House Republican leaders removed Representative Steve King of Iowa from the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees on Monday night as the party officials scrambled to appear tough on racism and contain damage from comments Mr. King made to The New York Times questioning why white supremacy is considered offensive.
The punishment came on a day when Mr. King’s own party leadership moved against him, with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, suggesting Mr. King find “another line of work” and Senator Mitt Romney saying he should quit. In an attempt to be proactive, the House Republicans stripped him of his committee seats in the face of multiple Democratic resolutions to censure Mr. King that are being introduced this week.
Those measures will force Republicans to take a stand on whether to go along with the House Democratic majority’s attempt to publicly reprimand one of their own.
Speaking to reporters on Monday night after the congressional Republicans acted, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the party leader in the House, said he was not ruling out supporting a censure or reprimand resolution against Mr. King. He said the Republicans are not removing Mr. King from the G.O.P. House conference itself so he can still attend its party meetings.
The biggest loser to emerge from this is Worst Speaker Ever Paul Ryan, who did absolutely nothing although all of this was known about King throughout his tenure:
I don't give Kevin McCarthy credit for anything other than exposing more of @PRyan's true colors.
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) January 15, 2019