Rep. Steve King: Build border wall with funds from food stamps, Planned Parenthood

Gabby Kaufman
Reporter

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said Wednesday that Congress should pad the budget for President Trump’s border wall by cutting funding for Planned Parenthood and food stamps.

On CNN’s “New Day,” King was asked if he was comfortable with $1.6 billion of taxpayer money being allocated to fund the border wall, particularly in light of Trump’s signature campaign promise that Mexico would pay for 100 percent of it.

“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,” he said.

Cutting federal funding for Planned Parenthood has long been a Republican talking point, but pressed on diminishing access to food for poor Americans, King conjured a unique defense. He invoked former first lady Michelle Obama’s healthy school lunch initiative and implied that the issue of malnutrition has been overcorrected, as evidenced by obesity rates.

When asked why he wouldn’t feel conflicted cutting food stamps, King said, “For a couple of reasons —one of ’em would be that, you know, we will create the kind the 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.”

Asked if he felt too many Americans were reliant on entitlements, King mentioned obesity rates as proof the issue should be “looked at.”

“We built a program to solve the problem of malnutrition in America, and now we have a problem of obesity,” King said. “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.”

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