By Frederick H. Lowe
House Republicans voted unanimously on Monday to strip King of his committee assignments because of racist comments, a decision for which the Congressional Black Caucus and others took credit.
King, an Iowa Republican, was re-elected to his ninth term in November. He served on the House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees in the last Congress. In the 116th Congress, he was slated to become a member of the Constitution and Civil Justice committees.
Congress also voted 416-1 to approve a Democratic measure rebuking King for his comments concerning white supremacy. King supported the measure.
In an interview King gave to the New York Times, he discussed white supremacy, which set the stage for him losing his committee assignments. The assignments are key ways in which members serve their constituents.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization —- how did the language become offensive?” he asked
King followed the comments with remarks disparaging immigrants and minorities. In addition, he seemed to embrace far-right foreign politicians and parties who are openly hostile to many of those groups.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there is no place in the Republican Party, the Congress or the country for an ideology of racial supremacy of any kind.
Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader, said the Republican Steering Committee, which seats members of Congress on House committees, followed his recommendation.
King called McCarthy’s move a political decision that ignores the truth but some members of Congress want him censured or they want him to resign his seat.
U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, praised the decision, adding that King has made a career of racist and outlandish statements that divide the country.
U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the third-ranking Democrat, said Tuesday during a speech on the House floor that he will introduce a resolution to express disapproval of King’s comments and to condemn white nationalism and white supremacy in all forms.