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Rep. King Blasts Boehner Rep. King Blasts Boehner

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Politics

Rep. King Blasts Boehner

January 10, 2011

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an immigration hardliner, is wounded after being denied the chairmanship of a subcommittee that handles immigration issues. And in an interview with National Journal, King made it clear who he blames: Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

NJ's Fawn Johnson reports:

"I'm going to be OK with it. I'm going to be OK," King told National Journal in a 40-minute interview. Even in the wake of the "unbelievably tragic" news of the Arizona massacre, King was obviously still smarting from the subcommittee rebuff. He didn't mince words in placing the blame directly at House Speaker John Boehner. "The speaker holds the big gavel, and he decides who gets the other gavels," King said. "It makes it very clear that it's not a meritocracy."

The public reason for King's demotion was a reorganization of the committee. The post was given to Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., a senior member to King who is considered conservative enough on immigration to satisfy tea party Republicans but not as outspoken as King. But it was also clear from GOP aides that House leaders worried about King and his tendency to press on immigration issues that angered more moderate members of his own party.

"John Boehner isn't very aggressive on immigration," King said, noting that the GOP "Pledge to America" barely mentions immigration or border security. "It's the tiniest section," he said.

Immigration advocates had been steeling themselves for a subcommittee led by a member adamantly opposed to any path to citizenship for illegal immigrations, a representative who has built a model border fence on the House floor and proposed ending automatic citizenship for babies born on U.S. soil. The immigration advocacy group America's Voice called King an "outlandish and outspoken anti-immigrant zealot."

King said the public hatred of him by immigrant advocates wasn't worth his respect or his attention. "It's the militant left, and I don't lose one second of sleep," he said.

See the full story here.

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