House Democrat leaders are attempting to blunt efforts to censure Rep. Steve King (R-IA) over racially-charged remarks due to worries that it could establish a “dangerous precedent” for policing the speech of congressional lawmakers, a Wednesday report says.
The Washington Post reports:
House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), who introduced the disapproval measure that passed Tuesday, noted that King made his statements to the news media, not during House proceedings, and said he is speaking to Rush and Ryan about averting a censure vote.
“I don’t know that it’s a good thing for us to talk about censure for things that are done outside of the business of the House of Representatives,” said Clyburn, the highest-ranking African American congressional leader. “We should be very, very careful about doing anything that constrains, or seems to constrain, speech.”
By doing so, you “open the window for anybody to attack speech, no matter if it’s Democrats or Republicans,” he added in a subsequent interview.
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