King extols ‘greatness’ of U.S.

U.S. Rep. Steve King believes that being born in this country is the equivalent of winning the lottery.

But the Republican from Kiron said Monday that he’s worried that many Americans seem to have forgotten what makes their country great.

”It seems as though the memory of our civilization and our culture is disappearing from us,” he told members of the Fort Dodge Noon Rotary Club.

King emphasized that theme throughout most of his speech to the club members during their meeting at the Best Western Starlite Inn & Suites, 1518 Third Ave. N.W. He spoke briefly about issues such as the Renewable Fuels Standard.

And without naming anyone, the congressman said that most of the potential Republican presidential candidates have little foreign policy experience.

King said that the United States of America is the best place to be born. He said when he realized that he felt like he had ”won the lottery on the planet.”

The greatness of the United States, he said, begins with the ”promise of God-given liberties” in the Declaration of Independence.

”Our contract is to pass it on to the next generation,” he said.

”This country can be a greater nation than it is yet, but we better understand where we came from and what’s made us great,” King said.

He said he is ”all in” on efforts to reverse a proposed change to the federal Renewable Fuels Standard that would result in less ethanol being used.

In an interview following the club meeting, King said he believes Environmental Protection Agency officials used data from 2011 instead of the most current figures when they decided to roll back the Renewable Fuels Standard. He added that the oil industry influenced the decision.

Iowa farmers, he said, raised a bumper crop of corn in 2013 to supply ethanol plants.

”Now the EPA jerked the rug out from under us,” he said.

King said the new farm bill contains a good crop insurance program and retains money for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which provides conservation grants and technical assistance to farmers. Iowa farmers will have stability and predictability for the next five years as a result of the law, according to King.

Also during the interview, he said he doesn’t expect Congress to take any action on immigration reform this year.

The top issues for Congress now, he said, are preparing the budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, and managing the implementation of the federal health care law. King, a long-time opponent of the law, said he doesn’t like the way President Barack Obama has attempted to change it recently.

”As each piece of bad news comes out, the president wants to make more changes to Obamacare that he doesn’t have the power to make,” King said. ”When dates for implementation are in the law he has no constitutional authority to do that.”