Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) says Republicans should keep open the option of impeaching President Barack Obama if he moves aggressively to create a legal status for millions of illegal immigrants after the election.
"We know there is the 'I' word in the Constitution that none of us want to say or act on," King told NewsMax last week.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, says Congress should hold out the idea of impeaching President Barack Obama if Obama moves unilaterally on immigration. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth, File)
"In this context, everything is on the table," he added. "We cannot have a president of the United States that believes that he can make up the law as he goes."
King stressed that Republicans shouldn't move immediately to impeach Obama. "I'm not advocating that's the first card to play, but it surely is not one that you take off the table," he said.
But he said Congress should be prepared to defend the Constitution "at all costs."
"A lawless president in the United States occupying the White House was not something our founding fathers ever imagined would happen," he said. "Well, I guess they did, because they put that provision in the Constitution to deal with it."
As an intermediate step before impeachment, King repeated that Congress should convene and possibly act to blunt Obama's move. King has said he would fly immediately to Washington if needed, and said he hoped House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would be ready to call other members back.
King also suggested that protests around the White House might also help let Obama know that people oppose his effort to legalize millions of illegal immigrants.
"I don't figure that going to the Capitol and asking people to come there to surround the Capitol does us any good, but surrounding the White House might," he said. "If we're not going to go there and protest outside the gates of the president's residence, until he lets go of this unconstitutional action, then I don't know how we stop this."
Obama originally said he would take some steps on immigration at the end of the summer, but the White House later admitted that the move was delayed for fear that it might hurt Democrats in the election.
Earlier this month, the government put in an order for card stock needed to make millions of additional green cards per year, for the next five years. That led to suspicion among Republicans that Obama's immigration move will involve handing out additional green cards.
But in a White House briefing, spokesman Josh Earnest deflected those suspicions and said it would be a mistake to connect the two ideas.
"There are decisions that are made by lots of agencies, including new ordering of specific colored sheets of paper," he said. "You would have to ask the DHS about orders for green-colored paper that they’ve ordered."