<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Philadelphia Political News and Philadelphia Politics]]>Copyright 2019 https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-usMon, 21 Jan 2019 15:40:58 -0500Mon, 21 Jan 2019 15:40:58 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Trump, Pence Make Unannounced Visit to MLK Memorial]]> Mon, 21 Jan 2019 14:56:32 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/012119+trump+pence+at+mlk+memorial.jpg

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made a brief surprise visit Monday to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The president and vice president arrived at the monument off the National Mall and helped move a wreath covered with red, white and blue flowers closer to the statue of King.

Both wearing overcoats amid below-zero wind chills, Trump and Pence stood before the wreath somberly and left about three minutes after they arrived.

Neither Trump nor Pence spoke about their visit nor responded to reporters' questions about the government shutdown, which hit 31 days on Monday.

Hours before the presidential visit, Rev. Al Sharpton denounced Trump for not holding an official event to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"This is an insult to the American people, that the president of the United States does not officially recognize or give any ceremony for Dr. King," Sharpton said at a breakfast held in D.C. in King's honor. "Dr. King is neither Republican nor Democrat. He is an American icon that made America better."

Pence was criticized on Sunday for evoking King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech in defending Trump's efforts to persuade Congress to fund a border wall.

In an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation," Pence said, "One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was 'Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.'"

"You think of how he changed America," Pence continued. "He inspired us to change through the legislative process, to become a more perfect union.

"That's exactly what President Trump is calling on Congress to do — come to the table in the spirit of good faith," Pence said. "We'll secure our border. We'll reopen the government, and we'll move our nation forward, as the president said yesterday, to even a broader discussion about immigration reform in the months ahead."



Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[All Results for Key Races in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware]]> Wed, 07 Nov 2018 06:28:38 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/20181106+Election+Day+in+Philly.jpg
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<![CDATA[Trump Shutdown Proposal Said to Be a 'Non-Starter']]> Mon, 21 Jan 2019 09:48:26 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/TrumpAM0121_MP4-154808170307500002.jpg

Democratic leaders and even some Republicans say they can't support President Donald Trump's offer to extend limited protections to undocumented immigrants in exchange for border wall funding and an end to the government shutdown.

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<![CDATA[Trump Proposes Some ‘Dreamer’ Protections for Border Wall Money]]> Sat, 19 Jan 2019 20:57:52 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_01_01_06.Still003.jpg

President Donald Trump outlined Saturday his proposal for a compromise to end the government shutdown and fund his border wall by giving three-year protections to DACA recipients and those with temporary protected status.

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<![CDATA[Mueller Disputes Buzzfeed Story on Cohen Testimony]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 23:49:46 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/1066356176-Michael-Cohen.jpg

Special counsel Robert Mueller's office issued a rare public statement Friday night that disputes a BuzzFeed News report that President Donald Trump had directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, NBC News reported.

BuzzFeed News on Thursday evening reported that Cohen told special counsel Robert Mueller the president personally instructed him to lie to Congressional investigators in order to minimize links between Trump and his Moscow building project, citing two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter. The report also alleged that Cohen was directed to give a false impression that the project had ended before it actually did.

NBC News has not independently confirmed this report.

On Friday evening, a full day after the story appeared, the special counsel's office issued a statement.

"BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate," the statement said.



Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Bush Delivers Food to Workers; Calls for End to Shutdown]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 18:14:09 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/209*120/gwb-pic.jpg

Former President George W. Bush delivered food to federal workers on Friday who are still on the job despite not being paid due to the partial government shutdown.

Bush posted a photo of himself in Florida delivering boxes of pizzas to the workers to his Instagram page.

"It’s time for leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown," Bush said in the post.

He also thanked the government employees who still travel and protect him everyday.

"Laura and I are grateful to our Secret Service personnel and the thousands of Federal employees who are working hard for our country without a paycheck. And we thank our fellow citizens who are supporting them," Bush wrote in the post.

A spokesman for Bush told NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth the former president plans to continue to bring more food to the workers until the government reopens.

The shutdown will soon enter its fifth week.



Photo Credit: George W. Bush via Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[For Many Undocumented Women, Reproductive Healthcare Limited]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 13:03:23 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_18174008864094.jpg

Days after an immigration judge denied Layidua Salazar’s petition to remain in the United States in 2015 because she was not living with her spouse, she learned at an annual visit to Planned Parenthood that she was pregnant.

The possibility that she would not be allowed to stay in the country made her realize "within five minutes" that she couldn’t continue her pregnancy and risk her family being separated at some point, she said.

"I can’t do both. Can’t be in the middle of deportation proceedings and be pregnant," said Salazar, who is now a storyteller with We Testify, a program of the National Network of Abortion Funds. The organization works to decrease barriers, including financial, to abortion.

Because she had worked with reproductive justice organizations, she knew that her Planned Parenthood clinic in California's Bay Area did not have to disclose that she was undocumented. She had an abortion two days later. Given all that was going on, she said, her "abortion experience was relatively simple.” But, she and other advocates noted, this is not the case for many undocumented women in the U.S.

"Reproductive healthcare for immigrant women is very much a patchwork system," Jessica González-Rojas, executive director at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, told NBC. "It often depends on where you live and the access that you have to reach certain communities."

The undocumented community "has lived in a major state of panic since about 2008," Salazar said.

After the record number of deportations at the border under President Barack Obama, "I remember when the [Trump] election happened many people in my community saying it can't possibly get worse," Salazar said. "And, low and behold, it actually has. It has gotten horrible." 

Efforts across the country to restrict access to reproductive healthcare and the Trump administration's anti-immigrant policies have converged to impede undocumented women’s reproductive rights including their decision to have a child, and their right not to, legal and other advocates for immigrants as well as several undocumented women who spoke to NBC say. Access to reproductive health care has been limited by a lack of health insurance, legal obstacles, difficulties in traveling and the fear of deportation and the family separation policies under President Donald Trump.  

'Jane Doe' and a Right to an Abortion
Since Roe v. Wade was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973, all women have had a constitutional right to an abortion.

"There's no exception for anyone, including based on their immigration status," Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, told NBC. 

But last year, the federal Department of Health and Human Services tried to prevent a 17-year-old unaccompanied Mexican immigrant from ending her pregnancy, by refusing to allow her to leave the detention facility in Brownsville, Texas. They instead brought her to a crisis pregnancy center, a type of non-profit that counsels women against abortions. Such facilities have been accused of disseminating false information. As of March 2017, shelters receiving federal funding cannot take "any action that facilitates" abortion access. 

"What the Trump administration did to Jane Doe was unprecedented,” said Amiri, a lead lawyer on Jane’s case, who knew of no other case where the government held a woman hostage to prevent her from getting an abortion. “It is so extreme and so egregious and a symptom of a larger problem in the Trump administration and its hostility to access and contraception." 

The Supreme Court vacated a court of appeals decision that had allowed her to get the abortion last June; her case will not be precedent for others. 

Doe is not the only young undocumented woman to be obstructed from obtaining an abortion; the ACLU has filed a class action lawsuit with other women affected by similar circumstances. 

Local Laws Impeding Access 
When a woman from Central America who NBC spoke with became pregnant, in 2016, the steps to getting an abortion in Texas were more difficult than she anticipated. She searched for a clinic where she could receive a free ultrasound. She also ended up at a crisis pregnancy center, where she was told her pregnancy was too far along for an abortion. (It is illegal to get an abortion past 20 weeks in Texas, barring severe health issues or fetal abnormality.)

But the woman continued her research, and was able to find a clinic in Dallas. That clinic referred her to a sister one in a nearby state. She’d have to fly out a few days later and it would cost her over $10,000. 

"I’m like, okay, I don’t even have $50," she recalled. In the end, with outside support, she was able to get the abortion in February 2016.

She feared flying because her student visa is expired but thought getting an abortion was worth the risk.  

"That’s something that, at least for me, makes me nervous, because, as you can see on the news, they ask for documents," she said. NBC is not identifying her over her concerns.

Texas, one of the six states that according to Pew Research are home to 58 percent of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., spotlights the difficulties undocumented women face in obtaining reproductive healthcare access. Texas’ reproductive healthcare clinics in particular have been targeted by state policies.

In 2013, Texas passed House Bill 2, imposing new restrictions on abortion clinics, and banned abortions beyond 20 weeks, forcing many clinics to shut down. The Supreme Court overturned the restrictions three years later as placing an undue burden women seeking abortions, though many clinics struggle to reopen.

González-Rojas said the cost of transportation, within and outside of Texas, could be a "de facto ban on abortion for women" and a "matter of reproductive justice."

For instance, in many colonias, unincorporated housing communities composed primarily of Latino immigrants near the Texas border, road infrastructure is "poor" and there is a lack of adequate public transportation.

Then in May 2017, Texas Senate Bill 4 outlawed sanctuary cities. Also called the "show me your papers law," it requires that local governments comply with federal immigration "detainers."

The law created a "wave of panic among the Latinx communities in the state of Texas," said Nancy Cárdenas Peña, associate director for State Policy and Advocacy at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIH). She said it also "made conditions a lot harder."

"We were seeing, even during the implementation and during the passage of SB4, border patrol and ICE … started making their way towards routes that our activists usually took to get to their healthcare appointments," she said.

The undocumented Texas woman told NBC she wanted to speak out about her experience to show others like her that abortions are possible. She mentioned a woman whom she met at the abortion clinic also from her home country, who was surprised there was funding that could help.

"You have the opportunity even if you’re not from this country," she said.

"My Body, My Choice"
Alejandra Pablos, a reproductive and immigrants rights activist in Arizona, had her fourth abortion in March 2017, at 33. It was her first while she was fighting deportation and came at a time when she wanted to start considering having a baby. She had a "great job," and thought of her strong community.

"This was what could have been a beautiful moment for me, but I quickly remembered that I am still facing deportation," said Pablos, who spoke with NBC this fall.

"How am I supposed to take care of another human being?" she asked.

Pablos was detained by ICE in March. 

"It is not only my decision anymore," she said. "I don’t have the privilege to say, 'my choice, my body' when my body basically belongs to ICE."

This December, she appeared in court to apply for political asylum. Her petition was denied and her green card was revoked: The judge has ordered her deportation.

Pablos grew up in California and her parents had citizenship, but she didn’t petition for her legal permanent residency until she was 16. As a legal resident, in 2011, she was arrested in Arizona for possession of drug paraphernalia and a DUI and detained for two years in Eloy Detention Center, a private prison. Because the arrest came within the first five years of her legal permanent residency, she lost the status.

A year after she had her abortion, Pablos was detained again, following an arrest at a protest outside the Department of Homeland Security in Virginia, where she was working at the time. She was released—those charges were dropped— but at an ICE check-in soon after, she was taken back to Eloy for two more months. Pablos lost her work permit and her job at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

Just as barriers to accessing care impede undocumented women’s ability to raise children, so can other federal policies.

The Trump administration's "zero tolerance" position towards immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border led to the widely condemned the family separation policy. Children separated from parents facing prosecution were held in "tender age" detention shelters.

The program was ended by an executive order in June but in late November, the Texas Tribune reported the number of children held in private shelters had reached a high: 5,620 children as of Nov. 15.

This is a "major reproductive justice issue," Salazar said.

The Fear Factor
The "fear factor," according to González-Rojas, means many undocumented women "are forgoing care completely."

A study released Nov. 1 from the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health found that 1 in 4 of Latino voters “have a close family member or friend who has put off getting health care because of fear around immigration issues.” One in 5 reported the same about reproductive health care. These numbers are for voters; The numbers are likely higher for undocumented immigrants, González-Rojas said.

Planned Parenthood NYC’s Promotores de Salud team — certified Spanish language medical interpreters who provide information for sexual and reproductive healthcare to Latinas — has "noticed that fewer community members were making appointments during outreach sessions," Larissa Vasquez, associate director of adult and professional programs at PPNYC, wrote in an email to NBC. The women were distrustful of accessing care in traditional places like clinics and community-based organizations, she added. 

Through their "Nuestro Texas" report from 2015, a partnership between the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and the Center for Reproductive Justice, González-Rojas "heard stories of women who are afraid to take their children to school, are afraid to leave the house," She cited "constant militarization in that community."

"We have heard stories of ICE vehicles parked in clinic parking lots, community health centers." González-Rojas said clinic staff told her.

Salazar, the We Testify storyteller, said she's experienced border patrol presence near Planned Parenthood "regularly," happening around border areas in California.

"It means that people who are undocumented don’t even want to approach [Planned Parenthood] obviously," she told NBC.

For many undocumented women, who lack medical insurance—undocumented immigrants cannot access the Affordable Care Act—clinics that offer free or affordable care can be crucial in obtaining healthcare. But organizations meant to uphold their reproductive rights may not always consider their needs.

In 2017, the Planned Parenthood Great Memphis Region opened 400 feet away from an ICE office. Planned Parenthood told Rewire they were under the impression ICE would move offices. In their statement, PPGMR said: "Our highest priority is our patients, and we will be doing all we can to ensure that they can seek care safely without fear."

González-Rojas called it a "you are not welcome here" sign for immigrants from around the world.

Adding to fears is Trump’s proposed "public charge" rule, which would would revise the 1999 green card rules by making it more difficult for immigrants who use public assistance—health insurance, like Medicaid, or food stamps, for instance—to obtain a green card. The rule hasn’t officially taken hold yet but there are reports that it is being quietly enforced already and many undocumented immigrants have already felt the effects.

González-Rojas said media coverage, especially in Spanish, has caused some undocumented immigrants to already withdraw from care.

"There’s a real chilling effect that these proposed rules are creating" González-Rojas observes, "and the visible climate of fear."

This public charge law is being written and sought to be implemented in a way that, Jiménez said, "affects our ability to raise our children, to make decisions about reproduction."

Looking Forward
The priorities of the Texas branch of the NLIH are always changing, Cárdenas Peña said. "This administration is definitely trying to exhaust all of the activists by making us be in this fight or flight mode 24/7," she said.

When ICE detained Eva Chavez, an immigration and reproductive rights activist who worked with NLIH's Texas Latina Advocacy Network last February, the group was met with an increase in demand for their services. Her case is ongoing.

"I looked at the camera," Cárdenas Peña said, "and told anyone who was watching, “you do not have to do this alone. There is a community behind you and we will be happy to support you. And goddammit, the people listened. My phone started blowing up with calls."

After her green card was revoked this December, Pablos, the Arizona-based reproductive and immigrants rights activist facing deportation, told The Washington Post, "La Lucha Sigue" of her continuing struggle. She plans to appeal by seeking a governor's pardon.

"The reason why I’m doing this and I’m not going back in the shadows, and I’m going to fight this deportation is that I want to be able to make that choice, if I want to start a family or not," she said before her trial.



Photo Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP
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<![CDATA[Pence Reacts to Criticism of Wife's Job at Anti-LGBTQ School]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 04:27:33 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Pence-AP_18177424351328.jpg

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday addressed news coverage and criticism regarding his wife’s decision to return to teaching at a Virginia elementary school that explicitly bars LGBTQ employees and students, NBC News reported.

“My wife and I have been in the public eye for quite a while, we're used to the criticism,” Pence said in an interview with EWTN, a cable network that offers “news from a Catholic perspective." But, he added, “to see major news organizations attacking Christian education is deeply offensive to us.”

“We have a rich tradition in America of Christian education, and frankly religious education broadly defined,” he continued. “We'll let the other critics roll off our back, but this criticism of Christian education in America should stop.”

National news outlets, including NBC News, reported Wednesday on the publicly available employment application and parent agreement of Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia, where Karen Pence is now teaching art twice a week.



Photo Credit: Eraldo Peres/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[More Migrant Families Separated Than Initially Reported]]> Thu, 17 Jan 2019 18:14:20 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+MIGRANT+CHILDREN+SEPARATED+011719.00_00_03_17.Still005THUMB.jpg

Thousands more migrant families may have been separated than the government initially reported, a watchdog group said, possibly due to ongoing problems keeping track of children.

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<![CDATA[Del. 'Strong': Governor Gives State of the State Speech]]> Thu, 17 Jan 2019 14:58:49 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Delaware+Governor+John+Carney.jpg

Democratic Gov. John Carney says Delaware is "strong, and getting stronger."

That was Carney's assessment Thursday in prepared remarks for his State of the State speech to members of the General Assembly.

Carney used the opportunity to tout his administration's efforts to boost Delaware's economy, improve public education and ensure the state spends taxpayer money wisely. While offering few new proposals, Carney said officials need to build on those efforts.

Carney did propose creating a new transportation infrastructure investment fund to spur economic development efforts.

He also signaled his support for bills to raise the age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21 and to ban guns made by 3-D printers and guns with component parts that can be purchased in pieces, with no serial number, then assembled at home.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Discusses New US Missile Defense Strategy]]> Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:03:00 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_TRUMP_ON_WEAPONS_011719-154774412654100002.jpg

President Donald Trump discussed his plans for a revamped missile defense strategy during a speech at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on Thursday.

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<![CDATA[Giuliani Now Doesn't Deny Possible Trump Campaign Collusion]]> Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:16:52 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Giuliani-AP_18214022753364.jpg

Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, made several attempts on Thursday to clarify an assertion he made during a Wednesday night CNN interview in which he claimed that he "never said" the Trump campaign didn't collude with Russia, NBC News reported

That comment runs counter to his and President Donald Trump's past remarks on the matter. Trump has repeatedly asserted that his campaign did not collude with Russian officials. The issue of whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia is a question at the heart of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

"I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign," Giuliani told CNN's Chris Cuomo. Giuliani, who has previously claimed "no collusion" but that "collusion is not a crime," was adamant that Trump did not personally collude with Russia.

Thursday morning, Giuliani sought to clear up his remarks. In an interview with NBC News, Giuliani denied that he had reversed himself on the issue of collusion. "I represent the president. I can speak only to the president, not the campaign. The president was not involved in, nor does the president have any knowledge of collusion with the Russians or anyone else. I have no knowledge that anyone on the campaign colluded, but obviously I cannot speak for everyone on the campaign," he added

He later issued a written statement as well. 



Photo Credit: Charles Krupa/AP, File
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<![CDATA[Shutdown Relief: Easing the Burden]]> Wed, 16 Jan 2019 22:23:32 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC_shutdownhelp0116_1920x1080.jpg

As the government shutdown drags on, companies, restaurants and service providers across the country are coming up with ways to help the estimated 800,000 Americans not getting paid. NBC's Dan Scheneman reports.

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<![CDATA[Furloughed Workers Turn to Odd Jobs, Gig Economy]]> Wed, 16 Jan 2019 22:33:52 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/lyonsAP_19011006135970.jpg

When the nation’s capital was hit by almost a foot of snow this past weekend, Nick Elger saw a chance to make a buck.

Elger, 28, usually spends his days working for the Environmental Protection Agency, but he’s one of nearly 400,000 furloughed employees out of work during what’s become America’s longest government shutdown, NBC News reported

“I’ve been getting stir crazy just sitting at home,” Elger said. “So I figured in the first few weeks I would just post some things on Craigslist.”



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Government Shutdown’s Impact on Air Traffic Control and Immigration]]> Wed, 16 Jan 2019 19:30:00 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/MAYK6PMPKGSHUTDOWNTRICKLEDOWN_2630280.JPG

President Trump signed a bill that guarantees all federal employees will get their pay back once the government shutdown is over. The shutdown is having a far more reaching affect than you may even realize however. The local economy, air traffic controllers and immigration are all impacted in our area. 

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<![CDATA[Local Federal Workers Search for New Jobs Amid Shutdown]]> Wed, 16 Jan 2019 18:12:04 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/4PShutdownImpactJIMENEZPKG_26234661.JPG

As the government shutdown continues, local federal workers are searching for new jobs. Local non-profit Resources for Human Development is stepping up to help them find jobs during this crucial time.

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<![CDATA[Karen Pence to Teach at School That Bans LGBTQ Employees, Students]]> Wed, 16 Jan 2019 10:41:09 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-669022980.jpg

Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence, said Tuesday she would return to teaching art at a northern Virginia elementary school that explicitly bars its employees from engaging in or condoning “homosexual or lesbian sexual activity” and “transgender identity,” NBC News reported.

The employment application for the Immanuel Christian School, which was first reported on by HuffPost, asks applicants to initial a passage stating they will "live a personal life of moral purity." The application also defines moral misconduct as including premarital sex. 

Pence previously worked at the school for 12 years. When asked by NBC News about the northern Virginia school’s policies regarding LGBTQ people, Pence’s communications director stated, “It's absurd that her decision to teach art to children at a Christian school, and the school's religious beliefs, are under attack.”



Photo Credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Steve King Faces Congressional Backlash Over Racist Remark]]> Wed, 16 Jan 2019 13:26:57 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC_king0115_1500x845.jpg

In a rare moment of bipartisan agreement, members of the U.S. House condemned Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) for his comments on white nationalism and white supremacy. Even leaders of King's own party are pressuring him to resign.

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