partlycloudy
Sunday February 14th, 2016 2:03PM

Boehner calls out Rep. King on immigration remark

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday elevated his criticism of fellow Republican Rep. Steve King over King's suggestion that many immigrants in the country illegally are drug runners, calling the comments "deeply offensive and wrong."

Boehner already had issued a written statement earlier in the week condemning King's remarks, but at his weekly news conference, he ramped up his criticism even without being asked. The Ohio Republican took the unusual step of calling King out by name, dramatizing the concern among GOP leaders that incendiary comments from the right can tarnish the party's image even as lawmakers struggle to find a solution to the immigration debate.

"I want to be clear. There's no place in this debate for hateful or ignorant comments from elected officials," Boehner said.

"What he said does not reflect the values of the American people or the Republican Party," the speaker said, "and we all need to do our work in a constructive, open and respectful way."

Boehner also said that King's comments made grappling with immigration legislation more difficult, "but I'm going to continue to work with members who want to get to a solution, as opposed to those who want to do nothing."

King, R-Iowa, told a conservative news website last week that with respect to immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as kids, "for every one who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."

The comments began to circulate widely on Tuesday, drawing condemnation from Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., other Republicans and numerous Democrats including White House press secretary Jay Carney. They've also already become fodder for at least one pro-Democratic political fundraising group, the House Majority PAC, which highlighted them in an email to supporters Thursday.

A small group of immigrant youths with the organization United We Dream, which represents people brought illegally to the U.S. as children, brought two cantaloupes to King's office Thursday and delivered them to staff members.

Several hours after Boehner spoke, King took to the House floor to defend his remarks and expand on them, though he did not directly mention Boehner's criticism.

"There are many, many young people coming across the border unlawfully who are smuggling drugs into the United States," King said, adding that "no nation like the United States of America can continue to grow and be a strong nation if we are going to judge people because they disagree with our agenda rather than the content of their statement."

"We should understand facts from emotion," King said. "We must not sacrifice the rule of law on the altar of political expediency."

Separately Thursday, King told reporters waiting for him outside his office: "My comments are anything but ignorant. They may have been the best informed in the entire United States Congress."

Despite his criticism, Boehner did not suggest he had any plans to take action against King such as removing him from the House Judiciary Committee. "I think I've made myself very clear when it comes to Mr. King," Boehner said when asked about such disciplinary steps.

Immigration legislation is in limbo in the House as Boehner and other GOP leaders debate how to move forward after the Senate last month passed a comprehensive bill with border security, visa reform and a path to citizenship for 11 million people here illegally. House Republicans have rejected the Senate approach and Boehner has said they plan to move forward in a piecemeal fashion with narrowly focused bills, starting with border security.

Boehner and Cantor also have embraced legislation to offer citizenship to some immigrants brought here illegally as kids - the subject of a hearing Tuesday where King's comments first came under attack.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 2 years ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Missing Ga. bank director arrested in Brunswick
A bank director accused of losing millions of investors' dollars before vanishing last year was arrested Tuesday during a traffic stop in a city in south Georgia.
7:00PM ( 2 years ago )
Amtrak to suspend some Crescent service in Jan., Feb.
Amtrak service will shut down in parts of the Southeast for several days in January and February for rail maintenance by Norfolk Southern Railway.
9:00AM ( 2 years ago )
Lung cancer scans urged for some smokers, not all
Certain current or former heavy smokers should start getting yearly scans for lung cancer to cut their risk of death from the nation's top cancer killer, government advisers said Monday - even as they stressed that the tests aren't for everyone.
7:26AM ( 2 years ago )
Business News
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 2 years ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Victim critical following apartment fire
A 41-year-old woman was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after being rescued from an apartment fire in Forsyth County late Monday afternoon.
3:16PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Feeling US snub, Saudis strengthen ties elsewhere
Increasingly vocal in its frustration over U.S. policies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia is strengthening ties elsewhere, seeking out an alignment that will bolster its position after it was pushed to the sidelines this year.
4:34PM ( 2 years ago )
NSA reportedly intercepts computer deliveries
A German magazine has lifted the lid on the operations of the National Security Agency's hacker unit, revealing how American spies intercepted computer deliveries, exploited hardware vulnerabilities, and even hijacked Microsoft's bug report system to spy on their targets.
12:31PM ( 2 years ago )
Rockets fired from Lebanon into Israel
Rockets from Lebanon struck northern Israel on Sunday, causing no injuries but sparking an Israeli reprisal shelling in a rare flare-up between the two countries.
12:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Politics
U.S, Cuba to resume commercial flights for 1st time in 50 years
The United States and Cuba will sign an agreement next week to resume commercial air traffic for the first time in five decades, starting the clock on dozens of new flights operating daily by next fall, U.S. officials said Friday.
By The Associated Press
9:35PM ( 1 day ago )
New details about the possible effects of the Zika virus on the fetal brain are emerging
WASHINGTON (AP) — New details about the possible effects of the Zika virus on the fetal brain emerged Wednesday as U.S. health officials say mosquito eradication here and abroad is key to protect preg...
6:22PM ( 3 days ago )
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to help fight the Zika virus
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus and the mosquitoes that spread it here and abroad, but says "there s...
10:40PM ( 5 days ago )
Search for Missouri couple wanted for crimes across the South, including Ga., ends with one suspect dead and the other wounded
A weeklong search for a Missouri couple wanted in a series of robberies and abductions across the South ended with one suspect dead and the other wounded Friday, after authorities say they chased the pair across the highway and through a rural neighborhood and exchanged gunfire with them in Florida's Panhandle.
By The Associated Press
9:57PM ( 1 week ago )
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while, buoying consumers, frustrating oil producers
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while.That reality is wreaking havoc and causing uncertainty for some governments and businesses, while creating financial windfalls for others. Less expensive...
6:18PM ( 1 week ago )