When the House of Representatives resumes its business today, the top item on Speaker Boehner's agenda will once again be to repeal President Obama's health care reforms, picking up where the House left off after the tragedy in Tucson shook the U.S. Capitol.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, a leading proponent of repeal, says it was appropriate for Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor to postpone the legislative calendar in the aftermath of the attempted murder of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, that left six people dead and 12 more wounded. But now, King says, the time has come to get back on track and overturn the health care reform law.
"We cannot, though, suspend the business of this government indefinitely because of a single deranged individual's actions, in Tucson, the tragedy in Tucson," King told ABC News in an interview. "We need to get back on pace, and I think that's what Gabby would want us to do, get back on pace. We have a duty to 308 million people, and so bringing up the repeal of Obama care is the right thing to do."
King, who introduced the repeal legislation immediately following health care reform's passage last spring, dismisses suggestions that health care repeal will fail in the Senate and says that a vote in the House will put pressure on wavering lawmakers to support repeal.
"The [Congressional GOP] leadership and the Republicans and a significant number of Democrats have come to this point where we understand that we have to pull Obama care out by the roots, that we can't get this country back on track, nor can we fix our health care problems in America with the obstruction of this bad bill that was ideologically unsound," King said.
"We will pass it and send it to the Senate. We'll work to try to get that up for a vote in the Senate where I predict that it'll pass if we can force a vote, then I expected the president to veto the repeal bill."
King, a five-term representative, admits that neither chamber of Congress is likely to have the necessary support to override a presidential veto. Therefore, according to King, the last step of implementing repeal is to vote President Obama out of the White House and elect a president who will sign a health care repeal in two years.
"The final way [to achieve repeal] is to elect a president in 2012 who will call on Congress to make sure that his first act as president will be to sign the repeal of Obama care," King said. "I want to see that happen at the podium on the West Portico of the Capitol, January 20, 2013, when we swear in the next president of the United States. This is the most important thing we can do, jobs and the economy have to follow through, but we can't fix this economy unless we first repeal Obama care."
Who will end up challenging President Obama in 2012 is still far from decided. King, who is introducing possible presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, to prominent Iowan activists to later this week, said he does not believe a Republican frontrunner has surfaced quite yet.