Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) announced Monday that he will introduce a resolution to censure Rep. Steve King (R-IA) after the Iowa Republican questioned in a New York Times interview why the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” were offensive.
However, members of both parties have called for his censure — and Rep. Rush announced that he would lead the way, referring to Rep. King as a rabid animal.
“Steve King’s pattern of despicable comments harken back to the dark days of American history where his rabid, racist remarks would have been acceptable to a significant portion of our nation,” Rush said in a statement. “This must come to a screeching halt right now. The U.S. Congress cannot be a platform for Steve King and those of his ilk. From Charleston to Charlottesville to Chicago to California, there is no home for this behavior, especially the floor of the United States House of Representatives.”
“He has become too comfortable with proudly insulting, disrespecting, and denigrating people of color. As with any animal that is rabid, Steve King should be set aside and isolated,” the statement continued. His rabid racism continues to stain and embarrass this body and the years of deliberate silence from Republicans have only emboldened his ignorant and immoral behavior and empowered those who emulate him.”
However, Rep. Rush’s own record on racial issues has been marked by controversy.
Specifically, Rep. Rush called Sen. Kirk’s idea an “upper-middle class, elitist-white boy solution to a problem he knows nothing about.”
Rush is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, which has met with racist and antisemite Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Nevertheless, Rush, who has served in the House for over 25 years, called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to bar Rep. King from serving on committees until he apologizes for his remarks.
Rush said a resolution to censure King would send a message to Americans that Congress will not turn away from racism, calling anything short of censuring the Iowa Republican “shallow.”
Today, I announced I will be introducing a resolution to formally censure Rep. Steve King for his pattern of racist and xenophobic statements: https://t.co/gAoiwMzPUr #CensureKing pic.twitter.com/2bhWzuQm8N
— Bobby L. Rush (@RepBobbyRush) January 14, 2019
King is under fire from lawmakers across the political aisle after the remarks appeared in the Times, seeking to tie his controversial comments to his hardline anti-immigration stance.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King said to the partisan newspaper. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
King’s statement pushed back against accusations of racism and white nationalism.
My statement on the New York Times article. pic.twitter.com/IjBHgZYgRD
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) January 10, 2019
“I condemn anyone that supports this evil and bigoted ideology which saw in its ultimate expression the systematic murder of 6 million innocent Jewish lives,” he continued. “I am an advocate for Western Civilization’s values.”