- Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
- Republican Rep. Steve King is once again under fire for repeatedly making racist statements in public.
- The House Republican leadership stripped King of all his committee assignments and condemned his remarks.
- Democrats are now pushing resolutions of condemnation and censure on the House floor.
WASHINGTON – Embattled Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa took to the House floor on Tuesday to address remarks he made that congressional leaders have condemned as racist, as well as a resolution rejecting white nationalism and white supremacy.
King, who had all of his committee assignments stripped from him by the House Republican leadership Monday evening, vowed to support the resolution offered by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.
The resolution “once again rejects White nationalism and White supremacy as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States” and was crafted in response to remarks made by King during an interview with the New York Times, in which he questioned how terms like “white supremacy” became offensive.
But King, who has remained defiant in the wake of calls for his resignation and the Republican leadership removing major legislative tools from him, voiced support for the resolution on Tuesday.
“I regret that we are in this place,” King said. “I agree with every word that you have put in this. It’s an honest and a direct resolution put together to address a subject that has been too long before the public dialogue in this country.”
“I want to ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, let’s vote for this resolution,” he added. “I’m putting up a yes on the board here.”
King, whose words spurred a Republican primary challenger against him, also tried to offer context to the controversial remarks, saying “that ideology never showed up in my head” and that he actually rejects racism and bigotry.
The resolution passed 424-1, with Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois casting the only vote against it, citing his belief it is too “shallow” and a more forceful resolution is necessary.
During a press conference Tuesday morning, House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney said King should “find another line of work,” insinuating he should resign from Congress.
While other Republican leaders did not go that far in public statements, they removed King from his post heading a subcommittee on the House Judiciary Committee, in addition to all of his other assignments.
The Clyburn resolution broadly condemning white supremacy and white nationalism is just one of multiple resolutions responding to King’s latest comments, with others including much harsher punishment for the Iowa Republican. A resolution offered by Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan even includes a censure of King, one of the strongest punishments in Congress short of expulsion.