SIOUX CITY -- U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, during a town hall meeting Monday pointed to the most notable Siouxland news of 2011 as a reason to dislike the federal health care reform package enacted in 2010.

King said historic flooding was a vexing summer-long problem, yet even though flood insurance can be helpful, the federal government doesn't mandate that people have it. But the 2010 Affordable Care Act requires that every person have a health insurance policy or be fined.

That is governmental overreach, King said, and one big reason he predicted the U.S. Supreme Court will find "Obama Care" legislation unconstitutional. The court last week heard arguments about the package and is expected to announce the ruling by June.

"It will be the most significant decision since Roe v. Wade in 1973," King said, citing the landmark ruling on abortion.

Speaking to 35 people at the Wilbur Aalfs Library on Monday, King said his other chief national issue to address is to have Congress enact a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. King said the step is needed since "the will to balance the budget does not exist" without the amendment.

King took two questions about cutting spending. To the first questioner, King said cutting federal government discretionary spending won't be enough to balance the budget, so entitlement programs must be up for cuts.

"Social Security is the easiest one to fix," he said, while declining to specify details with that.

Tom Mitchell, of Sioux City, told King a good way to balance the budget is to move away from baseline budgeting, where departments automatically build off the amount received in the previous year.

Proposed cuts are "really not cuts. It is decreases in the increases," Mitchell said.

King said he would seek to hold defense spending free from cuts. He also said he would like to abolish the federal income tax and move to a consumption tax, also dubbed Fair Tax.

A five-term congressman, King is running for the Iowa 4th District position against Christie Vilsack, a Democrat. King on Monday announced Jake Ketzner would serve as his 2012 campaign manager. Ketzner was the organizational director for 2010 campaign of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.

King said his campaign will ramp up considerably in a matter of weeks.

"This campaign will have been elevated to as high a level as you've seen in Iowa," he said.

King is planning similar town hall meetings in Storm Lake, Spencer, Sioux Center and other communities. 


Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad calls on U.S. Rep. Steve King to launch congressional investigation into beef scandal. A1