Steve King unveils ‘Diamond and Silk Act’ targeting sanctuary cities

Republican Rep. Steve King, who was removed from his committee assignments in January, introduced the “Diamond and Silk Act,” on Wednesday, which aims to punish so-called sanctuary cities by re-directing federal appropriations to homeless people and veterans.

“While we’re sending billions of dollars to sanctuary jurisdictions, we’ve got homeless in growing numbers, especially in those sanctuary jurisdictions. And then we have homeless veterans,” he said. “Why are we not taking care of our own American citizens, especially our veterans?”

While the legislation faces almost no chance of advancing in the Democratic-controlled chamber, King announced the proposal with conservative YouTube personalities Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, known as Diamond and Silk, respectively, and whom King said led the effort behind the bill.

Officially known as the “End Sanctuaries and Help Our American Homeless and Veterans Act,” the bill moves to deny federal funding to cities that offer protections and services for undocumented immigrants, asylum seekers, refugees and others.

King began his remarks thanking President Donald Trump for “highlighting the families of those that are victims of illegal aliens.”

Reporters attempted to get King to answer questions on recent reports that he was not permitted to fly on Air Force One Tuesday and his lack of political standing among members of Congress, but he repeatedly yielded the microphones to Hardaway and Richardson. On several occasions, the duo stepped in front of King to answer questions addressed to him.

Trump’s has highlighted putting pressure on sanctuary cities as part of his hardline immigration stance. In April, Trump tweeted that his administration is “strongly looking at” the possibility of releasing immigrants into such cities in part to retaliate against Democrats.

King was stripped of his committee assignments in January after making racist comments and defending the terms “white nationalist,” “white supremacist,” and “Western civilization” in a New York Times interview. An effort led by a handful of House Republicans to reinstate King to his committee assignments failed in early June.

Hardaway and Richardson have also been on Capitol Hill before. When Republicans controlled the House, the duo testified before the House Judiciary Committee in 2018, accusing Facebook of censoring their content, though their claims of censorship have been widely debunked.

CNN’s Oliver Darcy and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.