WASHINGTON -- Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said Thursday that Democrats are taking away liberty and freedom with overreaching policies, like pushing for fewer calories in food marketed toward children and energy-efficient shower heads, toilets and lightbulbs.
Children "were raised as feeders," so they will reach for another candy bar if the calories are eliminated from the food they are given, he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. "See what I'm up against? This is on a daily basis," he said.
The idea that obesity needs to be ended so the country's military can remain strong is similarly foolish, he said, mocking the idea that it takes more time and resources to train overweight enlistees.
"Just say, 'You're here doing push-ups until you make weight.' Why is that so hard?"
King said he saves nine minutes every day by drilling out a government-mandated water-saving shower head, cutting his shower time down to three minutes and giving him "more time to beat up on the liberals. Toilets, too, are made more inefficient by the government's regulations, he said.
His longest rant on energy regulations was about energy-efficient lightbulbs, which were used in Congressional offices during now-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) time as Speaker of the House.
King referred to the House office building janitors during Pelosi's time as speaker as her "Stasi troops" -- referring to oppressive secret police in East Germany until 1990 -- saying they unscrewed the lightbulbs in his office to replace them with energy-efficient "curly-Q" bulbs.
"I would screw them out and send the interns out to get me some of those good Edison lightbulbs," he said, the crowd cheering. "And those interns would come back sometimes empty-handed in tears, because they couldn't come up with a regular Edison light-bulb."
He said he finally decided it was "cruel and inhumane" to send the interns on that task, so he went to find "black-market" lightbulbs himself. He then was faced with a decision: buy a recyclable bag, which he at first said no to, or pay more.
"Whenever I need to put a lightbulb in the lamp, I reach into this green back and I screw it in there and I smile," he said. "A little bit of my liberty back, a little bit of my freedom back."