Party Of Steve King: Immigration Foe Praises GOP Leaders For Nixing Reform

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio re-enacts the swearing in of Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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Congress’ most outspoken enemy of immigration reform told TPM that House Speaker John Boehner made the right move by hitting the brakes on the effort last week.

“It’s the right position and makes sense and is consistent with a majority of our conference — a significant majority of our conference,” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told TPM in a brief interview on Monday evening.

He claimed House Republicans oppose bringing up immigration reform by “a three or four to one” margin.

The Iowa congressman said reform opponents must keep the heat on Republican leaders so that they don’t change their minds.

“We still have to man the watchtowers because things could change,” he said.

Boehner, released a pro-reform blueprint two weeks ago, reversed course last week by saying it’d be “difficult” to move any immigration bill because Republicans don’t trust President Barack Obama to implement the law. He subsequently rejected a compromise offered by Democrats to pass reform now and have it take effect after Obama leaves office.

Last year, Boehner publicly rebuked King for inflammatory comments comparing young unauthorized immigrants to drug mules. He later called King an “asshole” for those comments.

And yet, Boehner is making Republicans vulnerable to being portrayed as the party of Steve King: the only bill he has brought up and passed so far in the 113th Congress is King’s legislation to deport people brought to the country illegally as children.

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