Another Reason Congress Doesn’t Get Respect

Boston Police, the FBI, ATF, Homeland Security were still trying to figure out who was responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing Monday but that didn’t stop one of Congress’s most notorious wingnuts from trying to exploit the tragedy to advance his own political agenda.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) quickly called for all immigration reform legislation to be put on hold because the bomber may have been some foreigner, possibly a student from Saudi Arabia who was injured in the bombing. 

There had been speculation, quickly dismissed by law enforcement officials, about a Saudi student, and that was all King needed.  Without bother to wait for any facts, he latched on to the rumor and declared, “If we can’t background-check people that are coming from Saudi Arabia, how do we think we are going to background check the 11 to 20 million people that are here from who knows where?”

King tried to portray himself as simply being cautious and vigilant, but he has a long history of opposing easing restrictions on immigration or any pathway to citizenship, and insisting that the focus should be border security and only then allowing only the more valuable immigrants, who, with his usual racial and ethnic sensitivity, he’s termed “the pick of the litter.”

During the 2008 presidential campaign, King said that if Barack Obama became 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.”  Two reasons why:  “his middle name does matter” and “the optics,” meaning his appearance.

Does anyone wonder why Congress is held in low esteem by American public?  And this guy is running for the Senate next year.  

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.