Is This What Taxpayers Are Paying Rep. Steve King For?

December 15, 2011 5:12 pm ET — Kate Conway

Today, the House Judiciary Committee debated the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a Hollywood-backed bill that would empower the federal government to blacklist websites in the name of cracking down on internet piracy. The bill has earned sharp criticism from internet experts, the founders of companies like Google, E-Bay, and AOL, software companies like Microsoft, and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, yet retains support from a bipartisan group of lawmakers. It's a controversial bill — but not one that appears to interest Rep. Steve King (R-IA) very much. Earlier today, he tweeted: "We are debating the Stop Online Piracy Act and Shiela [sic] Jackson has so bored me that I'm killing time by surfing the Internet."

Rep. Steve King Tweet

That would be Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), King's fellow Judiciary Committee member. Whether King's objective here is to make a mean-spirited jab at his colleague or to try his hand at topical humor, it's in poor taste for a lawmaker paid $174,000 a year by taxpayers to be so publicly flippant about a rather serious aspect of his job.