House passes resolution condemning white nationalism

The House overwhelmingly passed a resolution on Tuesday condemning white nationalism and white supremacy in the wake of public remarks by Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden builds big lead in battleground Florida Progressive Bowman ousts Engel in New York primary Colorado GOP Rep. Scott Tipton defeated in primary upset MORE (R-Iowa) questioning why the terms are considered offensive.

The resolution, approved in a 424-1 vote, doesn’t directly rebuke King.

Instead, the text states that the House “once again rejects White nationalism and White supremacy as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”

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Some Democrats want to go much further and argued the measure offered by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, was too soft. Reps. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: HHS Secretary Azar says US plans to have tens of millions of vaccine doses this fall; Kremlin allegedly trying to hack vaccine research Democrats see victory in Trump culture war House Democrat calls for 'real adult discussion' on lawmaker pay MORE (D-Ohio) and Bobby RushBobby Lee RushIllinois lawmaker says Trump wants to instigate a race war The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump, GOP senators at odds over next stimulus bill Democrats set to hold out for big police reform MORE (D-Ill.) have both introduced resolutions to censure King for his remarks.

Rush voted against Clyburn’s resolution, which was tailored to draw bipartisan support. In a statement, Rush said that “while I strongly condemn white supremacy and white nationalism, my position remains unchanged. Anything short of censure is shallow.”

Clyburn told reporters after the vote that he opted for a resolution that didn't go as far to accommodate some lawmakers who weren't comfortable with censuring King.

"It doesn't go far enough for me," Clyburn acknowledged, adding that he would support censuring King.
 
"I try when I can not to make people uncomfortable. When I can, I try to accommodate people's feelings and positions. And we have a few people who are uncomfortable with censure, but very comfortable with disapproval," Clyburn said.

King voted in favor of the resolution, saying, "I agree with the language in it."

A growing number of Republicans are calling for King to resign, including Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyFrom a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans NRCC poll finds McBath ahead of Handel in Georgia MORE (Utah), Rep. Chris StewartChristopher (Chris) Douglas StewartAtlanta Wendy's 911 call the night of Rayshard Brooks's death released Tyler Perry offers to pay for funeral of Rayshard Brooks Current, former NHL players form diversity coalition to fight intolerance in hockey MORE (Utah) and House GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyRepublicans fear disaster in November Gaetz set to endorse primary opponent of fellow Florida GOP lawmaker House GOP pushes back at Trump on changing election date MORE (Wyo.).

Cheney said at a press conference earlier Tuesday that “I think he should find another line of work,” echoing a statement from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal MORE (R-Ky.) a day earlier.

The third-ranking House Republican went further than House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthySunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief A trillion stimulus, but Kevin McCarthy for renewable energy — leading businesses want to change that When will telling the truth in politics matter again? MORE (R-Calif.), who said it’s up to King’s constituents to keep him in the House.

King, who has a long history of courting controversy on race, has maintained that his comments to The New York Times were taken out of context.

“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?” King said in the interview published last week.

The vote came a day after House GOP leaders announced they would not assign King to any committees for the new Congress. King had served on the Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees. He had even served as a chairman of a Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice and could have served as its ranking member under the Democratic majority.

King has denied that he supports white nationalism or supremacy.

“Leader McCarthy’s decision to remove me from committees is a political decision that ignores the truth,” he said in a statement Monday.

GOP leaders previously haven’t punished King for making controversial remarks.

King in 2013 said in an interview with Newsmax that for every undocumented immigrant who becomes a valedictorian, “there's another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” Then-Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker Bottom line Cheney battle raises questions about House GOP's future MORE (R-Ohio) called King's comments “deeply offensive and wrong.”

In 2017, King created another firestorm when he said that “we can’t rebuild our civilization with somebody else’s babies” while tweeting in support of an anti-Muslim nationalist Dutch politician.

Then-Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker Budowsky: Why I back Kennedy, praise Markey Democratic super PAC quotes Reagan in anti-Trump ad set to air on Fox News: 'Are you better off?' MORE (R-Wis.) told Fox News at the time that “I disagree with that statement.”

But no action was taken against King, who claimed to The Hill following pushback from a handful of fellow GOP lawmakers that “my colleagues have generally been coming by and patting me on the back.”

King also drew condemnation last year from the then-chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversNational Retail Federation hosts virtual 'store tours' for lawmakers amid coronavirus Stronger patent rights would help promote US technological leadership Republicans to introduce House version of Scott police reform bill MORE (R-Ohio), after supporting a white nationalist candidate for Toronto mayor and telling an Austrian publication, “What does this diversity bring that we don’t already have?”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE has not criticized King’s more recent remarks, and told reporters on Monday that he hadn’t been closely following the issue.

-Updated 4:44 p.m.