House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Sunday that “action will be taken” in response to recent racist comments by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) that have provoked bipartisan outrage.
“I have a scheduled meeting with him on Monday, and I will tell you this: I’ve watched on the other side that they do not take action when their members say something like this,” McCarthy told host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face The Nation.”
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“Action will be taken. I’m having a serious conversation with Congressman Steve King on his future and role in this Republican Party,” McCarthy said. “There is a number of things you’ll see that is taking place.”
King faces a potential censure motion from Democratic lawmakers for remarks he made during an interview with The New York Times, in which he asked when the terms “white nationalist, white supremacist and Western civilization” became “offensive.”
McCarthy last week denounced King’s language as “reckless” and “wrong,” saying in a statement: “Everything about white supremacy and white nationalism goes against who we are as a nation.”
Among the other lawmakers to rebuke King was Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who is black. “When people with opinions similar to King’s open their mouths, they damage not only the Republican Party and the conservative brand but also our nation as a whole,” Scott wrote Friday in a Washington Post op-ed.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also spoke out Sunday against King, who served as Cruz’s national co-chairman during his 2016 campaign for president. “What Steve King said was stupid,” Cruz told host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) on Sunday defended the response from House GOP leadership to King’s remarks, telling host George Stephanopoulos during an interview on ABC’s “This Week”: “We were very quick to reject those comments.”
“There is no place for hate, for bigotry, or anybody who supports that ideology. It’s evil ideology. We all ought to stand up against it,” Scalise added. “But it’s easy when the Democrats condemn a Republican. I don’t see the Democrats condemning Democrats on their side who are doing this kind of thing and using this kind of language.”