WASHINGTON – Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Karen Bass applauded a Monday evening decision by House Republicans to strip embattled Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) of his committee assignments.
“Thanks to pressure from the Congressional Black Caucus and others, Steve King is in a much weaker position to promote his racist agenda,” Bass (D-Calif.) said in a statement.
She added: “Republicans must now take a hard look in the mirror and firmly decide that they will reject racism in all forms, including standing up to Donald Trump, who like Steve King, has made a career of racist and outlandish statements that divide our country.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy first announced the decision.
“We will not be seating Steve King on any committees in the 116th Congress,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters following a closed-door meeting with fellow House GOP leaders. “It was a unanimous decision by steering (House Republican Steering Committee) in light of the comments. These are not the first time we’ve heard these comments.”
In an interview published on Thursday, King told The New York Times: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
The remarks drew swift bipartisan condemnation.
King condemned white nationalism and white supremacy in a speech on the House floor on Friday.
But that did little to temper criticism.
King’s fellow Republicans took to the airwaves on Sunday to make it clear such sentiments would not be tolerated in the GOP.
King has served in Congress since 2003 and is an outspoken opponent of illegal immigration and multiculturalism. He is no stranger to controversy.
When a member is stripped of their committee assignments they are essentially shut out of the legislative process. They can still vote on legislation when it comes to the floor but by that time the outcome is usually predictable.
The House today is expected to consider a resolution expressing disapproval of King’s remarks.