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Peter King

Peter King

Congressman, New York

Republican

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Peter King

Out of the running Last modified: October 14, 2015

LPA's Final Grade: --/(Why this Grade?)

Free Market
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National Security
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American Exceptionalism
0
Consistency
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Ethics
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Principles
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Accomplishments
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Political Skills
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Communication
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Viability
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Leadership MatrixCandidate grading is a dynamic process and is subject to change according to ongoing evaluation using the criteria of the Leadership Matrix.

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Out of the running Last modified: October 14, 2015

Compare Peter King's Positions on the Issues to Other Candidates

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Congressman King receives some very low ratings from fiscally conservative groups such as the Club for Growth (lifetime: 54%) and the National Taxpayers Union (2012: 63%). In 2012 as Congress debated how to avoid the “fiscal cliff” Congressman King tried to renege on the “No New Taxes Pledge” he signed in 1986 with Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform and use tax increases as part of the compromise solution with House Democrats.

Even though some of his recent actions like the fiscal cliff debate may give fiscal conservatives heartburn, he has been supportive of other tax-friendly proposals in the past. For instance, he has voted in favor of a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds majority to raise taxes, repeal of the medical device tax, the repeal of the marriage penalty, in favor of an income tax deduction for small businesses, in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts, and in favor of repealing the 3.8% capital gains surtax for Medicare imposed by Obamacare.

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King’s regulatory record is somewhat slim but has a good vote record on a couple of key issues: he voted in favor of a bill that increased transparency on regulations drafted by federal agencies and supported placing restrictions on the designation of “critical habitats” for endangered species.

King has resisted the push for the federal regulation of fracking and instead has supported keeping the authority to regulate at the state and local level.

King voted against the Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulation act, and voted for Sarbanes-Oxley, a 2002 bill imposing severe regulations on businesses and their accounting practices.

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King’s record diverges from many of his Republican colleagues on labor issues. His top source of campaign funding comes from unions, specifically building trade unions and transportation unions. He has voted in favor of legislation requiring states to allow collective bargaining for public safety officers, legislation that would eliminate the requirement of a vote to organize a union, and against a bill that would put restrictions on the National Labor Relations Board with regard to petitions to unionize.

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King has resisted the push for the federal regulation of fracking and instead has supported keeping the authority to regulate at the state and local level. He is a supporter of lifting the ban on offshore drilling and building the Keystone Pipeline, and has voted against legislation that put further restrictions on gas and oil drilling. He has supported placing restrictions on the designation of “critical habitats” for endangered species thus protecting private property and economic development.

In 2009, King voted against cap and trade legislation that would prohibit industries entities from emitting greenhouse gases in excess of the number of emissions allowed under the law. He also supported a bill that eliminates the EPA’s ability to regulate coal operations and a bill that would require congressional approval to establish a carbon tax, an attempt to pre-empt unilateral action by President Obama and the EPA. He has also supported economic development-friendly legislation such as the “Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act of 2013” – a bill that would limit the amount of time an agency can take to complete an environmental review of a construction project. He has also opposed proposed restrictions on mineral mining practices.

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While Congressman King has supported a constitutional amendment for a balanced federal budget, he also has a voting record suggesting a lack of fiscal discipline. In 2011, he voted to raise the debt ceiling and supported an increase in funding for the “Cash for Clunkers” program in 2009 – a program that provided federal tax incentives to U.S. residents to buy newer vehicles in exchange for older vehicles that were then destroyed. He also opposed banning earmarks.

King supported the Wall Street bailout in 2008.

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King voted against Obamacare, supported its repeal, and voted in favor of the one-year delay of the individual and employer mandates. He has also supported other free-market, healthcare policies such as allowing small business associations to purchase health insurance, and medical savings accounts.

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King supported the Ryan 2015 budget which included moving to private insurance for Medicare and included a trigger in the event of the unsustainability of Social Security. This trigger would alter current law and require that the President, along with the Social Security Board of Trustees, submit a plan to Congress (with a coinciding timeline for Congress to act) in order restore balance to the fund.

Congressman King supported welfare reform in the 1990s and supported preserving the work requirement to receive welfare in 2013, but he was among a handful of Republicans who did not support a bill that would allow states to create pilot programs to institute the federal work requirements for the food stamp program.

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King has maintained a generally pro-trade voting record, having supported the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and free trade agreements with Singapore, Chile, Oman, Peru, Panama and Columbia. He also supported fast track trade negotiation authority for the President. He did, however, favor a bill that denied an extension of China’s normal trade relations status in 2001.

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King’s record on immigration is consistent with many in the conservative movement. He has supported building a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border and has voted against the DREAM Act, which would allow children of illegal immigrants who have been raised and educated in the United States to obtain temporary, legal status and eventually obtain full U.S. citizenship by going to college or joining the military and would remove the penalties on states who offer in-state tuition regardless of their immigration status.

King’s position is somewhat unclear on the question of amnesty (often defined as awarding illegal immigrants legal residency and/or citizenship). His website states he is opposed to amnesty yet in a letter to Speaker Boehner in April 2014, he asks to “provide undocumented immigrants with the mechanism to pursue legal status and, ultimately obtain citizenship.”

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While Congressman King has voted to protect the U.S. sugar industry (despite his support of CAFTA – a trade agreement heavily opposed by the U.S. sugar industry) through his support of ongoing sugar subsidies, he has voted to repeal the subsidies to other agricultural industries such as peanuts and honey and voted against a ten-year, $167 billion farm price support bill.

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While Congressman King has voted to protect the U.S. sugar industry (despite his support of CAFTA – a trade agreement heavily opposed by the U.S. sugar industry) through his support of ongoing sugar subsidies, he has voted to repeal the subsidies to other agricultural industries such as peanuts and honey and voted against a ten-year, $167 billion farm price support bill.

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King supported the Wall Street bailout in 2008 (often called the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP), voted against the Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulation act, and voted for Sarbanes-Oxley, a 2002 bill imposing severe regulations on businesses and their accounting practices.

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In 2003 King voted in support of providing $78 billion in additional funding for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

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Congressman King has served as the Homeland Security Committee Chairman twice: 2005-2006 and again from 2011-2012. He currently is the Chairman of the Sub-committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He is considered by his peers to be knowledgeable on Homeland Security and terrorism issues.

King is a supporter of the Patriot Act.

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He took an aggressive stance on Russia’s encroachment into the Ukraine in September 2014 and tied Russian President Vladimir Putin directly to the downed airline, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. He has also supported airstrikes in Syria to combat ISIS, supported President Obama sending military advisors to Iraq, and has advocated for sending combat troops into Iraq to fight ISIS. King supports stronger sanctions in Iran.

Congressman King believes that the U.S. has “a real national defense role in the world.” Consistent with his position on trade with China, Congressman King believes the U.S. needs to get tougher with China.

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As a Congressman, King has not had the opportunity to vote on any president’s judicial nominations.

He’s voted against the repeal of the death penalty and voted against a bill that would provide funding for alternative sentencing for non-violent offenders, but that also reduced funding for violent offender imprisonment by truth-in-sentencing programs that abolish or curb the parole system in favor of convicts serving the full period of their sentence.

As the son of a police officer, he has been a longtime advocate for local law enforcement agencies and has supported federal grant programs that help local agencies “hire and train officers, purchase and deploy new crime-fighting technologies, and develop and test new and innovative policing strategies.”

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In 2014, Congressman King praised the Hobby Lobby decision exempting employers from being forced to supply birth control as part of their health benefits to employees if that provision violates their religious beliefs.

King voted in favor of protecting news reporters and restricting government access to a reporter’s files, thereby protecting their 1st Amendment rights. He also voted against McCain-Feingold and the DISCLOSE Act, campaign finance bills that restricted First Amendment speech rights.

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In 2013, King introduced an amendment that would override state laws on food safety, something likely to be viewed with mixed feelings by conservatives. The amendment would have pre-empted onerous and costly regulations on many products being imposed or considered in states, but also runs contrary to the idea of federalism and the 10th Amendment.

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King has supported the expansion of charter schools and expanding school choice. He followed Republican Party leadership when he voted in favor of President George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act” in 2001 although some in the Party did not support the measure because it increased the federal government’s role in education – something many conservatives oppose.

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Congressman King receives some very low ratings from fiscally conservative groups such as the Club for Growth (lifetime: 54%) and the National Taxpayers Union (2012: 63%). In 2012 as Congress debated how to avoid the “fiscal cliff” Congressman King tried to renege on the “No New Taxes Pledge” he signed in 1986 with Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform and use tax increases as part of the compromise solution with House Democrats.1

Even though some of his recent actions like the fiscal cliff debate may give fiscal conservatives heartburn, he has been supportive of other tax-friendly proposals in the past. For instance, he has voted in favor of a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds majority to raise taxes,2 repeal of the medical device tax,3 the repeal of the marriage penalty,4 in favor of an income tax deduction for small businesses,5 in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts,6 and in favor of repealing the 3.8% capital gains surtax for Medicare7 imposed by Obamacare.

King’s regulatory record is somewhat slim but has a good vote record on a couple of key issues: he voted in favor of a bill that increased transparency on regulations drafted by federal agencies8 and supported placing restrictions on the designation of “critical habitats” for endangered species.9

King’s record diverges from many of his Republican colleagues on labor issues. His top source of campaign funding comes from unions, specifically building trade unions and transportation unions. He has voted in favor of legislation requiring states to allow collective bargaining for public safety officers,10 legislation that would eliminate the requirement of a vote to organize a union,11 and against a bill that would put restrictions on the National Labor Relations Board with regard to petitions to unionize.12

King has resisted the push for the federal regulation of fracking and instead has supported keeping the authority to regulate at the state and local level.13 He is a supporter of lifting the ban on offshore drilling14 and building the Keystone Pipeline,15 and has voted against legislation that put further restrictions on gas and oil drilling.16 He has supported placing restrictions on the designation of “critical habitats” for endangered species17 thus protecting private property and economic development.

In 2009, King voted against cap and trade legislation18 that would prohibit industries entities from emitting greenhouse gases in excess of the number of emissions allowed under the law. He also supported a bill that eliminates the EPA’s ability to regulate coal operations19 and a bill that would require congressional approval to establish a carbon tax,20 an attempt to pre-empt unilateral action by President Obama and the EPA. He has also supported economic development-friendly legislation such as the “Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act of 2013” – a bill that would limit the amount of time an agency can take to complete an environmental review of a construction project.21 He has also opposed proposed restrictions on mineral mining practices.22

While Congressman King has supported a constitutional amendment for a balanced federal budget23, he also has a voting record suggesting a lack of fiscal discipline. In 2011, he voted to raise the debt ceiling and supported an increase in funding for the “Cash for Clunkers” program in 2009 – a program that provided federal tax incentives to U.S. residents to buy newer vehicles in exchange for older vehicles that were then destroyed. He also opposed banning earmarks.24

King supported the Wall Street bailout in 2008.

King supported the Ryan 2015 budget25 which included moving to private insurance for Medicare and included a trigger in the event of the unsustainability of Social Security.26 This trigger would alter current law and require that the President, along with the Social Security Board of Trustees, submit a plan to Congress (with a coinciding timeline for Congress to act) in order restore balance to the fund.27

King voted against Obamacare,28 supported its repeal,29 and voted in favor of the one-year delay of the individual and employer mandates.30 He has also supported other free-market, healthcare policies such as allowing small business associations to purchase health insurance31 and medical savings accounts.32

While Congressman King supported Bill Clinton’s welfare reform bill in the 1990s33 and supported preserving the work requirement to receive welfare in 2013,34 he was among a handful of Republicans who did not support a bill that would allow states to create pilot programs to institute the federal work requirements for the food stamp program.35

King has maintained a generally pro-trade voting record, having supported the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)36, the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)37 and free trade agreements with Singapore, Chile, Oman, Peru, Panama and Columbia.38 He also supported fast track trade negotiation authority for the President.39 He did, however, favor a bill that denied an extension of China’s normal trade relations status in 2001.40

King’s record on immigration is consistent with many in the conservative movement. He has supported building a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border41 and has voted against the DREAM Act,42 which would allow children of illegal immigrants who have been raised and educated in the United States to obtain temporary, legal status and eventually obtain full U.S. citizenship by going to college or joining the military and would remove the penalties on states who offer in-state tuition regardless of their immigration status.43

King’s position is somewhat unclear on the question of amnesty (often defined as awarding illegal immigrants legal residency and/or citizenship). His website states he is opposed to amnesty44 yet in a letter to Speaker Boehner in April 2014, he asks to “provide undocumented immigrants with the mechanism to pursue legal status and, ultimately obtain citizenship.45

While Congressman King has voted to protect the U.S. sugar industry (despite his support of CAFTA – a trade agreement heavily opposed by the U.S. sugar industry) through his support of ongoing sugar subsidies, he has voted to repeal the subsidies to other agricultural industries such as peanuts46 and honey47 and voted against a ten-year, $167 billion farm price support bill.48

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Congressman King has served as the Homeland Security Committee Chairman twice: 2005-2006 and again from 2011-2012. He currently is the Chairman of the Sub-committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.49 He is considered by his peers to be knowledgeable on Homeland Security and terrorism issues.50

Overall, King is pro-defense, pro-military, pro-Israel51 and a supporter of the Patriot Act.52 In 2003 he voted in support of providing $78 billion in additional funding for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.53

He took an aggressive stance on Russia’s encroachment into the Ukraine in September 201454 and tied Russian President Vladimir Putin directly to the downed airline, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.55 He has also supported airstrikes in Syria to combat ISIS,56 supported President Obama sending military advisors to Iraq,57 and has advocated for sending combat troops into Iraq to fight ISIS.58 King supported the war in Iraq59 and supports stronger sanctions in Iran.60

Congressman King believes that the U.S. has “a real national defense role in the world.”61 Consistent with his position on trade with China, Congressman King believes the U.S. needs to get tougher with China.62

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As a Congressman, King has not had the opportunity to vote on any president’s judicial nominations.

He does have a voting record on matters related to our criminal justice system. He’s voted against the repeal of the death penalty63 and voted against a bill that would provide funding for alternative sentencing for non-violent offenders, but that also reduced funding for violent offender imprisonment by truth-in-sentencing programs64 that abolish or curb the parole system in favor of convicts serving the full period of their sentence.65

As the son of a police officer, he has been a longtime advocate for local law enforcement agencies and has supported federal grant programs that help local agencies “hire and train officers, purchase and deploy new crime-fighting technologies, and develop and test new and innovative policing strategies.”66

In 2014, Congressman King praised the Hobby Lobby decision67 exempting employers from being forced to supply birth control as part of their health benefits to employees if that provision violates their religious beliefs.

King voted in favor of protecting news reporters and restricting government access to a reporter’s files,68 thereby protecting their 1st Amendment rights. He also voted in favor of restricting the activities of independent grassroots organizations organized under IRS code 52769. The organizations, known as “527s,” are independent organizations formed to function independently from a candidate’s campaign committee but actively support or oppose a certain candidate.

In 2013, King introduced an amendment that would override state laws on food safety,70 something likely to be viewed with mixed feelings by conservatives. The amendment would have pre-empted onerous and costly regulations on many products being imposed or considered in states, but also runs contrary to the idea of federalism and the 10th Amendment.

King has supported the expansion of charter schools and expanding school choice.71,72 He followed Republican Party leadership when he voted in favor of President George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act” in 200173 although some in the Party did not support the measure because it increased the federal government’s role in education – something many conservatives oppose.

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In the case of Congressman Pete King, some of his greatest strengths could turn out to be some of his greatest liabilities. His independent, outspoken personality certainly wins him the attention of the cameras but could alienate those key constituencies needed to win the Republican nomination, particularly in the Tea Party and limited-government movements.

King also has an issue with his past support of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), one of Europe’s most violent terrorist groups. While he has distanced himself from the group and its mission since 9/11, it is a relationship that existed for nearly 30 years prior. Further, his call to hold hearings on the radicalization of Muslims in America is also a big vulnerability and has received widespread criticism, particularly on the hypocritical nature of this call given his past relationship with the IRA.

If King decides to make a serious run for the Republican nomination, he will also need to diversify and expand his fundraising reach and take it to a national level. His PACs have raised less than $60,000 and he will be up against potential candidates who have signfiicant fundraising abilities.

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