Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois

Rush Renews Call for Censure of Steve King

Mar 22, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) sent a letter to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi requesting that his privileged resolution, H.Res.53, be discharged from the Committee on Ethics and be brought before the House for immediate consideration.  The resolution calls for the censure of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

“We have repeatedly spoken out and condemned bigotry and racism on the House floor.  Nevertheless, he has defiantly continued and amplified his behavior.  With that in mind, I cannot fathom a way in which we can allow Rep. King’s ongoing and repeated comments to go unpunished.  He is a virulent racist who has repeatedly insulted the American people — and minorities specifically — with his hatred.  The House of Representatives must repudiate this behavior and we must do so forcefully.  That is why I believe that Rep. Steve King needs to be censured,” said Rush.

A copy of the letter is available here and included below:

March 22, 2019

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Speaker

U.S. House of Representatives

H-232, United States Capitol

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

As you are aware, on January 16, 2019, I introduced a privileged resolution in the House calling for the censure of Rep. Steve King.  My resolution was spurred by his long history of racist, xenophobic, and hate-filled speech, much of which he has delivered in his official capacity as a United States Representative.

Rep. King has not demurred from continuing to fan the flames of division in our country.  Since I introduced my resolution, his behavior has not halted, even for a moment:

As reported in the Des Moines Register on February 21, 2019: “In a Thursday taping of Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program, host David Yepsen asked him: “Are you sorry for anything that you’ve said?”  The congressman replied: “I have nothing to apologize for, Dave.”

As reported in the Huffington Post on March 4, 2019: “For the third time in less than a year, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has promoted an open white nationalist on Twitter.  On Friday, the congressman quote-tweeted Faith Goldy, a Canadian white nationalist who has publicly recited the “14 words,” a white supremacist mantra, and who once recommended a book that calls for the “elimination of Jews.”  Goldy also once appeared on a podcast produced by The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website which advocates for gassing Jews.  In that podcast, Goldy praised white supremacist figurehead Richard Spencer.  King is well aware of who Goldy is.  In October, he endorsed Goldy in her longshot run for mayor of Toronto.  The endorsement led to widespread condemnation of the congressman.  In his tweet, King claimed that “criminal aliens represented an average of 1/4 of the federal prison population” and that “there would have to be 82 million illegals in America before they would be committing an equal proportion of crimes.”

As reported by CNN on March 13, 2019: “Rep. Steve King, whose history of making racist remarks has recently come under scrutiny, shared a Facebook post over the weekend that boasts red states would “win” a fight against blue states — and that they have “8 trillion bullets.”  “Wonder who would win…”  the Iowa Republican wrote in a post Saturday, adding an emoji with a smirk.  Attached to the post is a photo depicting Democratic-leaning states engaged in a fight with Republican-leaning states.  The photo’s caption reads, “Folks keep talking about another civil war…  One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use,” an apparent reference to Democrats’ support of gender-neutral bathrooms.”

As reported in the New York Times on March 19, 2019: “Do you think a white society is superior to a nonwhite society?”  Mary Lavelle, 63, asked, testing his reputation for white supremacist sympathies.  “I don’t have an answer for that.  That’s so hypothetical,” Mr. King, Republican of Iowa, told her.”

As reported in The Washington Post on March 22, 2019, while speaking at a town hall in Charter Oak, Iowa: “We go to a place like New Orleans, and everybody’s looking around saying, ‘Who’s going to help me?  Who’s going to help me?’” King said, recounting what he said officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, had told him about the relief effort, in which he said he had participated.  Yet, he was also one of 11 members of Congress to oppose a bill providing federal aid to Katrina victims in 2005.”  “We go to a place like Iowa, and we go see, knock on the door at, say, I make up a name, John’s place, and say, ‘John, you got water in your basement, we can write you a check, we can help you,’” King said.  “And John will say, ‘Well, wait a minute, let me get my boots.  It’s Joe that needs help.  Let’s go down to his place and help him.’”

We have repeatedly spoken out and condemned bigotry and racism on the House floor.  Nevertheless, he has defiantly continued and amplified his behavior.  With that in mind, I cannot fathom a way in which we can allow Rep. King’s ongoing and repeated comments to go unpunished.

He is a virulent racist who has repeatedly insulted the American people — and minorities specifically — with his hatred.  The House of Representatives must repudiate this behavior and we must do so forcefully.  That is why I believe that Rep. Steve King needs to be censured.  Therefore, I respectfully request that my resolution, H.Res.53, be discharged from the Committee on Ethics and be brought before the House for immediate consideration.

I appreciate your attention to and careful consideration of this matter.  I look forward to working with you to address this ongoing and troubling behavior.

Sincerely,

Bobby L. Rush

Member of Congress

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