WASHINGTON — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says it’s no surprise fellow Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King is being punished for his comments about white supremacy.
Grassley notes Republican House leaders have stripped King of his committee assignments and some Democrats are calling for King’s censure. “That’s entirely within the view of the House of Representatives,” Grassley says. “When I was a member of the House of Representatives, I’ve seen that sort of punishment done by the House, both censure as well as being deprived of committees.”
On Monday, King was removed from three panels, the Agriculture and Small Business committees as well as the powerful Judiciary Committee. Grassley says he understands the actions of House GOP leaders who say King’s remarks won’t be tolerated. “I’ll have to accept their judgment on it. I don’t disagree with the judgment,” Grassley says. “I’m not surprised House Republicans took this step. It’s happened in the past when I was a member of the House because a particular member dishonors the chamber.”
King says his comments were “completely mischaracterized” and that booting him from the committees is “a political decision that ignores the truth,” yet Grassley and other Republicans are distancing themselves from King.
“Under our constitution, I have to respect their decision,” Grassley says. “I strongly disagree with any comments supporting white supremacy. It’s offensive and it’s not a view that I hold.”
Grassley says while King won’t be able to represent the people of Iowa’s Fourth District in committee action, he’ll still be able to voice opinions on any issues that comes from those committees when they go before the full House for a vote.