House Democrats are looking to formally punish Representative Steve King for his repeatedly racist commentary, including when he questioned why terms like “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” became offensive, Politico reported.
Representative Bobby Rush announced on Monday plans to file a motion to censure King for his years-long “pattern of racist and xenophobic statements.” Representative Tim Ryan has one, as well, but specifically focused on the comments the Iowa congressman made in an interview with The New York Times last week.
“He has become too comfortable with proudly insulting, disrespecting, and denigrating people of color,” Rush, a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a statement. “As with any animal that is rabid, Steve King should be set aside and isolated.”
Over the weekend, the CBC also demanded King lose his committee assignments, which include the Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business panels.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or Republican, we all have a responsibility to call out Rep. King’s hateful and racist comments,” Ryan said. “It’s far past time that Congress holds him accountable.”
In the interview, King insisted he was not racist, but he questioned when it became wrong to use terms that are traditionally viewed as racist.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King said. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
While he has a long history of white nationalist commentary since 2006, King’s rhetoric has caused quite a stir in just the past year. He endorsed a white nationalist for mayor of Toronto, had an interview with members of a far-right Austrian political party with historic Nazi ties and retweeted a British neo-Nazi and refused to apologize for it.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that there is “interest” in reprimanding King.
House Democrats Move To Censure Steve King