House Majority Whip Rep. Clyburn casts vote day one of expanded early voting

Published: May. 31, 2022 at 2:52 PM EDT|Updated: May. 31, 2022 at 8:11 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - House Majority Whip Congressman Jim Clyburn cast his vote for the June primaries in Orangeburg on Tuesday, on the first day the state has expanded early voting access.

Gov. Henry McMaster signed the bill into law earlier this month, replacing in-person absentee ballots.

READ MORE: Early voting begins this week in South Carolina

“I wished theyhad allowed for Saturday and Sunday,” Rep. Clyburn said. “I’m going to look at these two weeks as being the glass half full... But it’s better than it was, and let’s just keep working,” he added.

The congressman with almost three decades of experience followed his vote by heading to a nearby restaurant, D&B Fish and Barbeque, as part of his 14th re-election campaign to a room full of enthusiastic supporters and state leaders.

“I need not tell you that we are at a critical junction in this great country of ours,” Rep. Clyburn said. “I always talk about this country as being great and not needing to be made great. What needs to happen is for us to make this country’s greatness accessible and affordable for all of its people.”

He took credit for providing more than $41 million in federal funding for projects across the state and discussed the passage of the American Rescue Plan and President Biden’s infrastructure bill, which includes $65 billion for broadband access, which Rep. Clyburn personally advocated for.

“The governor said to me, because of what you did with the CARES package, because of what you put in the rescue act, this additional $65 billion dollars coming out of the infrastructure bill we are going to be able to build out every residence and every business will be connected to the internet in South Carolina in the next three to five years,” Clyburn said.

The representative also said he’s hopeful for sensible gun legislation to pass in light of the Ulvade tragedy, his words eliciting the largest response from the audience.

It’s “top of the list” for the high-ranking Democrat.

“It’s irrational to say that an 18-year-old can’t buy beer but can buy two automatic weapons and nobody raised a red flag about it. That’s irrational,” he said. “I’ve been working on this the last five days. There are 39 pieces of legislation before the Congress right now on this subject. And I have suggested that we wrap these 39 pieces of legislation into six or seven separate bills and put them on the floor on one rule and let’s have a national discussion on what is and is not rational.”

Rep. Clyburn reflected on the Emmanuel Church shooting, which inspired him to write a bill to close the ‘Charleston Loophole’ which allowed the gunman in the shooting to purchase weapons before the background check is complete.

Clyburn said that the bill passed the House twice but stalled in the senate.

He also spoke about ongoing legislative efforts with Sen. Elizabeth Warren to possibly forgive up to $50,000 in student loans per borrower.

The representative has three challengers for the 6th congressional seat, including Democrat Gregg Dixon and Republicans Duke Buckner and A. Sonia Morris.

The statewide primary is on Tuesday, June 14th.

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