Rep. Steve King pushes GOP to reinstate his committee assignments

Greg Nash
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is pushing House GOP leaders to reinstate his committee assignments that he lost last month after questioning why the terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” had become offensive.
King released a letter on Tuesday from more than 200 of what he described as “pro-family leaders” asking House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to reinstate his committee assignments.
The letter’s signatories include former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas); William Owens, founder and president of the Coalition of African American Pastors; evangelical leader James Dobson; and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney.
“Unlike North Korea, we in the United States are ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and hold to the principles of Western Civilization, as Rep. King so admirably does,” the letter states.{mosads}
“Don’t make the fatal mistake of turning the reins of the U.S. Congress over to the liberal media, allowing them to target, misquote, and falsely brand any member of Congress they wish to remove.”
King shared the letter in a tweet, writing: “200 pro-family leaders wrote @GOPLeader McCarthy asking him ‘to do the right thing’ & reinstate my committees. They know when the ‘outrageous misquote’ of a biased & liberal NYTimes takes free rein to ‘falsely brand’ Republicans, no conservative is safe.”
The Iowa Republican previously served on the House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees. He first won election to the House in 2002.
King faced a bipartisan backlash after telling The New York Times in an interview published last month, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”
House GOP leaders then decided not to give King any committee assignments for the new Congress in a move designed to curtail the immigration hard-liner’s influence as a member of Congress.
King had served as chairman of a House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution and civil justice in the last Congress. And the Agriculture panel is considered a key spot for lawmakers who represent states with agricultural industries. 
The Iowa Republican released his letter, which was dated last week, on the same day that President Trump called for freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to lose a committee seat over recent comments condemned as anti-Semitic.
“I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” Trump said on Tuesday.
House Democratic leaders have given no indication that they think Omar should be removed from the Foreign Affairs panel. 
Omar, under pressure from House Democratic leaders, issued an apology on Monday after she suggested in tweets over the weekend that American lawmakers are motivated by money to defend Israel.
King’s comments in the Times interview had followed a series of firestorms over comments about race and immigration.
King said in a 2013 interview with the conservative news outlet Newsmax that for every immigrant in the country illegally who becomes a valedictorian, “there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”  
And in 2017, King tweeted that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
He also supported a white nationalist candidate for Toronto mayor and retweeted a Nazi sympathizer last year, actions which led to then-National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) publicly condemning him days before the November midterm elections.
Tags Donald Trump Ilhan Omar Kevin McCarthy Steve King Steve Stivers

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