Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) made the comparison in comments on the House floor after King attempted to exclude dozens of groups related to ACORN from receiving government funds through an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill.
King proposed an amendment that would deny DHS funding to several ACORN affiliates across various states. The measure prompted Dicks and Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) to ask what specific information King had on any of these groups. Near the end of the heated discussion, Dicks said he remembers a "certain senator from Wisconsin" who used similar tactics, a clear reference to McCarthy, although Dicks did not cite McCarthy by name.
"You are asking this House to vote on something, and you haven't verified it, you don't know what these groups are all about," Dicks said. "And it's a disgrace to even offer this amendment."
King clearly understood the reference, and responded: "Since the gentleman has raised the issue of the senator from Wisconsin, if he could name any individual who was unjustly charged by the senator from Wisconsin."
"I'm not going to get into that tonight," Dicks replied. "I'll be glad to send you a list, when you verify the media reports, and can talk about these organizations in a meaningful way, instead of just putting a list together and expecting us to vote on this thing. It's ridiculous."
King's amendment was one of the last to be debated in a session that lasted into early Thursday morning, and King asked for a voice vote on his amendment, which is expected Thursday.
ACORN is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, and was at the center of a scandal in which a hidden video recorder caught ACORN employees talking about how to dodge taxes. This scandal led to a decision to cut off federal funding for the group.