High-ranking Republican officials are not interested in putting Congressman Steve King back on committees he was kicked out of last year after he made statements about Western civilization that were manipulated by the media.
“It’s bullshit. We have not discussed this at steering,” one member of the Steering Committee, said to The Hill.
King is currently facing a primary challenge from State Senator Randy Feenstra.
King and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy came to an agreement where McCarthy will push for King to be re-instated on the committees.
“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 at a forum, according to a Sioux City Journal report.
“When Congress comes back into session, when the steering committee can (inaudible) together, I have Kevin McCarthy’s word that that will be my time for exoneration,” King stated.
However, members of the Steering Committee said that they have no plans to put King back on the panels.
“Someone forwarded me an article where Rep. Steve King claims he will get his committees back next year,” Ohio congressman Steve Stivers posted on Instagram.
“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,” he stated.
King’s immigration patriotism and bluntness has earned him many enemies in Congress. He also attacked Stivers’ critiques, contending that the Ohio Republican’s beliefs don’t represent the bulk of the members on the Steering Committee.
“Never-Trumper Stivers is only one vote on Steering, known for his singular inability to discern fact from fiction,” King declared in a statement.
“No one trusts his leadership since he sacrificed the Republican Majority as NRCC Chair in 2018, enabling Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff to impeach President Trump,” he added. “Stivers should be held accountable. No respectable Republican believes the New York Times.”
House GOP leaders removed King from his committee assignments after The New York Times distorted some of his comments during an interview featuring him in 2019.
King believes his comments were taken out of context and a handful of Republicans called for him to reinstated last year.
Although King has faced a number of controversies in the last few years, recent polls show that he has an 8-point lead over Feenstra leading into the June 2 primary.
McCarthy’s office said that while King will be able to defend himself in front of the Steering Committee members, he has not been made a promise for reinstatement.
“Congressman King’s past comments cannot be exonerated,” a spokesman for the House Republican leader said. “Committee assignments are determined by the steering committee and he will have the opportunity to make his case.”
Will Josh Hawley be the Next Champion for an America First Foreign Policy?
America First May Have its Next Leader to End Wars Abroad
Does America First have a new non-interventionist champion?
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has been viewed by many as one of the figures who could potentially lead a Trumpist movement after Trump, should Joe Biden end up being installed as president on January 2021.
Hawley has made a name for himself as a champion of Middle America and questioning the neoliberal orthodoxy on immigration and trade. Lately, Hawley has made a pivot towards questioning the interventionist conventional wisdom on foreign policy.
In early October of this year, the Missouri Senator called for the American government to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Hawley tweeted, “Almost 20 years now in Afghanistan. Long past time to draw this war to an end.”
Hawley’s foreign policy has been a work progress over the past two years. During a 2019 speech Hawley gave at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), he questioned the nation-building policy prescriptions of previous administrations, demonstrating some degree of skepticism towards non-stop interventionism abroad on the part of the Senator.
That said, it remains to be seen if Hawley’s legislative record will fully match his rhetoric.
Hawley is a staunch China hawk, who fears the rise of China and is a strong voice against China’s expansionist efforts. Hawley’s track record shows that his foreign policy views are rough around the edges. Daniel Larison of The American Conservative is not as optimistic about Hawley judging by his votes on the Yemeni Civil War. Larison cited several of Hawley’s votes that may be cause for concern:
“Sen. Hawley voted against the Senate’s resolution of disapproval that opposed the president’s effort to circumvent Congress with a bogus “emergency” to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. More important, he voted with the president and most Senate Republicans against the antiwar Yemen resolution that would have cut off all U.S. support to the Saudi coalition.”
Nevertheless, Hawley’s comments on Afghanistan are a good sign that Hawley is catching on to the fact that Americans are tired of foreign wars. Politicians can change their views and behaviors. Hawley is likely recognizing that the America First movement is exhausted by the endless wars and wants candidates and elected officials who offer withdrawal plans.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 24, 2020
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, a fierce interventionist skeptic, maintained cautious optimism about Hawley. In a tweet, he commented, “All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting.”
All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting:https://t.co/0g3jpVPsDm
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 24, 2020
The jury is still out on Hawley. Regardless of flaws in his voting record, America First advocates should continue to push him and other America First leaning Republicans in the right direction. We should never forget that politicians are still receptive to political pressure and the grassroots holds the keys to political change.
Young senators like Hawley are the future of American politics and it makes sense for foreign policy restrainers to lobby them and push them in a direction that favors non-interventionism.
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