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Steve King: The midterm election shows GOP shouldn't fear a government shutdown

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Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is calling for Republicans to shut down the government over President Barack Obama's immigration action, and scoffs at the notion that a shutdown would do irreparable harm to Republicans.

In a Thursday interview with TheBlaze, King noted that while Democrats warned voters would punish Republicans for the 2013 government shutdown, voters instead rewarded the GOP with more House seats and a new majority in the Senate.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) speaks during the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's Friends of the Family Banquet in Des Moines Iowa Saturday Nov. 9, 2013 (AP Photo by Justin Hayworth) AP Photo by Justin Hayworth Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) says Republicans weren't hurt by the 2013 government shutdown, and therefore shouldn't fear a future shutdown. (AP Photo by Justin Hayworth)

"I don't think the punishment for a government shutdown was that great," he said. "I can handle that kind of suffering again."

"For me, if the government went into a shutdown on the night of December 11th, and we didn't get to open it back up until the new Congress is seated January 6th, that wouldn't be so bad if we preserve the Constitution and the rule of law and process," he added.

While it's indisputable that Republicans won a huge election night victory earlier this month, King's comments fly in the face of GOP leaders, who have said they won't allow a shutdown to happen under their watch.

If Republicans hold to that position, it will limit their leverage over Obama as they fight his unilateral immigration action. Still, King recommended three separate actions that could help force Obama's hand on immigration, starting with a resolution disapproving of Obama's move.

"I would bring… right after Thanksgiving, a resolution of disapproval that identifies what the president has done, identifies any constitutional aspects of it," King said.

"And I think that we would have a significant majority in the House," he said. "I would expect every Republican would vote for that, and there'd be some Democrats."

As a next step, King says the House should vote to censure Obama for going around Congress in an effort to re-write U.S. immigration law.

"That would be a little more personal," he said. "That's happened to several of the presidents, but it's been a long time."

King said the censure could include language that asks Obama to take back his executive actions on immigration, but acknowledged Obama would be unlikely to do so. In that case, King said the House should consider legislation to stop funding parts of the government that will implement Obama's plan.

"I have the legislation drafted to cut off all funding to implement or enforce his unconstitutional acts," he said. King added that if the House could take these steps, it would put Obama back inside his "constitutional guardrails."

"My district, I'll just predict they're going to want to cut off the funding, and they're going to want me to hold my ground," he added.

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