Clyburn confident House will pass Biden agenda despite narrow majority

Clyburn confident House will pass Biden agenda despite narrow majority
© Greg Nash

House Majority Whip Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnLobbying world Lawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell Overnight Health Care — Presented by The National Council for Mental Wellbeing — Progressives: Medicare benefit expansions 'not negotiable' MORE (D-S.C.) predicted that the lower chamber will be able to pass President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenRand Paul calls for Fauci's firing over 'lack of judgment' Dems look to keep tax on billionaires in spending bill Six big off-year elections you might be missing MORE’s legislative agenda despite Democrats’ razor-thin majority.

“I’ve been managing something all my life, so I can manage this,” Clyburn, a top Biden ally, said Tuesday in a Politico Playbook Live interview. “I’ll have the management in place to get it done.”

Clyburn’s confidence comes despite expectations that passing substantial bills could be a slog in the House, which is only narrowly controlled by Democrats after the party unexpectedly lost seats in the November elections.

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Three more lawmakers are also leaving the chamber to take posts in the Biden administration, though Democrats are expected to win back the seats in special elections later this year. 

To move Biden’s agenda through both chambers of Congress, Clyburn urged the Senate to scrap the legislative filibuster, which requires most bills to meet a 60-vote threshold to pass.

“The filibuster was put in place to protect recalcitrants. That’s what it was put in there for,” he said.

Clyburn will be a chief ally to the White House once Biden takes office given his role raising support for bills in the House Democratic Caucus and the clout he holds with fellow lawmakers.

Biden has said he is looking to pass a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief and stimulus package through Congress as his first legislative priority to curb the spread of the virus and blunt its economic fallout.

However, in an apparent recognition that the slim Democratic majorities in both chambers could hinder his ability to swiftly pass his agenda, his transition outlined a number of executive actions he plans to take in his first 10 days in office.