Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said Wednesday that Congress should use funding from Planned Parenthood and federal food stamps to pay for President Donald Trump’s long-promised border wall.
When pressed by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota about the cost of the proposed U.S.-Mexico wall, King said he is comfortable with the $1.6 billion appropriated in the Homeland Security spending bill for next year.
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“And I’d throw another $5 billion on the pile, and I’d find a half of a billion dollars of that right out of Planned Parenthood’s budget,” the lawmaker said. “And the rest of it could come out of food stamps and the entitlements that are being spread out for people that haven’t worked in three generations."
“We’ve got to put America back to work,” he continued. “This administration will do it.”
Camerota asked the congressman if he really wants to “take food from people who are on the lowest rung, in terms of the nation’s safety net, and their children, in terms of food stamps.”
King told her that he is comfortable decreasing the amount of money going into the federal food stamp program because, though it was originally intended to combat malnutrition, many of its users are now struggling with obesity.
“Now we have a problem of obesity,” King explained. “And when you match up the EBT card with what the scales say on some of the folks — I think it’s worth looking at. [Former first lady] Michelle Obama looked at it; Republicans should be able to look at it, too.”
The Iowa Republican also noted that securing the United States’ southern border would create millions of new jobs by quelling the influx of illegal immigrants. With those news jobs, he said, there would be less need for federal programs like food stamps.
“We will create the kind of security that would bring about 10 million new jobs in America just by enforcing immigration law,” King said.
As for Planned Parenthood, if the Senate’s health care bill passes in its current state, the nation’s largest abortion provider would lose federal funding for one year. The language in the bill bars any organization that provides abortions from receiving federal dollars, except for in cases of rape or incest.
On the campaign trail, Trump vowed that Mexico would pay for the border wall, and speaking during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, last week, the president said once again Mexico would foot the bill.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, however, said in August, after a visit with then-candidate Trump, that his country would not be paying for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.