Steve King: Labrador too 'pro-amnesty'

Getty Images

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) says that Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), who later announced his candidacy for majority leader, is too supportive of "amnesty."

"#Labrador is pro amnesty. If not this year, he has strongly advocated for amnesty next year. No fair trying to redefine amnesty," King tweeted on Friday before Labrador made his bid officialy later that afternoon. 

ADVERTISEMENT
The Puerto Rico-born Labrador was part of the "Group of Eight" talks in the House last summer to craft a bipartisan immigration reform bill. But Labrador, one of the most conservative members of the House departed the group due to disagreements over how to pay for immigrants' healthcare.

King said Thursday that he would not support any candidate for a leadership slot that had any record of supporting "amnesty" for immigrants in the U.S. illegally. 

"In all of the leadership positions that are here, I will not vote in the affirmative for any candidate who has advocated for amnesty," King said.

King and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) called for a delay in the leadership election so that the party could field a candidate who they believe is not too soft on immigration.

reedomWorks, a top Tea Party group, issued support for Labrador's candidacy for the majority leader post against House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy. Former Rep. Ron Paul's (R-Texas) Campaign for Liberty also announced they would back him. McCarthy currently is running unopposed, unless he gets a challenger before the leadership election on June 19.

"Kevin McCarthy represents the status quo of growing government and spending money we don’t have. We encourage Rep. Labrador to enter the race for House Majority Leader because he would have the courage to give grassroots America a voice in Washington and make DC listen," FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said in a statement.

--This post was updated at 1:50 p.m.