House

Clyburn says he’s worried about losing House, ‘losing this democracy’

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said in an interview that he is worried about losing the House in 2022 and “losing this democracy,” saying that is the reason why he is pushing so much for Democrats’ voting rights legislation.

“I’m worried about losing the House. I’m worried about losing this democracy. That’s why I’m fighting as hard as I can for this voting rights bill, because we are teetering on the edge of losing this democracy,” Clyburn told Greta Van Susteren in an interview to be aired on Sunday.

“And I’m telling you, look, when they passed those laws back in 1895, these new constitutions that they put in place all over the South, we lost our democracy throughout South Carolina and other Southern states. I don’t want to see that happen again, and that’s what we are teetering on doing,” the House majority whip warned.

The House passed voting rights legislation on Thursday that merges the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which strengthens the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the Freedom to Vote Act, which overhauls federal elections.

The Senate is set to take up that legislation on Tuesday amid a fight over filibuster reform after Republicans in the upper chamber blocked three previous election-related bills.

Democrats view the voting rights legislation as crucial after GOP-controlled state legislatures debated and enacted new voting rules in the wake of the 2020 election, which former President Trump and his closest allies have falsely claimed was “stolen.” 

A number of House members have announced they won’t seek reelection in 2022, in what’s expected to be a tough year for Democrats trying to keep their narrow majority in the chamber.

Among some of the House Democrats not seeking reelection are Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (Calif.), Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), Bobby Rush (Ill.) and Jackie Speier (Calif.).

Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) announced earlier this week he would not be running in the upcoming midterms, citing his “conscience, principles, and commitment to do what’s right.” 

Katko is among several Republicans, including Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), who voted to impeach Trump and have chosen not to run again.

Van Susteren asked Clyburn who he saw as an emerging leader for Speaker in the event that current Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) decided not to go for the job again. Clyburn did not put forward an opinion on who should run, but he also seemed to indicate he could be eligible for the position himself.

“There are a lot of people who could come forward. Steny Hoyer is next in line. I’m behind Steny Hoyer. You’ve got Hakeem Jeffries and Kathrine Clark, and there are others. There are a lot of people who are in line,” Clyburn replied. “And I just think that we need to concentrate on what it is we need to do to get these two bills passed, what it is we need to do to get Build Back Better done, and let’s worry about who will fill these leadership positions after we take care of the American people.”

Tags 2022 midterms Adam Kinzinger Anthony Gonzalez Bobby Rush Donald Trump Donald Trump Filibuster Hakeem Jeffries Jackie Speier James Clyburn John Katko John Katko John Lewis Lisa Murkowski Lucille Roybal-Allard Nancy Pelosi Steny Hoyer Stephanie Murphy voting rights

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