House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is defending a House Homeland Security hearing on Thursday studying the radicalization of American Muslims.
Committee Chairman Pete King (R-NY) scheduled the hearing. The Long Island Republican is drawing fire from members of both parties and civil liberties groups who suggest King is being unfair to Muslims. Some have accused King of "McCarthyism."
But Cantor believes King is on solid ground in calling the hearing.
"It's obvious where there have been problems with terrorist activity," said Cantor. "We in this country are threatened by the spread of radical Islam."
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), one of two Muslims in the House, is one of several witnesses scheduled to testify.
Cantor said that it was important that the U.S. figure out a way "to work with the Muslim community" to curb radicalization. But Cantor also tried to downplay all of the attention the hearing had garnered.
"It's one hearing out of many that he's having," said Cantor of King.