South Carolina lost lots of national political clout when longtime U.S. Rep. John Spratt was defeated earlier this month, said U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.
Well go from being one of the strongest delegations with me and Spratt to being farther down the totem pole, said Clyburn, who will lose his position as majority whip in January when Republicans take control of the U.S. House. .
Clyburn, now the only Democrat in South Carolinas six-member delegation, said hes hoping his new leadership position will allow him to help more South Carolinians and, ultimately, bring the Democrats back to power in the U.S. House.
Clyburns colleagues voted Wednesday to create a tailor-made position for him and then elected him to fill it when the new session starts.
I think it puts me in a very unique position to help the state of South Carolina, Clyburn said of his new post as assistant Democratic leader, in which he will serve as Democratic leaders liaison for the appropriations process.
In his new capacity, Clyburn said hell be more vocal, speaking out on more issues and spending more time explaining to regular people what Democrats are up to and why.
Its going out and saying to people, This is what were doing. This is why we did it, Clyburn said. I wasnt doing that before.
Those topics will include finding funds to deepen the ports in Charleston and Georgetown, extending middle-class tax cuts, letting tax cuts for the wealthy expire and defending health care reform.
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