WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday condemned Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and called on King’s fellow Republicans to remove him from his committee assignments.
“If Republicans really believe these racist statements have no place in our government, then their party must offer more than shallow temporary statements of condemnation,” said CBC Chairwoman Rep. Karen Bass, D-California, in a statement. “Instead, they must actually condemn Mr. King by removing him from his committee assignments so that he can no longer affect policies that impact the very people he has made it clear he disdains.”
King, who has been frequently criticized for comments he has made regarding race and immigration, was under fire for comments he made that appeared to defend white nationalism.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King told The New York Times in a story published Thursday. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
King has not apologized for his remarks though in a floor speech Friday, he rejected the label that he’s a white nationalist and said he regretted “the heartburn that has poured forth upon this Congress and this country and especially in my state and in my congressional district.”
When asked by reporters following the speech if he was worried about losing committee positions, he appeared to dismiss the idea.
“I’ve had no discussion about that. I haven’t given it any thought,” King said. “But the more you guys write about that stuff, then it becomes an issue.”
Bass in her statement condemning King said that “Republicans should make clear Mr. King is no longer welcomed in their party or Congress.”
“Anything less than these substantive actions is another tacit acceptance of racism from the Republican Party,” her statement continued.
And the Congressional Black Caucus was not the only entity to come out against King on Saturday.
Fellow Iowa Republican and Sen. Joni Ernst tweeted a statement condemning King.
“I condemn Rep. Steve King’s comments on white supremacy; they are offensive and racist – and not representative of our state of Iowa. We are a great nation and this divisiveness is hurting everyone. We cannot continue down this path if we want to continue to be a great nation,” she wrote Saturday morning.