Politics

Rep. King Says Obama Will Be Impeached If Government Defaults

As Republican refusal to negotiate on the debt ceiling pushes the country ever closer to the brink of default, one Iowa congressman sees the impending financial collapse as cause for impeaching President Obama.

This morning, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) sent out a tweet imploring followers to “STOP talking about default. […] Obama would be impeached if he blocked debt payments.”

King has apparently forgotten why the nation is on the brink of default in the first place: Republican hostage-taking. During President Bush’s tenure, GOP leaders voted to raise the debt ceiling 19 times — by a total of $4 trillion — without demanding draconian cuts to the social safety net in return, and 130 current House and Senate Republicans have voted to raise the debt ceiling under Bush. In fact, the entire debate right now ignores the fact that Bush’s policies added over three times the amount of debt than have Obama’s policies.

Still, as Congress figures out what it will take to get Republicans to agree to raise the debt ceiling and avoid “financial collapse and calamity,” King exemplifies how extreme GOP intransigence has become. When ThinkProgress spoke with King recently and asked him if he could accept a debt ceiling deal that included $3 trillion in cuts and just $8 in revenue increases, the Iowa congressman refused, declaring, “I’m not for raising taxes.”

This is not the first time House Republicans have floated impeaching Obama, nor will it likely be the last. Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) confirmed to ThinkProgress this month that Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) and other House GOPers were exploring impeachment over the debt ceiling. In the spring, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) called for impeachment if the president refused to support the Defense of Marriage Act. Last year, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) hinted at impeaching President Obama if he didn’t do more to stop illegal immigration. Even the birthers have gotten in on the action, with Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) last year saying he may force President Obama to release his birth certificate under the threat of impeachment.