The Congressional Black Caucus called on fellow lawmakers to do more than admonish white supremacist Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) for his continued racist remarks.
Karen Bass (D-Calif.), the chair of the CBC, released a statement Saturday calling for House Republicans to remove King from further committee assignments after he defended white supremacy to The New York Times in an interview published Thursday.
“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?”
The comments drew backlash from conservative pundits including Ben Shapiro and outlets like The National Review. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) called King’s comments “abhorrent and racist” and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) called the comments “offensive.”
But little has been done among Republicans to actually punish King for his hateful view of the world, which he has publicly advanced many times before the Times interview. King has compared immigrants to dogs, endorsed a neo-Nazi candidate and has openly flirted with fascism. His most recent comments are little surprise to anyone who has actually been paying attention.
“Like Donald Trump, Steve King has sought again and again to give comfort to white supremacists, something that should never be allowed in the halls of Congress or the Oval Office” Bass said in the statement. She continued:
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 clear he disdains. 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.