WASHINGTON — Conservative media pundits panned Rep. Steve King’s new bill aimed at providing aid and resources to veterans and homeless people as a politically motivated ploy that unnecessarily involves the controversial conservative YouTube personalities known as “Diamond and Silk.”
“I understand the need for cheap shots in politics. But really, at the expense of the homeless and veterans?” Washington Examiner opinion columnist Becket Adams wrote in a piece Monday that ran under the headline “Rep. Steve King makes a mockery of homelessness, veterans issues.”
The Iowa Republican’s new bill, which he has coined the “Diamond and Silk Act,” would take federal appropriations away from so-called sanctuary cities that don’t enforce national immigration laws and direct the money toward programs that provide aid to American veterans and the homeless.
“The ‘Diamond and Silk Act,’ which may also be referred to as the ‘End Sanctuaries and Help Our American Homeless and Veterans Act,’ is the product of a discussion on immigration policy with King held with Diamond and Silk earlier this year,” the congressman’s office said in a press release this week.
King will unveil the bill Wednesday on the back lawn of the Capitol flanked by Lynnette Hardaway, known as “Diamond” on the popular conservative YouTube series, and Rochelle Richardson, who goes by “Silk.”
King has apparently developed something of a close working relationship with North Carolina-based Diamond and Silk, who also serve as contributing commentators on Fox Nation, where they defend President Donald Trump and espouse some of his most controversial policies.
In April 2018, King invited the pair to testify at a House Judiciary Committee hearing about alleged digital censorship of conservative media and personalities by tech giants such as Google, Facebook and YouTube.
He also invited them as his guests to Trump’s State of the Union speech earlier this year.
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King was stripped of his House committee assignments in January for questioning in a New York Times interview how the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” became offensive.
King has claimed without providing evidence that The Times “misquoted” him.
The full House voted 421-1 on a resolution earlier this year meant to rebuke King for making the racist comments. Illinois Democrat Bobby Rush voted against the resolution, saying it didn’t go far enough to condemn King’s behavior.
King has made headlines over the past couple years for retweeting, and meeting, with far-right groups that have ties to Nazis. He consistently decries what he sees as the demise of white Americans as the U.S. becomes more diverse.
King narrowly won reelection to Iowa’s 4th District seat in the 2018 elections, edging out Democrat J.D. Scholten by 3 points — 50.3% to 47%.
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