Cong. James Clyburn (D-SC) discusses the elections, legislative priorities
Last night, Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC), the Assistant Democratic Leader in the House of Representatives, discussed his legislative priorities at a College Democrats event in Healy to a group of largely like-minded Hoyas.
Clyburn began his remarks by commenting on the tireless campaigning that is already taking place ahead of the November elections. He predicted that Congressional business for the rest of the year will be largely toothless continuing resolutions. He also suggested that we may see “the lame duck session to beat all lame duck sessions” once Congress returns to session after the elections.
Considering the current challenges that President Obama and other Democrats face in the upcoming elections, the congressman shared some of his own political philosophy. He explained that first you need to “tell people what you are going to do, then you have to go out and do it, and thirdly you have to tell them what you’ve done.” Lamented the crisis in support President Obama’s healthcare measures are facing, Clyburn said, “we failed to tell the people what we had done.”
Clyburn defended his 10-20-30 plan which designates 10 percent of the budget to be spent on communities where 20 percent of the population has been stuck beneath the poverty line for 30 years. Among other achievements, this program has brought clean water to rural districts that had given up on that basic civil service decades ago.
He underlined the importance of this program: “We are going to have to focus on these communities because if we don’t we are going to come out of this recovery doing the same thing that happened last time—leaving significant numbers of people behind.”
Asked after his speech for his opinion of Occupy Wall Street, Clyburn replied, “All progressive ought to be supporting the Occupy movement.” Addressing the young people around him, Clyburn finished his remarks by recalling his time as a grassroots organizer during the Civil Rights Movement: “We saw something that needed to be done and we went out to do it.”
Photo: Caroline Joyce