Politics

Steve King’s Comments Prompt House Vote Condemning White Supremacy

The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a resolution condemning white supremacy by a vote of 424-1, reflecting the anger in both parties over comments by Representative Steve King of Iowa questioning why white supremacy is considered offensive.

The resolution begins by citing Mr. King’s remarks to The New York Times: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” It says that white supremacy and white nationalism are “contrary to the ideals of the United States of America,” and details the increase in racist hate crimes over recent years.

The resolution also cites recent deadly shootings by white supremacists in South Carolina and Pennsylvania, attacks that targeted black worshipers and Jewish congregants, respectively.

Mr. King, a Republican, took the House floor to say he would vote in support of the resolution.

The action was part of a still-evolving response that began to take form Monday when House Republican leaders voted to remove Mr. King, now serving his ninth term, from his committee assignments, including the powerful House Judiciary Committee.

[Read about how House Republicans removed Steve King from several powerful committees]

The resolution was brought by Representative Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the Democratic House Majority Whip.

“I want to ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, let’s vote for this resolution,” Mr. King said on the House floor. “I’m putting up a yes on the board here because what you say here is right and is true and is just, and so is what I have stated here on the floor of the House.”

Mr. King maintains that his remarks to The Times were taken out of context. However, he has a long public history of demonizing immigrants and bemoaning the replacement of white culture — a bedrock principle of white nationalist and white supremacist ideology.

[Steve King has a history of making racist remarks. Read them and more here]

Other measures in the House related to Mr. King are still currently unresolved. Democrats have moved to formally censure the Iowa Representative, which would be only the 24th time that disciplinary action had ever been used in the House.

Representative Bobby Rush of Illinois cast the lone vote against the resolution, saying it was not strong enough and that “anything short of a censure” is shallow.

“We need to be clear to the American people that we use condemnation to express our disapproval of those not in the House,” Mr. Rush said in a statement. “We use censure for those in the House.”

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