SIOUX CITY -- GOP leaders in Iowa's 4th congressional district are urging House Republicans to reinstate Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to his committee assignments, saying his commitment to conservative principles is a longstanding benefit to the party.
At a meeting Saturday in Fort Dodge, the Republican Party 4th District Executive Committee members passed a resolution calling for King to "carry out his duly elected" duties during his two-year term that runs into January 2020.
The committee's letter will be sent to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who were part of the GOP team that stripped King of his assignments in January, days after an uproar over King's quotes in a New York Times story drew national attention.
In the article, he asked, "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?"
In his most recent Northwest Iowa town hall meeting in Cherokee on April 22, King said he was misquoted by the Times, and spoke about how the criticism he's faced from his "accusers" in the House has given him “better insight into what (Christ) went through for us."
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"For all that I've been through -- and it seems even strange for me to say it -- but I am at a certain peace, and it is because of a lot of prayers for me," King said.
“And, when I have to step down to the floor of the House of Representatives, and look up at those 400-and-some accusers, you know we just passed through Easter and Christ's passion, and I have better insight into what He went through for us partly because of that experience."
One of the portions of the passed resolution says "the members of the District Executive Committee have never, in all of those years, heard Congressman King utter any phrase stating or which might imply white supremacy or support for white nationalism in any way, shape or form."
"The unanimous support from the 4th District Executive Committee shows Republicans in all 39 counties understand that Congressman King was railroaded over a phony New York Times hit piece," King's son, Jeff, who serves as his father's campaign chairman, said in a statement Monday.
The resolution doesn't speak to the 2020 campaign, in which three Republicans are looking to oust King. Those candidates include state Sen. Randy Feenstra, of Hull, former state legislator Jeremy Taylor, of Sioux City, and Bret Richards, a former mayor of Irwin.
Back in February, the Woodbury County Republican Party Central Committee passed a resolution that supported King and rebuked Republican House leaders for their decision to strip King of his committee assignments.
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