Clyburn: Divisions threaten Democrats’ majorities in House, Senate

Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.)
Greg Nash

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) is warning that Democrats may lose their majorities in the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections because of internal divisions in the party.

“We are not going to do what we need to do next year until we build enough intestinal fortitude to start operating a little outside or beyond our comfort zones,” the third-ranking Democrat in the House said during a virtual event with the Charleston Jewish Federation on Wednesday, according to Jewish Insider.

“We’re not there yet. I’m hopeful that we can get there. Will we ever get there? That remains to be seen,” Clyburn said.

“I think we can. I’m not sure we will,” he added. “My dad used to say to me all the time, ‘Wherever there is a will, there is a way.’ I’m not too sure that Democrats have yet developed the will to win in 2022.”

Clyburn also urged progressive Democrats to be more open to discussions with moderates. 

“Progressives have got to feel like they can take a chance on moderates. Get outside of their comfort zone. Moderates have got to feel the same way about progressives,” he said, the news outlet reported. “And between those two, you’ve got the New [Democrats], you’ve got the Congressional Black Caucus, you’ve got the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, you’ve got the Asian and Pacific Islanders, all of us operating within our comfort zone.”

When asked by the moderator about the infrastructure and social spending bill negotiations, which have divided progressives and moderate Democrats, Clyburn replied, “We ain’t there yet.”

President Biden on Thursday is expected to unveil a new framework for his spending plan after months of negotiations. Progressives have tied it to the passage of a bipartisan, Senate-passed infrastructure bill, which is facing an Oct. 31 deadline for a vote in the House.

Clyburn also reportedly said during his remarks that the country and Congress are not doing enough to counter antisemitism and racism.

Tags Build Back Better Clyburn House infrastructure bill Joe Biden Nancy Pelosi Senate

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