Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said the standoff and shutdown over the continuing resolution was worth it because it helped identify conservatives in the House.
King didn’t vote for the Reid-McConnell deal “because, first of all, there’s nothing in there for conservatives, nothing in there really for Republicans.”
“We have pitched this fight for a long time, actually, the strategy clear back as late June, and all the way to this point, and now the final deal comes back and it’s just got nothing in there that’s worthy of the effort. And I would rather keep this thing going,” he said. “…I want to live to fight another day and I don’t want to sacrifice my principles, because then you don’t have a lot of fight ground to fight on.”
King said he does believe things were accomplished by the shutdown, “but you have to look for it a little bit.”
“And one of those things is, I think we have identified 20 or 30 good, strong conservatives in the House that will stand up and actually stand on principle and fight. And there’s probably more than that. But that’s a good bunch that have emerged now on the national scene. That’s true. Ted Cruz is stronger. Mike Lee is stronger. The conservatives in the Senate are stronger,” he said.
“And maybe one good thing that could come out of this is a shift in the dynamics so that perhaps Republicans could win the majority in the Senate coming up in the 2014 elections. That would make it all worth the fight.”
He acknowledged, though, that the GOP is not on strong footing in polls after the shutdown.
“I have long said that there’s going to be this friction that’s going to come during this period of time, and that public opinion will sort this out. If public opinion goes against us, we will see members that will peel off one after another. That’s their perception, whether it’s real or not. And the polls do say that it’s real. And so the public opinion polls have polled our members away from this. But once we get the other side of that, there may be a short-term political penalty. There may not,” King continued.
“But in the long term, we can never recover from Obamacare. And when it becomes implemented, and we watch on January 1 as people get their premium bills and they find out that their deductibles have gone up and they can’t keep their insurance company, can’t keep their doctor, then the politics of this thing starts to take on a whole new flavor. And that’s what I think we need to look to if we’re going to ever put an end to Obamacare.”