King blames Reagan for Obama presidency

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said Thursday that President Obama would not be president if it weren’t for the 1986 amnesty bill that Ronald Reagan signed into law.

{mosads}King is a leading GOP critic of efforts to pass an immigration reform bill, and has often said on the House floor that Republicans are overreacting to the 2012 election, which some Republicans saw as a sign that the GOP needs to get behind a reform bill.

In an effort to dissuade Republicans, King argued that the 1986 immigration bill that Reagan signed into law is estimated to have brought amnesty to three million illegal immigrants. 

He said conservative estimates show that, on average, each of these people brought in five others, leading to 15 million more people in the country, most of whom voted for Obama.

“[T]hey have to admit that Ronald Reagan’s signature on the ’86 amnesty act brought about Barack Obama’s election,” King concluded on the House floor. 

“[I]t’s clear to anybody that can do any kind of statistical analysis that Barack Obama wouldn’t be President of the United States without Ronald Reagan’s 1986 amnesty act.”

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King added that the immigration reform plans being worked on in both the House and Senate would provide amnesty for millions more illegal immigrants and suggested that a majority of them would also vote Democratic.

“And if that’s the case, then how do the people on my side of the aisle think they’re going to fix that problem?” King asked. “If it was created by amnesty, you create a bigger problem by amnesty.”

King reiterated his position that many Republicans believe that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney would be president today if he had not suggested that illegal immigrants “self-deport.” But he said that is a flawed theory.

He also warned Republicans that Democrats know this, which is why they are trying to convince Republicans to accept an immigration bill that King said provides amnesty, but only promises border enforcement.

“When the President of the United States came to the Republican Conference … he said to us, you must pass comprehensive immigration reform, Republicans, or you will never win another national election. I’m trying to help you,” King said.

“He’s not trying to help Republicans. We have some people who will take the bait on that.

“It will split this party in half. It will pit Republicans against Republicans. The Democrats know that. That is a clear tactic in politics, to divide the other party down an issue if you can.”

King spoke on the same day that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the House would not simply pick up the Senate’s immigration bill and pass it and would not be “stampeded” by the White House.

A bipartisan group of House negotiators is continuing to meet in an effort to reach an agreement on immigration legislation. The group was stuck on the question of healthcare benefits for illegal immigrants.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said earlier today that Democrats are in favor of denying federal benefits to illegal immigrants.

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