One day after the House of Representatives formally voted to disapprove of his comments on white supremacy, Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King sang a note of defiance, telling Fox News a more severe vote to censure him "was not going to happen."
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Moved on Wednesday to refer Democrats' motions to censure King to the Ethics Committee.
House Democratic leaders were reportedly intent on tabling the motion of censure because they were concerned about potentially opening the door to similar motions of motion against their own members. Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, for example, was named President Trump and "motherf ̵
Still, top Democrats warned that King could still be censured if he made further offensive comments, and several prominent party leaders have called for his expulsion from the House.
"Well, that's just not going to happen," King told Fox News. "Oh, well." He gave the same answer when questioned about the possibility of further action by the House.
A censure – which is more severe than a reprimand or resolution of disapproval, but not as severe as expulsion – would be a significant but still just symbolic, step. The House has censured just 23 members in history, most recently, the former Rep. Charlie Rangel, DN.Y., in December 2010.
King added that it was a "fact" that critics had misinterpreted his comments to The New York Times in a recent interview, and that "record" proves his position.
The controversy stems from a recent interview. "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization – how did that language become offensive?" King asked The New York Times last week. "Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and civilization?"
King has since said that he was referring only to the term "Western civilization" when asking how language became offensive. "Clearly, I was only referring to the Western Civilization Classes."
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives formally rebuked King, overwhelmingly passing a resolution of disapproval for his comments. Even King voted for the measure, though he strongly objected to GOP leaders stripping him of his committee assignments a day earlier. King said removing him from the committees amounted to an "unprecedented assault" on his freedom of speech
The final vote on the disapproval resolution was 424-1, with only Democratic Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush voting no. Rush said he wanted to censure King instead.
"As with any animal that is rabid, Steve King should be set aside and isolated."
"As with any animal that is rabid, Steve King should be set aside and isolated," Rush said Tuesday
WATCH: BRIT HUME CALLS OUT KING, BUT SAYS JOURNALISTS ARE IRRESPONSIBLY THROWING AROUND ACCUSATIONS OF RACISM
On Wednesday, Rush told Fox News that "there was a lot of political hanky-panky" behind the decision by House Democrats to sideline the censure resolution
"There is a provision that if Steve King utters one more racist thing, I have the right to bring it up again, "Rush said. "I'm going to reserve the right to bring this up again if Steve King says one more syllable that is racist."
Rush added that he was disappointed that the censure motion had been tabled. House "once again rejects white nationalism and white supremacy as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States."
The text of the resolution does not explicitly criticize King personally, although it references his remarks.
"The resolution yesterday dealt with bigotry. "
Other Democrats, and some Republicans, suggested further action may be necessary.
"I think expulsion would be fine with me," Democratic South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, who drafted the disapproval measure, said after the vote Tuesday.
"Serving as a member of the Congress is a unique honor and Steve King's comments on racism and white supremacy are disqualifying on their face," Maryland Democratic Rep. John Delaney, who has announced a 2020 presidential run, added in a statement. "
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"King is unfit for office and has no place in our political body or our national discourse. In an editorial Tuesday, the Des Moines Register agreed.
"Congressman Steve King should resign," the editorial states. " Fox News' Chad Pergram and James Myers have contributed to this report