During a recent appearance on CNN’s New Day, Rep. Steve King of Iowa made it known that funding Trump’s border wall would remain one of his top priorities. When New Day host Alisyn Camerota asked King whether Trump should spend more time tweeting about matters relevant to the Republican agenda, King admitted that he should.
“And I would like to say to America,” King continued, “A wall is not a fence, it’s not a virtual [wall], it’s not a balloon in the air, it’s not a drone. It’s a wall. It’s a concrete wall. And it’s 2,000 miles of concrete wall.”
Camerota pointed out that the Trump administration was seeking some $1.6 billion to begin construction, and asked the congressman whether he was willing to use taxpayer money for the project.
“Absolutely yes, and more,” he responded. He then boasted that he would be willing to “throw another 5 billion [dollars] on the pile,” including half a billion from Planned Parenthood’s budget. The rest of the money could come from “entitlements” like Food Stamps, recipients of which are poor people who, in King’s words, “haven’t worked in three generations.”
When Camerota asked him if he was really comfortable with taking food from the most vulnerable Americans, including children, King said he would because he’s not proposing anything stricter than Michelle Obama’s healthy lunch program.
And besides that, he said, people on Food Stamps are often obese, which means that they don’t need those “entitlements” in the first place. Or perhaps, as so often is the case, the cheapest food is the unhealthiest, and it’s often expensive to maintain a good diet.
Camerota: Would it help you if the President tweeted more about his agenda and, say, healthcare and, say, building the border wall, and all of those other things that he promised?
King: Well, you know, I’ve told him personally — and I think Chris Cuomo would get a laugh out of this — that I need the President tweeting because I need the cover for my Twitter account. But it would be better to have more tweets driving policy. Build the wall. And I would like to say to America: A wall is not a fence, it’s not a virtual [wall], it’s not a balloon in the air, it’s not a drone. It’s a wall. It’s a concrete wall. And it’s 2,000 miles of concrete wall.
Camerota: And it’s 1.6 billion dollars. I mean, that’s what might be holding up the funding for the government, but are you comfortable, Congressman, with providing 1.6 billion dollars of taxpayer money — not from Mexico — to build that wall?
King: Absolutely yes, and more. And I’d throw another 5 billion on the pile, and I would find a half of a billion 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 that haven’t worked in three generations. We’ve gotta put America back to work. This administration’ll do it. And we gotta free ’em up so that they can and support the right agenda for this country.
Camerota: You wanna take food from people who are…the people who are on the lowest rung in terms of the nation’s safety net, and their children. In terms of Food Stamps, you are happy to take…you’re willing to take money from them to build the 1.6 or to give the 1.6 billion dollars for the border wall?
King: For a couple of reasons. One of them would be that we will create the kind of security that would bring about 10 million new jobs in America just by enforcing immigration law.
Second thing is, I wouldn’t impose anything more strict on anybody in America than what Michelle Obama did with her school lunch program. And so, I would just say let’s limit it to that.
Anybody that wants to have Food Stamps up to the school lunch program, that’s fine. But we have seen this go from 19 million people on, now, [the] SNAP program up to 47 million people on the SNAP program.
Camerota: And you don’t think all of them need it?
King: Oh, I’m sure that all of them didn’t need it. And so we need to set this down and ratchet it back down again. We built the programs because to solve the problem of malnutrition in America.
King: And now we have a problem of obesity. And when you match up the EBT card with what the scales say on some of the folks, I think it’s worth looking at. Michelle Obama looked at it. Republicans should be able to look at it too.