DES MOINES, Iowa – During Monday night’s forum among Republican candidates in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District race, U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, claimed that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., would give his committee assignments back.

During his opening remarks he noted that the Republican primary was all about his interview with The New York Times which said was misconstrued and about the loss of his committee assignments.

“On April 20, Kevin McCarthy and I reached an agreement that he would advocate to the steering committee to put all of my committees back, all of my seniority,” King said.

He said the changes would happen when the new Congress convenes. 

“I have Kevin McCarthy’s word that that will be my time for exoneration,” he added.

King was removed from his committee assignments, which included the House Judiciary and Agriculture committees, by House Republicans in January of 2019, after his controversial remarks during a New York Times interview

During the interview, he asked the reporter, “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?”

King told Caffeinated Thoughts at that time that McCarthy’s decision to remove him was “a political decision that ignores the truth.”

“In a 56 minute interview, we discussed the changing use of language in political discourse. We discussed the worn out label “racist” and my observation that other slanderous labels have been increasingly assigned to Conservatives by the Left, who injected into our current political dialog such terms as Nazi, Fascist, ‘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?’…just to watch Western Civilization become a derogatory term in political discourse today. Clearly, I was only referencing Western Civilization classes. No one ever sat in a class listening to the merits of white nationalism and white supremacy,” he said.

One of his opponents in the Republican primary, Woodbury County Supervisor Jeremy Taylor, said King’s remarks during Monday’s forum need clarification. 

“This is an important issue not only in this race but for all Iowans in the 4th District. I have advocated that we need a voice on the Judiciary Committee to stand for the sanctity of human life, the preservation of the 2nd Amendment, and issues of justice when it comes to due process. As a small business owner, I have sought to sit on the Small Business Committee. As someone committed to fighting for the Renewable Fuels Standard, fair beef pricing for producers, and the struggles of family farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have advocated that I will seek to sit on the Ag committee. The issues facing our Fourth District families are too important to risk not having a voice on committees,” he said. 

“Voters deserve to know for sure that the candidate they vote for will sit on committees important to effectively representing the Fourth District,” Taylor added.

Caffeinated Thoughts‘ attempts to contact Leader McCarthy’s offices by phone or by his website’s web email form to verify King’s claim were unsuccessful. 

Update: One member of the House Republican steering committee said this isn’t happening.

“I am a member of the Republican Steering Committee and former NRCC Chairman, and as long as I am a member of the Steering Committee, I will not allow that type of person or that type of ideology to influence the legislation passed by Congress. He will not be serving on any committee. Steve King does more to hurt Republican and conservative causes than help,” U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, said in an Instagram post.

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