The Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday condemned Rep. Steve King [R-Iowa] for his recent controversial comments regarding race.
The group called on King’s fellow Republicans to remove him from his committee assignments.
CBC Chairwoman Rep. Karen Bass, D-California, said in a press release:
“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. 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.”
Rep. King has been frequently criticized over the past few years for his inflammatory and bigoted comments about race and immigration. He has now come under fire for new comments he made recently that appeared to defend white nationalism.
In a New York Times story published on Thursday, Rep. King was quoted as saying:
“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?”
In the interview King maintained that he supports immigrants who come to America legally and assimilate into American culture. He said that he believes a white European “culture of America” is more important than maintaining racial homogeneity.
King’s views have been embraced by Donald Trump and are reflected in his agenda, however.
As PoliticusUSA publisher Jason Easley wrote on Friday:
“Steve King isn’t the ugly outlier of Republican politics. He is the mainstream Trumpian voice of the Trump base. Steve King was Trump before Trump was in US politics. It is funny that Republicans turned a blind eye to King’s racism for years, but now that he has been encouraged by Trump to be overt with his hate, some Republicans have a problem with him.”
In 2017 Trump invited King to the Oval Office, where he boasted that he had raised more money for the congressman’s campaigns than anyone else.
King then said:
“Yes, Mr. President. But I market-tested your immigration policy for 14 years, and that ought to be worth something.”