Meet the Lawmaker: Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)

What’s your favorite hobby?
Rep. King: I can still get all of my grandchildren on my lap at once. I have four, ages 4-and-a-half to 1. And that’s the coolest thing. If I can fire up my grill on the deck, and while the coals are heating up, I can push my grandchildren in the hay-roll swing that hangs from the Maple tree in the front of the yard, and pull some food off of [the grill], and our extended family can come around after church on Sundays and we get around the table and say a prayer of thanks, that’s as good as it gets.

What household chores do you dislike and like?
Rep. King: I don’t know. I wasn’t taught to dislike work. I think work’s got a bad name. It’s always soothing to me. I like to mow the lawn. I don’t mind going to the basement to clean it, or the attic, or whatever it is. But when it has to be done by a deadline, and I can’t enjoy the work, and I just have to scramble through it and not do it to the standard I like, that’s frustrating. But there’s nothing too dirty, too hot or too cold.

What vote would you like to redo?
Rep. King: I don’t really go back and re-live that sort of thing. Some of the big votes that I’ve thought about, some of the jury’s still out. And at this point, maybe I’d answer that question another way, probably the singular vote that stands out that went against the grain, and it turns out to be the best vote that I cast, was my “no” vote to the $51.5 billion to [Hurricane] Katrina. That probably was my best vote. But as far as doing something different again, I don’t know.

How many autographs do you sign a year?
Rep. King: I have no idea. I do sign them, though. It comes up quite often. People give me their T-shirts, and I just sign them. Last night I walked out of the Capitol, and there’s a line of people waiting to get in, and it felt like I was working a rope line. They were just waiting to get into the Capitol, and this woman comes running around and says, “Steve King, oh, you’re my district,” and she gives me this great big hug. It’s one of the perks of the job. I get a little makeup on my jacket from time to time, and my wife understands. I love the people in this country. If you treat them good, they’ll treat you well.
Jordy Yager