"That is not the America I know and it's most definitely not the party of Lincoln", he added, cited by AP. The top three Republicans in the House and other lawmakers from the party condemned the remarks.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Sunday said he and his fellow Republicans are ready to take action against Rep. Steve King for questioning why terms like "white nationalist" and "white supremacist" are considered offensive. "Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?"
"That language has no place in America", McCarthy, of California, said on CBS's Face the Nation said.
McCarthy plans to meet King on Monday.
Senator Tim Scott, a Republican representing SC, penned a thoughtful piece in The Washington Post on how some fellow Republicans like Steve King are damaging the party by spewing thoughts that lack basic fairness and civility yet wonder why the party is considered to be racist.
"Action will be taken", he said. King told the newspaper.
Most Americans blame Trump, Republicans for partial gov't shutdown
Some Trump allies have been encouraging him to declare a national emergency and redirect other funds to begin building the wall. That ended when congressional Republicans agreed to a short-term funding bill for closed agencies that was later extended.
"I will not stand back as a leader of this party, believing in this nation, that all are created equal, that [King's comments] stand or have any role with us", McCarthy added. Republicans have chided him for his remarks but the Congressional Black Caucus has a form of punishment for King: removing him from all of his committee assignments. Joni Ernst tweeted a statement condemning King.
King serves on the Agriculture, Small Business and Judiciary committees, and chairs Judiciary's subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.
Still, when asked whether he would support King in the future, Cruz said only he would "urge everyone to stand for principles that matter". "This is a uniquely fractured time in our nation's history, not our worst but far from our best, and it is only together that we will rebuild the trust we seem to have lost in each other", Scott wrote in The Washington Post. Action will be taken.
Bass, in her statement, compared King with President Donald Trump.
Facing backlash, King sought to clarify his statements Thursday, calling himself simply a "nationalist" and attempting to separate himself from people who "support this evil and bigoted ideology".
Just ahead of last year's midterm elections, the chairman of the House GOP's campaign arm issued an extraordinary public denunciation of him.