Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

After nine years in Congress, Rep. Steve King of Iowa is finally facing pushback for being an avowed racist. GOP leadership has removed him from both of his House Committee appointments, according to the New York Times.

The new backlash comes in response to a statement King made to the Times last week.

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?” he told the paper.

King subsequently apologized, not for condoning racism, but for causing “heartburn” among his colleagues.

“I regret the heartburn that has poured forth upon this Congress and this country and especially in my state and in my congressional district,” he said on the floor of the House last week. “I reject that ideology, I defend American civilization, which is an essential component of western civilization.”

Advertisement

King probably meant “heartache,” but heartburn is a pretty apt description of what we feel when thinking about him and his atrocious views.

Even conservative child prodigy Ben Shapiro felt the need to distance himself from King last week, updating a 2017 post on the Daily Wire in which he had defended King’s incredibly racist tweet about America’s inability to “restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

Last week, Iowa state Sen. Randy Feenstra said he would challenge King in the 2020 Republican House primary.

Advertisement

Today, King faced criticism from Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who said he should find “another line of work.” Others, including Sen. Mitt Romney, told King to resign.

Now, King has been removed from his seats on the Agriculture and Judiciary Committees by House minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy.

“This is not the first time we’ve heard these comments,” McCarthy told the Times. “That is not the party of Lincoln and it’s definitely not American.”

Advertisement

McCarthy, however, wouldn’t tell the Times why these comments were more serious than Kings past, similarly racist statements.

King himself, so far, is defiant, saying he will not resign and denying any fault in his statements.

“Leader McCarthy’s decision to remove me from committees is a political decision that ignores the truth,” he told the Times.

Advertisement

House Democrats say they are pleased to see King condemned by the GOP, but not satisfied, considering that our president made an extremely racist statement about Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Native Americans just last night.

“I’m glad that they are finally taking action after all of these years of Steve King slandering immigrants and Hispanics, but the president of the United States is also doing that and he just said something about Elizabeth Warren... that was also racially ugly and we haven’t heard a word of condemnation from anyone in the Republican Party about that,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro told the Times.

Trump, meanwhile, has been silent on King. When asked by reporters today for his take on the situation, he responded, simply, “I haven’t been following it.”