House Dem renews call for censuring Steve King

A senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus renewed his call Friday to censure Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingGOP lawmakers say Steve King's loss could help them in November The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden on the cusp of formally grasping the Democratic nomination The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from the protests MORE (R-Iowa) over recent comments he rebuked as additional evidence of racism.

In a letter to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNRCC turns up heat on vulnerable Democrats over Omar's call to abolish police Shocking job numbers raise hopes for quicker recovery Engel primary challenger hits million in donations MORE (D-Calif.), Rep. Bobby RushBobby Lee RushThe Hill's Morning Report - DC preps for massive Saturday protest; Murkowski breaks with Trump House coronavirus bill aims to prevent utility shutoffs Jimmy Kimmel mocks Pence delivery of PPE MORE (D-Ill.) cited instances in the past week of that included King criticizing victims of Hurricane Katrina, demurring when asked if a "white society" is "superior" and musing over another civil war between red states with "8 trillion bullets" and blue states.

The House adopted a resolution in January condemning white supremacy after King said in a New York Times interview, "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?"


House GOP leaders stripped King of his committee assignments following those comments — which came after years of the Iowa Republican making inflammatory remarks about race and immigration.

Rush, as well as Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanCongress must fill the leadership void Pelosi pushes to unite party on coronavirus bill despite grumbling from left Democrats rally behind monthly ,000 relief checks MORE (D-Ohio), introduced measures to censure King at the time, but Democratic leaders did not want go that far.

Rush argued Friday that King deserves censuring because he continues to stoke controversy.

"We have repeatedly spoken out and condemned bigotry and racism on the House floor. Nevertheless, [King] has defiantly continued and amplified his behavior. With that in mind, I cannot fathom a way in which we can allow Rep. King’s ongoing and repeated comments to go unpunished," Rush wrote in the letter to Pelosi.

"He is a virulent racist who has repeatedly insulted the American people — and minorities specifically — with his hatred," Rush wrote.

Rush voted against the resolution condemning white supremacy in January because he favored a tougher response to King. The resolution referenced King's comments to The New York Times, but didn't directly rebuke him.


At the time, Rush said he would reserve the right to force a vote on his censure resolution if King made more racist remarks.

"If Steve King utters one more type of racist commentary, then I reserve the right to bring it up out of the Ethics Committee," Rush told reporters in January.

King has said his comments to The New York Times were taken out of context.

When asked in an interview with Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program if he's "sorry for anything that you've said," King replied: “I have nothing to apologize for."

King's latest comments about Hurricane Katrina victims drew rebukes from both parties.

During a town hall this week, King described how Iowans helped one another compared to victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

“Here’s what FEMA tells me: We go to a place like New Orleans and everybody’s looking around saying ‘who’s gonna help me?' ” King said.

King said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) told him that an Iowan, would say “wait a minute, let me get my boots, it’s Joe that needs help. Let’s go down to his place and help him.”

"They’re just always gratified when they come and see how Iowans take care of each other,” he added.

House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseClyburn: Cowed GOP ascribes 'mystical powers' to Trump Top GOP lawmakers invite Blue Dogs to meet with China Task Force Top GOP lawmakers invite Blue Dogs to meet with China Task Force over coronavirus probe MORE (R-La.) told The Advocate that King's comments were "absurd and offensive."

“His comments about Katrina victims are absurd and offensive, and are a complete contradiction to the strength and resilience the people of New Orleans demonstrated to the entire nation in the wake of the total devastation they experienced,” Scalise said.

Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondStates plead for cybersecurity funds as hacking threat surges Democrats lobby Biden on VP choice Bottom line MORE (D-La.), a former Congressional Black Caucus chairman who represents New Orleans, blasted King as a "white supremacist."

"My heart goes out to all Iowans. Though it unsettles me that @SteveKingIA would dare compare them to the countless victims of Katrina, many of whom lost their lives. When people show you who they are, believe them. Steve King is a white supremacist and I won’t stand for it," Richmond tweeted.