GOP leaders step up pressure on Steve King, saying he should leave Congress

By Holly Rosenkrantz

/ CBS News

Steve King removed from committee assignments

Republican leaders are stepping up their pressure on Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King after he made comments defending white supremacy and white nationalism, with the number three House Republican leader saying he should not be in Congress.

"I think he should find another line of work," Rep. Liz Cheney, the GOP Conference Chairwoman, told reporters, echoing comments made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Monday. McConnell said in a statement, ""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. Rep. King's statements are unwelcome and unworthy of his elected position. If he doesn't understand why 'white supremacy' is offensive, he should find another line of work."

Congressional Republicans issued a sharp rebuke to King on Monday, barring the veteran lawmaker from serving on any House committees as punishment for comments he made defending white supremacy and white nationalism.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who had pledged to take "action" against the Iowa lawmaker on "Face the Nation" Sunday, told reporters on Monday evening that the party's steering committee had voted unanimously to deny King any committee posts in the current congressional session. King had served on the Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business Committees in the previous Congress.

Cheney called the removal of King from committee assignments a "very significant and serious step." "We have been very clear," she said, calling his views "absolutely abhorrent."

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, meanwhile, was more blunt, and called on King to resign. "Steve King's comments are reprehensible. They have no place in polite society. And certainly no place in the Republican party," Romney told reporters Monday evening. "And they should have no place in the United States Congress. He ought to resign and move on and let someone else who represents American values take his seat."

The most recent firestorm against King's views began on Thursday, when the New York Times published an interview in which he said white nationalism and white supremacism were not offensive terms. "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?" King asked. "Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?"

King, in a statement, said his comments had been mischaracterized by the Times. He reacted to McCarthy's move by calling it a "political decision that ignores the truth."

Alan He, Rebecca Kaplan and Ed O'Keefe contributed to this report.

Sen. Tim Scott, who wrote an opinion piece for the Times soon afterward criticizing Republicans for their silence on King's comments, did not demand he leave the House. "I have clearly not called on him to resign and I'm not going to call on him to resign," the Senate's only black senator told reporters Tuesday. He added that he doubted King would resign.

Some Republican leaders were noncommittal on whether King should leave Congress. Asked by reporters whether King should resign, McCarthy said Tuesday that "I think that's up to Steve King," noting that "it's still early" to know whether he is even planning on running for re-election. King is facing a primary challenge in 2020 from state Sen. Randy Feenstra. In 2018, King fended off a challenge from Democrat J.D. Scholten, although he won by a narrower margin than he has in the past.

McCarthy also was asked if President Trump shares his views on King. "Which view is that? That we need border security? Yes, he does," McCarthy said, avoiding the question. When asked about King on Monday, Mr. Trump said "I haven't been following it. I really haven't been following it."

First published on January 15, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

William Barr confirmation hearing: "I will not be bullied"

The president's nominee for attorney general is making his case on Capitol Hill that he will serve as an independent leader of the Justice Department, if confirmed

updated 0M ago

As shutdown drags on, federal workers flock to food pantries

Furloughed government workers are lining up at food banks and calling help hotlines across U.S. after missing paychecks

updated 12M ago

GOP leaders step up pressure on Steve King

The number three Republican leader in the House, Liz Cheney, says Steve King should find another line of work. The House GOP has barred him from serving on any committees

updated 13M ago

Fraud allegations at facility where vegetative patient gave birth

A former top prosecutor in Phoenix will investigate what happened at the long-term care center where a vegetative patient gave birth

updated 33M ago

Baby gets hearing aids, can't stop giggling

The baby's infectious laughter has melted hearts across the country

1H ago

William Barr confirmation hearing: "I will not be bullied"

The president's nominee for attorney general is making his case on Capitol Hill that he will serve as an independent leader of the Justice Department, if confirmed

updated 0M ago

As shutdown drags on, federal workers flock to food pantries

Furloughed government workers are lining up at food banks and calling help hotlines across U.S. after missing paychecks

updated 12M ago

GOP leaders step up pressure on Steve King

The number three Republican leader in the House, Liz Cheney, says Steve King should find another line of work. The House GOP has barred him from serving on any committees

updated 13M ago

Judge bars Trump administration from adding citizenship question to 2020 census

Critics believe the Commerce Department's proposal would lead to low response rates among immigrants and distort congressional apportionment to favor the GOP

1H ago

EPA criminal action against polluters hits 30-year low

"We're reaching levels where the enforcement program is lacking a pulse," said Jeff Ruch, PEER's executive director

1H ago

Brexit deal faces key vote in Parliament – then what?

Theresa May's plan faces almost certain defeat, and Brits may be left with little more understanding of how, when or even if they are to leave the EU

updated 18M ago

Saudi woman who fled family: "We are treated as an object, like a slave"

"It's daily oppression," the 18-year-old reportedly said

updated 26M ago

Antarctica's ice is melting faster, raising risk of sea level rise

The yearly loss of Antarctic ice mass has increased six-fold since 1979, scientists report

1H ago

"McJesus" sculpture sparks outrage in Israel

Israel's Christian minority, and a gov't minister, protesting the piece, intended to criticize worship of capitalism, but museum director standing firm

2H ago

Upscale hotel complex in Kenyan capital under attack

Al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab from neighboring Somalia claims responsibility amid gunfire and explosions at upmarket hotel in Nairobi

updated 51M ago

Netflix hikes prices on all subscription plans

On the heels of a blowout success with "Bird Box," the streaming service is raising monthly prices by $1 or $2

2H ago

Alicia Keys named Grammy Awards host

CBS will broadcast Grammy Awards show on Sunday, Feb. 10

1H ago

"Mobituaries": Mo Rocca's irreverent podcast to debut with intriguing stories of past lives

CBS News and Simon & Schuster partner on podcast and book that offer obituaries celebrating the famous, the un-famous, the fictional, and the inanimate who have bitten the dust

2H ago

Broadway legend Carol Channing dead at 97

Iconic actress, singer and comedian who starred in the Broadway hit "Hello, Dolly!" has died

3H ago

Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story": Student, 17, cast as star

More than 30,000 people from around the world auditioned to play the lead role of Maria — and 17-year-old high school student nabbed the part

11H ago

Antarctica's ice is melting faster, raising risk of sea level rise

The yearly loss of Antarctic ice mass has increased six-fold since 1979, scientists report

1H ago

Netflix hikes prices on all subscription plans

On the heels of a blowout success with "Bird Box," the streaming service is raising monthly prices by $1 or $2

2H ago

Iran admits failed launch of satellite U.S. worries about

Tehran plans to put at least two into orbit that Washington says use tech that could be used to deliver nuclear weapons

5H ago

"Marty" the robot ready to roll at some grocery stores

Fully autonomous robotic assistants will cruise the aisles looking for potential safety hazards

18H ago

Texas canines contain DNA of red wolves declared extinct in 1980

The animal was declared extinct in the wild nearly 40 years ago

22H ago

Poor sleep may take a toll on your heart

New research finds not getting enough good sleep could affect your risk of heart disease

19H ago

Americans more likely to die from opioids than a car crash

A new report from the National Safety Council sheds light on the most common causes of accidental death in the U.S.

2H ago

Parents charged after 3-year-old girl with 17-pound tumor dies

The parents of an Oklahoma girl, 3, who died from cancer with a 17-pound tumor are accused of failing to provide medical care

Jan 14

New school lunch rules could mean more salt, sugar and fat

The Trump administration begins rollbacks on Obama-era initiatives for healthier school lunches, giving the dairy industry a bigger presence in U.S. cafeterias

Jan 14

Judge blocks Trump birth control coverage rules in 13 states, D.C.

Issues preliminary injunction against rules that would let more employers opt out of providing women with free birth control

Jan 14

As shutdown drags on, federal workers flock to food pantries

Furloughed government workers are lining up at food banks and calling help hotlines across U.S. after missing paychecks

updated 12M ago

Netflix hikes prices on all subscription plans

On the heels of a blowout success with "Bird Box," the streaming service is raising monthly prices by $1 or $2

2H ago

PG&E bankruptcy: California's tough choices for nation's biggest utility

Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers confront nothing less than the fate of California's energy future

3H ago

Facebook investing $300 million in local news initiatives

The money will fund reporting grants for newsrooms, expanding earlier programs with similar aims for journalism

4H ago

U.S. cities where it's cheaper to buy a home than to rent one

Rising costs have made homeownership an impossible dream for many, but in a few places it still makes sense to buy

2H ago

"Dine-and-Dash Dater" surrenders to serve jail sentence in California

Paul Guadalupe Gonzales, 45, went on numerous first dates with women at restaurants in SoCal and would walk out — leaving the victim to foot the bill

10H ago

Gunman gets 84 years for murdering teen who performed at Obama's inauguration

Micheail Ward, 24, was sentenced in the 2013 shooting of the young honors student

17H ago

Suspect shot and killed after taking 2 women hostage at UPS facility

Officials said William Owens died of a gunshot wound after an incident Monday morning in Logan Township, N.J.

17H ago

El Chapo lawyer suggested hiring belly dancer to visit accused drug lord in jail

Lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman allegedly suggested he was planning to hire a belly dancer to visit the accused Mexican drug lord in jail

18H ago

Complaint reveals chilling details of Jayme Closs' abduction, captivity

The complaint says Jake Patterson told investigators: "He knew that was the girl he was going to take"

18H ago  Original Article