Black Lawmaker Stands Alone To Vote Against Steve King Resolution, Says It ‘Didn’t Go Far Enough’

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The lone member of the House of Representatives who, out of 425 lawmakers, voted against a resolution condemning white supremacy following racist remarks by Iowa Congressman Steve King said the resolution fell “far short” of his expectations.

“It did not go far enough,” Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Tuesday. “It’s not worth the paper it was written on.”

Rep. Bobby Rush
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) called on fellow members of Congress to go “further” in condemning Iowa Rep. Steve King. (Image courtesy of CNN)

The Jan. 15 vote on the disapproval resolution came after King’s comments to The New York Times last week where he questioned when the terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” became offensive. The Iowa Republican is now facing calls, from both sides of the aisle, to resign and has since been stripped of his committee assignments as punishment.

“It was shallow [and] of little import to the millions of American citizens,” Rush said of the resolution, proposed by Rep. Jim Clyburn (D) of South Carolina. “It became obsolete before the ink on the paper dried.”

The Chicago-area lawmaker pointed to King’s long history of making “vile” and racist remarks, and said the disapproval fell short of what he thought the actions of congress members should have been in regards to King’s offensive comments. Just last year, the GOP representative reportedly met with a far-right party that had ties to Nazism during a trip to Austria.

He’s been “using the official status as a member of Congress  … as a platform to promulgate his vile and racist commentary,” Rush added.

According to CNN, Rush has since drafted his own censure resolution against King, who he dubbed an “unrepentant racist,” that goes a step further than the disapproval approved by Congress.

Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the house, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper this week that he decided to have members vote on disapproval of King as opposed to the censure because, “When you want the Congress to act with overwhelming support, you try to get the language you feel that people will be comfortable with.”

“To go further than that at this particular juncture, I thought would not yield the number of votes that I wanted to see today,” Clyburn added.

But Rush says he wants congressional members to go further in rebuking King, arguing that his rhetoric shouldn’t be given any consideration by Congress.

President Donald Trump hasn’t had much to say on the matter. When asked by reporters about King’s comments, the president responded, “I haven’t been following it.”

Rush told Burnett he believes Trump is “in concert” with King and is well versed “in the racist antics of Steve King.” He also argued that King “wrote the president’s playbook in regards to how a racist should really conduct himself.”

Watch more in the clip below.

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