Congressman King Defends Controversial Comments

Washington, D.C. (RI)–4th District Republican Congressman Steve King is defending comments he made last week that sparked controversy and were denounced Tuesday by the top two Republicans in the House.

King’s remarks were about so-called DREAMers — people under the age of 35 who were brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents when they were children. King opposes efforts to grant the group legal resident status.

During a House hearing on Tuesday a Democratic congressman from Florida called King’s remarks “inflammatory” and “offensive”

According to King, DREAM Act supporters are trying to tug at the “heartstrings” by focusing on the plight of DREAMers who’ve been good students.

King is a leading voice in opposition to any House action on immigration, including the bill House G-O-P leaders say is in the works, something dubbed the “Kids Act” that would to grant some sort of legal status to those who were brought into the U.S. illegally when they were children.

House Speaker John Boehner — the top Republican in congress — issued a written statement Tuesday night, calling King’s commentary “wrong.” Boehner said: “There can be honest disagreements about policy without using hateful language” and “everyone needs to remember that.” King is trying to muster enough support from conservative Republicans in the House to block any immigration reform bill Boehner might wish to pass.

The chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying “Iowans have grown weary” of King’s “ridiculous” rhetoric. Eric Cantor, the number two Republican in the U.S. House, also issued a statement Tuesday evening saying he “strongly” disagrees” with King’s comments, which he said were “inexcusable.”

(From Radio Iowa)