Jan. 14 (UPI) -- House Republicans voted unanimously Monday to remove Rep. Steve King from all of his committee assignments after he made comments questioning why white supremacy is considered offensive.
King, R-Iowa, had previously been a member of the House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees in addition to serving as chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice in the last Congress, but House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said he wouldn't receive any assignments in 2019.
"We will not be seating Steve King on any committees in the 116th Congress," McCarthy said.
McCarthy added he was not ruling out supporting a censure or reprimand resolutions against King, expected to be introduced by House Democrats.
"These are not the first time we have heard these comments. That is not the party of Lincoln, and it is definitely not America. All people are created equal in America, and we want to take a very strong stance about that," he said. "I think we spoke very loud and clear that we will not tolerate this type of language in the Republican Party."
King's comments came in an interview with the New York Times that was published last week, discussing immigration and President Donald Trump's push for a $5.7 million barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border.
"White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization -- how did that language become offensive?" King said. "Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?"
He later issued a public statement calling himself a "nationalist" and said he was not an advocate for "white nationalism and white supremacy."
"I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I reject those labels and the evil ideology they define," he said.
On Monday, King stated his remarks were taken out of context and criticized the decision to strip him of his committee assignments.
"Leader McCarthy's decision to remove me from committees is a political decision that ignores the truth," he said.
King added he has no intention to resign.
"Ultimately, I told him 'You have to do what you have to do and I will do what I have to do.' I will continue to point out the truth and work with all the vigor that I have to represent 4th District Iowans for at least the next two years," he said.