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Congressman responds to King’s comments on IRS suicide pilot
Speaking on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday, Congressman James Clyburn, D-S.C., took exception to remarks made over the weekend by Iowa’s Steve King.
King reportedly told a panel at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday that he could “empathize” with the suicide bomber who attacked an IRS office in Texas last week. He later expanded on his remarks to a blogger from Think Progress, saying that if the U.S. had abolished the IRS “back when I first advocated it, he wouldn’t have a target for his airplane.”
Clyburn, who serves as the majority whip and is the third-ranking Democrat in the House, pointed out that one of the innocent victims of the attack was a native of his state and a military veteran. A member of Clyburn’s staff said his comments were directed at King.
Here are Clyburn’s remarks:
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, I want to join all my colleagues in calling for jobs legislation that will get our people back to work and asking for a health care reform bill that will be affordable and accessible to all Americans.
But, Mr. Speaker, I rise also to ask my colleagues as they think about recent events involving the Texas federal building where the IRS building was — exploded by an airplane and one of our colleagues has now called the act of terrorism a noble act.
The fact of the matter is that the gentleman that lost his life in that building, Vernon Hunter, was from Orangeburg, South Carolina, that I proudly represent in this body. He spent two tours in Vietnam and was about the business of carrying out his duties and responsibilities to this great country of ours. If anybody is a hero it is this victim. And I find it appalling that a member of this body would call his death a noble happening.