Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Steve King Challenges Senators to ‘Duel’ for Trash Talk (Video)


Cantaloupes delivered to lawmakers on Capitol Hill last year to protest Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King’s comments on undocumented immigrants (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has challenged three top Senate Democrats to a duel — but “not like Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton,” the lawmaker was quick to clarify.

Unlike the famous confrontation in 1804 wherein Burr, the sitting vice president, shot and killed the ex-Treasury secretary, King would prefer to sort out philosophical differences with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin and Charles E. Schumer “like many men do it today: Not duel with 50 paces and pistols, but … with microphones within arm’s reach.

“If we’re going to have some kind of rhetoric bouncing back between the House and Senate, let’s do it face to face,” King said. “Let’s do it eye to eye.”

King came to the House floor on Thursday afternoon for a systematic take-down of the various criticisms that have been lodged against him by his Democratic foes in the Senate, particularly Schumer, who has at points taken to the floor of his own chamber to call King a xenophobe and demand that he be expelled from Congress.

The timing of King’s speech of self-defense, however, might have been spurred by a news conference convened earlier in the day, wherein Schumer and Durbin called on House Republicans to advance immigration overhaul legislation — and called King the reason for their inaction.

“They have not lifted a finger,” said Schumer of GOP leaders. “They’re letting the Steve Kings call the shots. Steve King says do nothing, the House leadership does nothing.”

“Some of the statements he’s made have been part of a sad and time-honored tradition of nativism and prejudice against immigrants, and he continues that to this day,” Durbin chimed in.

The Iowa Republican, who caught special heat last summer for saying that immigrants brought to the United States illegally by their parents were more likely to be “drug mules” with “calves the size of cantaloupes” than valedictorians, was none too pleased with the idea of other lawmakers trash-talking him behind his back.

“Chuck Schumer … [on] May 1, 2014, on the floor of the United States Senate, he decided that he would target me and blame me for the things he believes are failures of the entire House of Representatives,” said King. “Here are some of the quotes that Chuck Schumer called me: ‘An extreme outlier on the issue of immigration reform,’ closed quote …Chuck Schumer represents the extreme outliers, and they are socialists, Marxists, progressives, liberal Democrats.”

King was clear in his assessment of what would take place if Senate Democrats succeed in having their immigration overhaul bill, which includes a pathway to citizenship, signed into law:

“America would be wiped out from a perspective of the rule of law and the future and the destiny for our country if we allowed people like Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin to set the policy for immigration. If they did that, the rule of law, at least with regard to immigration, would be destroyed. It would be gone. We couldn’t reconstruct it again in our lifetime. Not just our lifetime … but the lifetime of this republic … Has anybody read the Senate Gang of Eight immigration bill? I have. I’ve read through that entire bill, and I come to this conclusion: They have sent to us from the United States Senate a bill on immigration. It’s expansive. It covers all kinds of things. It is this: It is instantaneous  amnesty for almost everyone that’s in America illegally.”

In the aftermath of King’s remarks, Schumer didn’t seem to be jumping at the chance to go tete-a-tete with the Iowan. He said, on Twitter:

When @SteveKingIA lets the House debate comprehensive #immigration reform on the floor, I’ll happily debate him. -cs

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 22, 2014

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.

  • Brenda Huddleston

    Republicans…..stand your ground. The Democrats are doing all they have left to do…create a diversion. Steve King, don’t apologize. You don’t owe an apology!

  • David Farrar

    A Duel! Fair enough: If Obama and Harry Reid are so certain the voters support amnesty, let the voters speak to the issue on November 4, 2014. If the Democrats take either house of Congress, and afterwards fail to pass immigration reform, including a pathway to amnesty, Obama can move by executive order. If both houses are taken by one party, it will be strictly up to Congress to pass or table immigration reform, including a pathway to amnesty.

    ex animo

  • Dave Francis


    it make you enraged that the immigration laws we have in place are not being
    enforced— a border that is still wide open—no real accountability for employers
    who hire illegal nationals, with a poorly control of E-Verify that has its
    limitations; that for a couple of billion dollars every member of the legal
    population could be issued with infallible digital ID card. Obama is
    threatening the entire constitutional system by refusing to enforce those
    immigration laws? That the border region is still not sealed and illegal aliens
    justifying in believing that another Amnesty could be on the horizon are
    sending masses of kids that we must offer refuge too. That Democrats as Sen.
    Harry Reid is refusing to allow any votes in Congress on any positive immigration
    laws. It might hurt my Karma, but it’s a shame Harry Reid emerged from the car
    accident a few years back in Nevada. That only certain moderate
    Conservatives, led by the rational Tea represents part of the
    majority and not the self-proclaimed Tea media, which 65 percent of Americans
    approve of a Path to citizenship or Amnesty for foreign nationals. FOR ME

    Do you feel like you could spit flames
    about this invasion—and it is an invasion when you think about all your taxpayer
    dollars are going to fund—their healthcare, their food stamps, fraudulent child
    tax credits, their children’s education—and cheap federal housing and topping
    it off they’re going to be given our jobs, if the Political party Special
    interests—Unions, U.S. Chamber of Commerce get their way. Party Express, co-founder Sal Russo, who believe they have the voice of
    the people, which is a bunch of barefaced BS. Another set of lies consistent
    with the mainstream presses, who have been deluded by Liberal-hard-core
    socialists reporters firmly encapsulated into the newspapers, TV and radio.

    Are you not fearful of the 36,007
    criminal illegal aliens that were released by Obama last year on the streets and
    went on to commit more than 16,000 new crimes?

    Those 36,007 criminal illegal aliens were charged with sex
    crimes, drug crimes, burglary/theft, drunken driving and MURDER. Under Obama’s
    directive, ICE has released murderers, rapists, kidnappers and drug dealers.

    They had more than 87,000 convictions combined! My neighborhood used to be a
    safe place. Now I worry.

    These criminals have broken the law: drug violations, sexual assault and
    domestic violence convictions, and aggravated assault are just a small part of
    the long list of infractions—and he wants to “reward” them with
    citizenship. It’s an outrage! None of US should stand there and allow this to

    · OUR LIBERTIES STRIPPED: Lost your insurance? How about
    your doctor?

    OUR LIBERTIES STRIPPED: Your citizenship given
    to undeserving illegal aliens

    Gun grabbed with mass registration around the corner

    Piling on more national debt, crushing the dollar

    Invading your home without a warrant

    Refusing to investigate fraudulent votes

    Fast & Furious gun running to drug lords in Mexico

    OUR LIBERTIES STRIPPED: Crushing business with
    ObamaCare and ObamaTax

    STRIPPED: A Weakened foreign policy
    & Anti American Justice Dept.

    This type of violation under the Obama’s Administration would never
    happen under true TEA PARTY Leadership. Senate candidate Paul Broun of
    Georgia, Senator Rand Paul, M.D. is the junior United States Senator for
    Kentucky, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas
    and Colonel Robert L. Maness just to name a few. They are dedicated to preserving our freedoms; our
    Constitution; the Rule of Law: our Sovereignty; this basic liberties that
    seemed to have already been violated by the Liberals and Democrats; the very
    foundation of American life and supporting a business climate that fosters
    free-market opportunities. This country definitely needs a change of the usual
    corruption that drains our treasuries. The TEA PARTY has promised, PROMISED to
    Abolish the IRS and substitute it with a fair tax.

  • Payton Manning

    Adam Smith first realized that we had stumbled upon ways to cooperate which enabled us to overcome the limits of our own personal knowledge.

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