With two debates behind us and debate #3 tonight, here’s what we know: Congressman King has a middle class problem.
The fact is he has a ten-year record in Congress of voting against the best interests of the middle class and supporting policies that increase their burden. At the same time he has been consistently on the side of the wealthy and special interests. Congressman King had an opportunity during the first two debates to explain this record and make his case for reelection. Instead, he used that opportunity to double-down on his misplaced priorities.
On issue after issue, Congressman King is out-of-touch with what’s best for middle class families. Meanwhile, Christie Vilsack has used these debates to show that as a member of Congress, she will focus on these 39 counties and work to build layers of economic opportunity and rebuild the middle class. Voters know that she’s not interested in advancing a partisan agenda or making a name for herself on cable news, she’s only interested in fighting for Iowa and the families across the 4th District that deserve a member of Congress who’s on their side.
Here are some of Congressman King’s most extreme and out-of-touch stances that he has defended during the first two debates. With more debates coming up, will King continue to defend his anti-middle class record?
King once again defended accepting five pay raises worth nearly $20,000, which have brought his salary to a total of $174,000. King told the Clay County audience “no member of Congress has received a pay raise since I’ve been there. There are adjustments because of the cost of living formulas.” King added that his own pay has “been frozen since 2009.”
King apparently forgot that he already defended his pay raises this year. In May, the Des Moines Register reported, “King defended his salary increases, saying he was deserving of a raise.” King also defended his pay raises in 2008, when he told the Des Moines Register “If nobody has enough nerve to vote for a pay raise, we would still be making what the first Congress is making instead of the 110th Congress.” King also forgot that in 2009 that he was one of only 24 members of Congress to vote against a rule, which would have blocked an automatic pay, raise for members of Congress.
King also continued to mislead Iowans on the impact of health care reform. King refuses to consider anything other than full repeal of the health care bill, even as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney this weekend said, “I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform.”
King also claimed during Saturday’s debate that before health care reform was passed, only four percent of people were uninsured. In reality, census data shows that in 2009 16.7 percent of all Americans were uninsured.
If King had his way he would repeal the provisions in the bill allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s health insurance until they’re 26, once again allow discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and bring back the donut hole in Medicare Part D.
In both debates Congressman King defended his so-called Fair Tax plan. This once again pits King against Mitt Romney who said that the Fair Tax’s tax increase on the middle class is “not an outcome that will or should gain traction with the American public.”
Even with the Fair Tax’s “prebate” and changes to the tax code, the plan would actually increase taxes on middle class families while giving a tax break to the rich. According to Businessweek, “Compared with the current system, the Fair Tax would be a boon to the highest earners.”