Rep. Steve King vs. Jay Carney on Obama's Immigration Executive Order: Obama Tore Article One Out Of Constitution


ANDERSON COOPER: I want to bring in Congressman Steve King, Republican of Iowa. He's obviously very outspoken obviously on this issue. Congressman King, thank you for joining us on this issue... I wonder, a, what you heard from the president tonight, what you think about it, and what you believe. You've laid out three steps you believe the Republican party should take now. Are you still convinced that's the way to go and explain what the steps are?

REP. STEVE KING (R-IOWA): I am and I just have this sinking feeling in my stomach about the situation that the president has thrown this nation into. We have a fresh feeling coming off an election. The president knows what he's doing. Twenty-two times he said that he doesn't have the power to do this and yet he stepped out and did this anyway.

It's hard to make a clear, concise constitutional argument on this given what the president has given us because they're just vague descriptions. So if you are a criminal, you will be deported. We know that's not true. The criminals are not going to be deported. Those who cross the border illegally have committed a crime by definition. Those who have committed document fraud, they have committed a crime and most of them a felony, by definition, they're not going to be punished by all of this...

COOPER: Congressman, hold on, I just want to bring in Jay Carney. Jay, do you want to respond to anything the Congressman said?

JAY CARNEY: Look, I think, and I do not doubt that the Congressman and others have deeply held views on this issue you and are passionate about it and that they passionately disagree with the president. I would defer to what I've seen which is a pretty large consensus among legal scholars and lawyers on this issue that there is ample precedent for this legally and that the efforts to try to attack this as a constitutional issue will not succeed, at least not in the courts.

They may succeed or they may gain traction as part of the rhetorical argument, from which we've heard a lot. And I guess I'm encouraged by at least hearing from Congressman King that we're not hearing some of the more of inflammatory language that we've heard from other Republicans who I think, you know, that did a little disservice when they start talking about violence and retribution and anarchy or impeachment.

COOPER: Well, Congressman, you were on Jake Tapper's program, I believe it was yesterday. You said impeachment would be the very last option but you, quote, would not rule it out. Where do you stand on that exactly?

KING: I've said this to my colleagues many times and to the press over the last couple of weeks. I would like to start with the most minimal thing we can to put the president back into the constitutional guardrails and then step it up. That's why I said a resolution of disapproval, the second would be a censure. Third would be to cut out of the appropriations bills those funds that would fund this. That's the progressive effort that's moving forward. But, I don't want to do the last thing. I don't want to do the "i" word. Nobody wants to throw the nation in a that kind of turmoil.

The president has thrown us into this situation and now there are 535 members of Congress who have all taken an oath to also uphold the constitution and because he won't do his constitutional duty and he's defying his own oath to the constitution and the rule of law, we are bound then to keep our oath to the constitution. That's my view on this, and I'd like to be able to look at the language and get closer on how this would be executed.

I believe he will be using parole to parole people into the United States. If he does that, you get a green card, that's a fast track to citizenship. These kind of things will unfold in the next 24 hours and will have a better look at what's going on here. The president is not in charge of writing law. That's Article One, and I fear what he has done is torn Article One out of the constitution, put it into his own pocket and said I'm now the legislative branch, too.

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