. And, you know, I'm -- I mean I feel that, ringing back to me, there's a strong message -- and I'm talking about my constituents in Iowa who will say, you need to be behind Trump."

"I support Donald Trump's campaign agenda," said King.  "I support the agenda that he had when he was sworn into office and I support almost every piece of the rest of his agenda, except this amnesty piece that's being dangled out in front of America right now."

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), President Donald Trump, and House Minority Leader Nancy

Pelosi (D-Calif.)  (Screenshots: YouTube) 


As for the wall along the border of the United States and Mexico, one of Trump's primary campaign issues, King said he has searched for more information from the White House but has come up empty handed.

"I've not found one," said King. "And I've drilled deeply. And I've had promises that they would come to me and I can't get those answers. So, you know, I want to see the plans. I want to see what plans have been approved."

"They had competition between multiple contractors," he said. "They approved a small number of contractors to build prototypes, and this thing is stalled because somebody complained is what -- the best I know."

King continued, "But I've not looked anybody in the eye that is part of the administration that can say, here's what we're doing, here's our plan, here's the progress so far and here is the proposal that has come forward. They don't have -- one person doesn't have that in their head. There is no commander of the wall."

"And I don't know how it gets done if you're going to trust a committee," he said.  "That's not -- that's just not cohesive and don't seem to know what each other are doing."

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