Rep. James Clyburn Steps Down from House Leadership

Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Longtime South Carolina Democratic Rep. James Clyburn has announced his resignation from his House leadership position, effective immediately, while simultaneously committing to run for reelection. Clyburn, a staunch supporter of President Joe Biden, said he aims to focus on conveying the message of inclusivity and unity that defines the greatness of the United States.

During an interview on Sunday, Feb. 18th, Clyburn, 83, expressed his continued disdain for former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” mantra, asserting that the country is already great but needs to ensure accessibility and affordability for all citizens. He encouraged Biden to emphasize his experience, wisdom, and commitment to maintaining connections with the American people during the upcoming presidential campaign.

“I am fond of saying, this is a great country in no need of being made great. We just got to figure out ways to make this country’s greatness accessible and affordable for all of our citizens. And Joe Biden is doing that. And we have got to stay focused on that,” Clyburn stated emphatically.

Clyburn, who had previously announced his intention to seek reelection, also reiterated that he’s only stepping aside as Assistant Democratic Leader, which marks the end of his influential tenure in House leadership. The move comes amid years of speculation about Clyburn’s retirement and the subsequent race to fill the void in the majority Black 6th Congressional District, covering substantial parts of the Interstate 95 corridor, Northeast Columbia, and North Charleston.

Expressing gratitude for the trust placed in him by colleagues throughout his career, Clyburn acknowledged the changing political landscape and his role in shaping it. Last year, he played a pivotal role in moving the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary to a leading position. He collaborated with Republican Governor Henry McMaster to expand broadband access to rural South Carolina.

The departure of Clyburn from his Assistant Democratic Leader role represents a broader shift in leadership dynamics, completing the transition from the era of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of California, to a younger generation led by Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York.

“I am deeply grateful for the confidence my colleagues have placed in me throughout my career,” Clyburn stated.

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