|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 4th district
January 3, 2013
|Preceded by||Tom Latham|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 5th district
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
|Preceded by||Tom Latham|
|Succeeded by||Constituency abolished|
|Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 6th district
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2003
|Preceded by||Wayne Bennett|
|Succeeded by||Thurman Gaskill|
|Born||Steven Arnold King
May 28, 1949
Storm Lake, Iowa, U.S.
|Residence||Kiron, Iowa, U.S.|
Steven Arnold King (born May 28, 1949) is an American politician serving as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Iowa's 4th congressional district; the district is located in the northwestern part of the state and includes Sioux City. King is a member of the Republican Party and has served in Congress since 2003.
- 1 Personal life, education, and business career
- 2 Iowa Senate (1997–2003)
- 3 U.S. House of Representatives (2003–present)
- 3.1 Elections
- 3.2 Tenure
- 3.2.1 Abortion and stem cells
- 3.2.2 Gun ownership
- 3.2.3 Animal rights
- 3.2.4 Same-sex marriage and LGBT rights
- 3.2.5 Healthcare and federal budget
- 3.2.6 Hurricane Katrina aid
- 3.2.7 Immigration
- 3.2.8 Obama's middle name and Islam
- 3.2.9 Affirmative action
- 3.2.10 Political lobbying
- 3.2.11 Racial profiling
- 3.2.12 Global warming
- 3.2.13 Confederate flag
- 3.2.14 Comments about superiority of "Western civilization"
- 3.2.15 2016 Presidential election support
- 3.2.16 Support of Geert Wilders and controversy
- 3.2.17 Support of Marine Le Pen
- 3.2.18 Support of US-Mexico border wall
- 3.2.19 House Foreign Affairs Committee
- 3.3 Committee assignments
- 3.4 Caucus memberships
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Personal life, education, and business career
King was born on May 28, 1949, in Storm Lake, Iowa, the son of Mildred Lila (née Culler), a homemaker, and Emmett A. King, a state police dispatcher. His father has Irish and German ancestry, and his mother has Welsh roots, as well as American ancestry going back to the colonial era. King has also stated that he is Latinx, although it has since been established that he is not. King graduated in 1967 from Denison Community High School. He is married to Marilyn, with whom he has three children. Raised a Methodist, King attended his wife's Catholic church, converting 17 years after marrying her. His son Jeff King (consultant) has been active in his political campaigns.
King attended Northwest Missouri State University from 1967 to 1970, and was a member of the Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity, majoring in math and biology  but did not graduate. While in college, King received "2S" deferments in 1967, 1968 and 1969.
In 1975, he founded King Construction, an earth moving company. King founded the Kiron Business Association in the 1980s. His involvement with the Iowa Land Improvement Contractors' Association led to regional and national offices in that organization and a growing interest in public policy.
Iowa Senate (1997–2003)
In 1996, he ran for Iowa's 6th Senate district and defeated Democrat Eileen Heiden 64%–35%. In 2000, he won re-election to a second term, defeating Democratic Party candidate Dennis Ryan 70%–30%.
From 1996 to 2002, King served as an Iowa state senator, representing the 6th district. He assisted in eliminating the inheritance tax, authored and passed into law workplace drug testing, worked for strengthening parental rights, passing tax cuts for working residents of Iowa, and passing a law that made English the official language in Iowa. In May 2001, King visited Cuba.
- Business and Labor
- Oversight Budget (vice chair)
- State Government (chair)
U.S. House of Representatives (2003–present)
In 2002, after redistricting, King ran for the open Iowa's 5th congressional district. The incumbent, fellow Republican Tom Latham, had his home drawn into the reconfigured 4th district. He ranked first in the four-way Republican primary with 31% of the vote. He was unable to procure the 35% voting threshold needed to win; subsequently, a nominating convention was held, which led to a nomination for King, who defeated state house speaker Brent Siegrist 51%–47%. King won the general election, defeating Council Bluffs city councilman Paul Shomshor 62%–38%. He won all the counties in the predominantly Republican district except Pottawattamie.
Iowa lost a district as a result of the 2010 census. King's district was renumbered as the 4th District, and pushed well to the east, absorbing Mason City and Ames in the process. This placed King and his predecessor, Latham, in the same district. Latham opted to move to the reconfigured 3rd District to challenge Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell. The reconfigured district was, at least on paper, much more competitive than King's old district. The old 5th had a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+9, while the new 4th has a PVI of R+4. The new 4th was also mostly new to him; he only retained 45 percent of his former territory. Indeed, geographically it was more Latham's district than King's; it closely resembled the territory that Latham had represented from 1995 to 2003.
Soon afterward, former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack, the wife of former governor and then current U.S. agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, announced she was moving to the new 4th to challenge King. King received the endorsement of Mitt Romney, who said, "I'm looking here at Steve King because this man needs to be your congressman again. I want him as my partner in Washington, D.C." King won re-election to a sixth term, defeating Vilsack, 53%–45%. King won all but seven counties, none of which he had previously represented: Webster, Boone, Story, Chickasaw, Floyd, Cerro Gordo, and Winnebago. King later said of his 2012 victory, "I faced $7 million, the best of everything Democrats can throw at me, their dream candidate and everything that can come from the Obama machine, and prevailed through all of that with 55 percent of my district that was new."
King won re-election with 61.6% of the vote, defeating Democratic candidate Jim Mowrer.
King is considered an outspoken fiscal and social conservative. After winning the 2002 Republican nomination, he said that he intended to use his seat in Congress to "move the political center of gravity in Congress to the right."
During the 110th Congress, King voted with the majority of the Republican Party 90.9% of the time. King has continuously voted for Iraq War legislation, and has supported surge efforts and opposed a time table for troop withdrawals. During the 112th United States Congress King was one of 40 "staunch" members of the Republican Study Committee who frequently voted against Republican party leadership and vocally expressed displeasure with House bills.
In August 2015, King was named the least effective member of Congress by InsideGov due to his persistent failures to get legislation out of committee.
Abortion and stem cells
King scored a 100% rating with the National Right to Life Committee, indicating an anti-abortion voting record. King also voted no on allowing human embryonic stem cell research. King supports the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would ban federal funding of abortions except in cases of what the bill calls "forcible rape". This would remove the coverage from Medicaid that covers abortions for victims of statutory rape or incest.”
After Todd Akin made a controversial statement about "legitimate rape" on August 19, 2012, King came to his defense, characterizing the critical response as "petty personal attacks", and calling Akin a "strong Christian man". King said that Akin's voting record should be more important than his words. Six months later, King's defense of Akin (who lost his race) was seen as politically damaging by Steven J. Law of the Conservative Victory Project, a group including Karl Rove that was working to discourage those they deemed unelectable conservative candidates, to enable more likely conservative candidates to gain office. Law said, "We're concerned about Steve King's Todd Akin problem."
King supports a broad legal latitude for individual gun ownership.
In February 2010, King tweeted about chasing and shooting a raccoon that had tried getting inside his house during a blizzard, receiving criticism from animal rights groups. He defended his actions, saying the animal might have been rabid.
In July 2012, King opposed the McGovern Amendment (to the 2012 Farm Bill) to establish misdemeanor penalties for knowingly attending an organized animal fight and felony penalties for bringing a minor to such a fight. King was also one of 39 members of the House to vote against an upgrade of penalties for transporting fighting animals across state lines in 2007. King received a score of zero on the 2012 Humane Society Legislative Fund's Humane Scorecard. Afterwards, he put out a video clarifying his position where he defended his position by stating that it would be putting animals above humans if it was legal to watch humans fight, but not animals.
In July 2012, King introduced an amendment to the House Farm Bill that would legalize previously banned animal agriculture practices such as tail-docking, putting arsenic in chicken feed, and keeping impregnated pigs in small crates. "My language wipes out everything they’ve done with pork and veal," King said of his amendment. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) President Wayne Pacelle said the measure could nullify "any laws to protect animals, and perhaps ... laws to protect the environment, workers, or public safety."
In May 2013, King introduced another amendment to the House Farm Bill, the Protect Interstate Commerce Act (PICA). He stated, "PICA blocks states from requiring 'free range' eggs or 'free range' pork."
On 27 January 2014, the controversial provision was dropped from the House farm bill.
Same-sex marriage and LGBT rights
On April 3, 2009, in a unanimous decision, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a state ban on same-sex marriage violated the Iowa constitution. King soon commented that the judges "should resign from their position" and the state legislature "must also enact marriage license residency requirements so that Iowa does not become the gay marriage Mecca." King, along with others, mounted a campaign against the three Iowa Supreme Court judges who were up for retention and had ruled on the gay marriage case. King bought $80,000 of radio advertising across the state calling for Iowans to vote "no" on the judges. Subsequently, all three judges were not retained.
In response to the Supreme Court's 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the court ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutionally protected right, King has called for a non-binding resolution saying that states may refuse to recognize the decision. King has also called for the abolishment of civil marriage.
Healthcare and federal budget
King fought against Medicare and Medicaid paying for a number of medications such as Viagra, which he described as "recreational drugs". King also has voted against each stimulus bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, saying, "Our economy will not recover because government spends more. It will recover because people produce more."
Hurricane Katrina aid
King gained prominence by being one of 11 in Congress to vote against the $52 billion Hurricane Katrina Aid package, claiming fiscal responsibility and the government needing a comprehensive plan for spending aid money.
In April 2006, conservative members of Congress proposed strengthening law enforcement against illegal immigration to the United States. When asked if "the US economy simply couldn't function without" the presence of illegal immigrants, King said that he rejected that position "categorically". He said the 77.5 million people between the ages of sixteen and sixty-five in the United States who are not part of the workforce "could be put to work and we could invent machines to replace the rest."
In July 2013, speaking about proposed immigration legislation, King said of undocumented immigrants, "For every one who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds—and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert." Despite strong rebukes from Democrats and King's fellow Republicans alike, with blunt rebukes from House speaker John Boehner, who called his statements "ignorant" and "hateful" and House majority leader Eric Cantor, who called the comments "inexcusable"; King continued to defend his comments, asserting he got the description from the border patrol.
Referencing HUD secretary Julian Castro's remarks on how poorly the Republican Party was doing with Hispanic voters, King responded in a July 2015 tweet "What does Julian Castro know? Does he know that I'm as Hispanic and Latino as he?" King is neither Hispanic nor Latino by either family history or ethnic definition.[better source needed]
Obama's middle name and Islam
On March 7, 2008, during his press engagements to announce his reelection campaign, King made remarks about then U.S. senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his middle name "Hussein", saying:
I don't want to disparage anyone because of their race, their ethnicity, their name—whatever their religion their father might have been, I'll just say this: When you think about the optics of a Barack Obama potentially getting elected President of the United States – I mean, what does this look like to the rest of the world? What does it look like to the world of Islam? I will tell you that, if he is elected president, then the radical Islamists, the al-Qaida, the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11.
Then on March 10, King defended his comments to The Associated Press, saying "(Obama will) certainly be viewed as a savior for them.... That's why you will see them supporting him, encouraging him."
Obama said he did not take the comments too seriously, describing King as an individual who thrives on making controversial statements to get media coverage. He said, "I would hope Sen. McCain would want to distance himself from that kind of inflammatory and offensive remarks." The McCain campaign disavowed King's comments, saying "John McCain rejects the type of politics that degrades our civics… and obviously that extends to Congressman King's statement."
In mid-January 2009, King acknowledged that terrorists were not dancing in the streets, and in fact "They have made statements against Obama." But he also claimed that he found Obama's decision to use his middle name "Hussein" when he was to be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States on January 20, 2009, to be "bizarre" and "a double-standard".
King opposes affirmative action. King has stated: “There’s been legislation that’s been brought through this House that sets aside benefits for women and minorities. The only people that it excludes are white men...Pretty soon, white men are going to notice they are the ones being excluded.”
On February 26, 2010, King went to the House floor to protest the Democrats' handling of health care reform and said: "Lobbyists do a very effective and useful job on this Hill. ... There's a credibility there in that arena that I think somebody needs to stand up for the lobby, and it is a matter of providing a lot of valuable information."
Steve King said on the floor of the House on June 14, 2010 that racial profiling was an important component of law enforcement: "Some claim that the Arizona law will bring about racial discrimination profiling. First let me say, Mr. Speaker, that profiling has always been an important component of legitimate law enforcement. If you can’t profile someone, you can’t use those common sense indicators that are before your very eyes. Now, I think it’s wrong to use racial profiling for the reasons of discriminating against people, but it’s not wrong to use race or other indicators for the sake of identifying people that are violating the law." As an example of profiling, King described an instance when a taxi driver would stop for him before he had to hail a cab, just because he was in a business suit.
King said on a radio show on June 14, 2010 that President Barack Obama's policies favored black people. On G. Gordon Liddy's radio program, He said, "The president has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race—on the side that favors the black person in the case of Prof. Gates and officer Crowley."
King dismissed the concern over global warming, labeling it a "religion" and claiming efforts to address climate change are useless. A day after claiming that climate change was more "a religion than a science," Steve King reasserted that many scientists overreact when discussing the consequences of global warming. King said that, "Everything that might result from a warmer planet is always bad in [environmentalists'] analysis. There will be more photosynthesis going on if the Earth gets warmer. ... And if sea levels go up 4 or 6 inches, I don't know if we'd know that. We don't know where sea level is even, let alone be able to say that it's going to come up an inch globally because some polar ice caps might melt because there's CO2 suspended in the atmosphere."
Steve King displays the confederate flag on his office desk, despite the fact that Iowa was part of the Union during the American Civil War. King removed the flag after a Confederate flag-waver shot two Iowa police officers.
Comments about superiority of "Western civilization"
King participated in a panel discussion on MSNBC on July 18, 2016. A panelist from Esquire magazine suggested that the 2016 convention could be the last in which "old white people would command the Republican Party's attention," to which King responded, "This whole 'old white people' business does get a little tired, Charlie. I'd ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about? Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?"
That evening, King was asked about his comments during an interview with ABC News. King said he had meant to say that "Western civilization," rather than "white people," is the "superior culture". He said that "when you describe Western civilization that can mean much of Western civilization happens to be Caucasians. But we should not apologize for our culture or our civilization. The contributions that were made by Western civilization itself, and by Americans, by Americans of all races stand far above the rest of the world. The Western civilization and the American civilization are a superior culture."
2016 Presidential election support
Support of Geert Wilders and controversy
On March 12, 2017 King expressed his support on Twitter for Geert Wilders, a far-right Dutch politician known for his anti-Islam views, leading up to the election in the country, stating "Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny." In the tweet King went on to say "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies," referring to his views on ending birthright citizenship and promoting "an America that's just so homogenous that we look a lot [sic] the same." His statements received criticism from other politicians, including several Republicans, with Jeb Bush responding on Twitter by stating that "America is a nation of immigrants"; despite receiving backlash, King firmly defended his statements. Others noted that King's statements were well received among white nationalists, garnering support from prominent members of the white nationalist community. The next day on CNN, King stated that he was referring to culture, not ethnicity, saying "It's the culture, not the blood. If you can go anywhere in the world and adopt these babies and put them into households that were already assimilated in America, those babies will grow up as American as any other baby with as much patriotism and love of country as any other baby."
Support of Marine Le Pen
Support of US-Mexico border wall
In July 2017, the House Appropriations Committee voted funding the US-Mexico border wall, allocating $1.6 billion for the project. King called for an additional $5 billion for the wall, to be paid for with federal dollars coming from Planned Parenthood, food stamps, and other federal welfare programs. King stated, "I would find half of a billion of dollars of that right out of Planned Parenthood’s budget. And the rest of it could come out of food stamps and the entitlements that are being spread out for people who have not worked in three generations."
House Foreign Affairs Committee
In July 2017, King claimed in an interview that the IT Staffer Imran Awan and his brothers had access to all the communications of the House Foreign Affairs Committee: “They had access to the information on the multiple clients that they had, and that number is nearly a score, as I recall, they would have had access to all the information that came through all those computers in all those offices and access to... all the communications of the foreign affairs committee”.
- Committee on Agriculture
- Committee on the Judiciary
- Committee on Small Business
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Steve King (Iowa politician).|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Steve King|
- Congressman Steve King official U.S. House site
- Steve King for Congress
- Steve King at DMOZ
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 5th congressional district
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 4th congressional district
|Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority
|108th||Senate: C. Grassley • T. Harkin||House: J. Leach • J. Nussle • T. Latham • L. Boswell • S. King|
|109th||Senate: C. Grassley • T. Harkin||House: J. Leach • J. Nussle • T. Latham • L. Boswell • S. King|
|110th||Senate: C. Grassley • T. Harkin||House: T. Latham • L. Boswell • S. King • D. Loebsack • B. Braley|
|111th||Senate: C. Grassley • T. Harkin||House: T. Latham • L. Boswell • S. King • D. Loebsack • B. Braley|
|112th||Senate: C. Grassley • T. Harkin||House: T. Latham • L. Boswell • S. King • D. Loebsack • B. Braley|
|113th||Senate: C. Grassley • T. Harkin||House: T. Latham • S. King • D. Loebsack • B. Braley|
|114th||Senate: C. Grassley • J. Ernst||House: S. King • D. Loebsack • R. Blum • D. Young|
|115th||Senate: C. Grassley • J. Ernst||House: S. King • D. Loebsack • R. Blum • D. Young|