GOP leaders vote to strip Steve King of committee assignments following 'white supremacy' remarks
WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters Monday that the GOP had voted unanimously to remove Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, from all committees amid the rising uproar over his recent comments about white nationalism.
The Republican Steering Committee voted Monday night to revoke King's assignments to the Judiciary, Agriculture, and Small Business Committees.
McCarthy, who met privately with King for an hour earlier Monday, said the party had not opted to remove King from the conference itself — but added that that further moves, including resolutions censuring or reprimanding the Iowa congressman, had not been ruled out.
King's political future was up to voters, said McCarthy — "but I think we spoke loud and clear that we will not tolerate this in the Republican Party.”
King immediately blasted the move in a statement that dubbed it a "political decision that ignores the truth," saying his remarks had been taken out of context.
"My record as a vocal advocate for Western Civilization is nearly as full as my record in defense of Freedom of Speech," he added. "...I will continue to point out the truth and work with all the vigor that I have to represent 4th District Iowans for at least the next two years.”
The move came just hours after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted King on Monday, calling his remarks in a newspaper interview published last week "unwelcome and unworthy of his elected position."
“If he doesn’t understand why ‘white supremacy’ is offensive, he should find another line of work,” McConnell, R-Ky., said.
McConnell’s comments about King, R-Iowa, were among the most forceful issued to date by a top congressional Republican.
“There is no place in the Republican Party, the Congress or the country for an ideology of racial supremacy of any kind. I have no tolerance for such positions and those who espouse these views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms,” McConnell said. “I commend Sens. Grassley, Ernst, Scott and others for their leading voices in the Senate, and Leader McCarthy for his strong stand on this matter in the House.”