Congressman Steve King has represented different Iowa congressional districts since 2002. He prides his political career on several accomplishments, including fighting against pro-choice abortion laws and making English the official language of Iowa.
He was born in Storm Lake, Iowa, in 1949. He attended Denison High School, where he met his wife, Marilyn. He went on to study math and science at Northwest Missouri State University before starting his own construction company.
A life long Republican, King served in the Senate for six years where he served on a multitude of committees, including time spent as Chair of the State Government Committee. He now serves on the Agricultural Committee.
King has been a controversial political figure. His hard-lined stances on abortion and immigration make him stand out among his conservative peers. His appreciation of Confederate flags, and neo-Nazi figures like Faith Goldy, resulted in a lot of flack from his liberal political counterparts.
King often referred to Obamacare as a “disaster,” and wants to see the program completely defunded. In turn, he would see a health care system that relied more on private insurance agencies providing care.
“We should allow individuals to purchase their insurance across state lines,” according to King's website. “I believe we must increase the attractiveness and use of health savings accounts and end the tax discrepancy between individuals who purchase their own insurance and those who get health care insurance through their employees.”
King also supports legislation which would allow small businesses to pool together and search for health insurance together, reducing the individual risk upon each of the businesses.
In 2007, he voted 'no' on a bill which required the secretary of health and human services to negotiate the prices of of prescription drugs with pharmaceutical companies. He’s staunchly pro-life, and sponsored the Heartbeat Protection Act, which would make all abortions illegal after six to eight weeks, when a fetal heartbeat is detected.
“It should be the goal of any pro-life person to end abortion,” King said in an interview with the Global Catholic Network. “Human life is sacred in all its forms, and that life begins at conception.
Allegations of racism
King has been accused of racism throughout his congressional career. These accusations have climbed the political ladder, and on Tuesday King was called out by Republican leadership for his comments.
“Congressman Steve King’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate,” said Steve Stivers, leader of the Republican National Congressional Committee. “We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior.”
King has gained notoriety in the past from retweeting accounts affiliated with neo-Nazis. He also did an interview with Unzensuriert, a right-wing Austrian publication that was founded by former Nazi SS officer, although the news outlet has since denounced it’s Nazi ties.
In the interview, King said Muslims and liberals had “teamed up against Western civilization.”
“Between the two of them, it is like fighting a two front war,” King said. “So how is it, that the liberals, the leftists, on the one side, could build an alliance with the misogynistic hard core rightist Islamic people that have no tolerance for anything?”
Stiver’s remarks came after King was criticized by Iowa Jewish leaders. King has made it a point to critique immigration and multiculturalism throughout his time in office.
“You cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies,” King said in an interview with CNN. He said he repeated this sentiment in Europe, and encouraged citizens of European nations to increase their birth rate so they wouldn’t become a minority culture.
Regarding America, King called himself “a champion for Western civilization,” and hesitated to say whether people born to American families of different faiths and races are equal.
“They contribute differently to our culture and civilization,” King said. “There are moderate Muslims that are equal with all other groups, but there are Muslims who are teaching hatred in their families. If they can assimilate, that’s what I want.”
King lost the support of two campaign contributors in the wake of his most recent allegations of racism. Both Land o’ Lakes and Purina will no longer be contributing to his campaign.
“We take our civic responsibility seriously,” Land o’ Lakes said in a press release. “We want our contributions to be a positive force for good and also seek to ensure that recipients of our contributions uphold our company’s values. On that basis, we have determined that our PAC will no longer support Rep. Steve King moving forward.”
King still has the support of numerous corporations and super PACs, including the Koch Brothers, the American Banking Association and Berkshire Hathaway.
King’s largest contributor is the Club for Growth, a conservative political organization of about a quarter million Americans. They contribute to candidates on both sides who uphold conservative values, according to their website. However they only gave money to Republicans in the 2016 election cycle.
Club for Growth gave nearly $270,000 to King’s campaign this year, or 36 percent of his total campaign funding.