House Representatives are still trying to follow through on President Trump's promise to build a wall that would separate the United States from Mexico —and some are suggesting some pretty radical methods for funding its construction. For example, during an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Republican congressman Steve King suggested cutting food stamps and taking money from Planned Parenthood to fund Trump's border wall.
On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee introduced a spending bill that would allocate $1.6 billion dollars to the wall. On Wednesday, King was asked by CNN's New Day host Alisyn Camerota if he felt comfortable contributing such a large sum of taxpayer money for the project; he responded, "Absolutely yes, and more."
"You want to take food from people ... the people who are on the lowest rung in terms of the nation's safety net, and their children," asked Camerota, "you're willing to take money from them ... to give the $1.6 billion for the border wall?" King responded that children on food stamps can eat lunch for free through Michelle Obama's free school lunch program.
You can watch the heated exchange below:
More than 40 million Americans rely on food stamps, a majority of which are children, elderly, or disabled, according to a CNN Money report. The average household income of individuals who use food stamps is approximately less than $10,000 a year. Still, King maintains that these families "didn't need" the financial support.
"We built the program ... to solve the problem of malnutrition in America. Now we have a problem of obesity," King said.
Um. I think I just got to my desk in time to hear Rep. Steve King say on CNN getting rid of food stamps would solve obesity problem.— Dorey Scheimer (@DoreyScheimer) July 12, 2017
Of course, King's threat to take federal funding from Planned Parenthood is nothing new, even though the organization provides STD testing and cancer screenings to millions of low-income women across the country. The president himself has advocated for defunding the women's health organization, a suggestion that has been celebrated by anti-abortion conservatives — even though no federal funds currently contribute to abortions.
King's assertion that the government should take money from Planned Parenthood is perhaps not surprising, but his suggestion that the food security of low-income families should be put in jeopardy to pay for Trump's wall shows just how adamant some Republicans are about passing border protection legislation.