Rep. Jim Clyburn called Joe Manchin’s push for bipartisanship over passage of voting rights legislation ‘insulting’

Jim Clyburn
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina) speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill.

  • Rep. Clyburn is highly critical of Sen. Manchin’s position on the For the People Act.
  • Manchin is the only Senate Democrat who has not signed on as a cosponsor of the bill in 2021.
  • Clyburn argues that the Senate filibuster must be put aside to pass the sweeping voting rights bill.
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Democratic House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina said in an interview with The Huffington Post that he felt “insulted” by how Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has approached the For the People Act, the sweeping voting rights package also known as H.R. 1 and S. 1.

Manchin is the only Democratic senator who has not signed on as a cosponsor of the legislation this year, arguing that the federal government should not infringe on election law, which has generally been dictated by individual states.

The moderate senator has emphatically stated that a major elections reform bill must be crafted and passed with bipartisan consensus, which would including voting rights.

“Pushing through legislation of this magnitude on a partisan basis may garner short-term benefits, but will inevitably only exacerbate the distrust that millions of Americans harbor against the US government,” he said in a statement in late March.

Clyburn alleged that Manchin was elevating bipartisanship with Republicans over the voting rights of minority groups in the US.

“I’m insulted when he tells me that it’s more important to maintain a relationship with the minority in the US Senate than it is for you to maintain a relationship with the minority of voters in America,” Clyburn told The Huffington Post. “That’s insulting to me.”

Clyburn said Manchin was jeopardizing Democratic congressional majorities by not backing legislation that would reverse many of the most stringent voting restrictions being implemented by GOP-controlled states, including Georgia, where Sen. Raphael Warnock is up for reelection in 2022.

“Since when do their rights take precedence over your fellow Democrat Warnock, who saw his state just pass laws to keep him from getting reelected?” he asked. “And you’re going to say it’s more important for you to protect 50 Republicans in the Senate than for you to protect your fellow Democrat’s seat in Georgia. That’s a bunch of crap.”

Read more: Here are 9 hurdles Biden’s infrastructure plan would have to overcome in Congress before it can become law

The House passed H.R. 1 by a 220-210 vote in early March with almost unanimous backing among Democrats and no Republican support.

GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has harshly criticized the bill, calling it a “power grab.” His conservative-dominated Republican caucus is overwhelmingly in agreement, making bipartisan support incredibly difficult, if not impossible.

With the likelihood of a GOP filibuster facing S. 1, Clyburn said that Senate Democrats need to alter filibuster rules to move the bill through the chamber.

“The issue of civil rights and voting rights, these constitutional issues, should never be sacrificed on the altar of the filibuster,” he said. “I’ve been saying that for a long time.”

He added: “I don’t understand why we can’t see that my constitutional rights should not be subjected to anybody’s filibuster.”

Clyburn said that if the party allowed the For the People Act to falter in the Senate, then it would “pay the biggest price it has ever paid at the polls” in 2022.

“That is an actual fact,” he said. “I think I know Black people. I’ve been Black 80 years.”

Clyburn, one of the most prominent Democratic politicians in the Deep South and the figure most credited with reviving President Joe Biden’s campaign in the 2020 Democratic primaries, said that he feels as though the president will push for the bill to get through the Senate.

After Biden won the presidential election last November, he gave a nod to Black voters in his acceptance speech, saying that the highly influential group and pillar of his electoral support “always had my back, and I’ll have yours.”

Recalling Biden’s statement from last year, Clyburn reiterated the president’s commitment to voting rights.

“The best way to have the backs of Black folks is to ensure the constitutional rights to cast an unfettered vote – there ain’t no better way than to do that,” Clyburn said. “Joe Biden is not going to allow the voting rights of Black people to be sacrificed on the altar of the filibuster.”

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After Biden lost the Iowa caucuses in 2020, staffers suggested that he refinance his house, new book says

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks in the Oval Office at the White House.

  • Early in the 2020 Democratic nomination process, Joe Biden stumbled in Iowa and New Hampshire.
  • Reporter Jonathan Allen said that Biden staffers suggested that the candidate refinance his home.
  • Biden turned around his campaign by winning South Carolina and performing strongly on Super Tuesday.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Early last year, questions were beginning to swirl about President Joe Biden’s longevity in the Democratic nomination process.

As a former vice president, Biden had universal name recognition in the Democratic primaries and caucuses, but he was competing against boldfaced names like Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg while also fending off steam from an ascendant Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

After a fourth-place finish in Iowa and a fifth-place result in New Hampshire, the sirens were going off even louder for many in the political world regarding Biden’s candidacy.

During an episode of “The New Abnormal,” a podcast at The Daily Beast, editor-at-large Molly Jong-Fast admitted to underestimating Biden’s campaign while speaking with NBC News senior political reporter Jonathan Allen. Allen cowrote the new book “Lucky: How Biden Barely Won the Presidency”¬†with Amie Parnes, a senior correspondent at The Hill.

“I would like to take a minute to talk about being wrong about Biden,” she told Allen.

Allen said the prognosis for Biden’s campaign was so dire that staffers even suggested that he refinance his home to pump additional funds into his campaign after the Iowa loss.

“It’s not the most unheard-of thing for a candidate to do it,” Allen said, but “a presidential candidate doesn’t do that.”

“The subtext of going to him to tell him that it might be time to just wrap up the campaign,” Allen said. “To Joe Biden’s everlasting credit, he believed in himself.”

Biden went on to win the South Carolina Democratic primary in a landslide, anchored by the support of Democratic House Majority Whip Clyburn’s prized endorsement.

In the book, Allen and Parnes detailed the enormous clout that Clyburn possessed in the Palmetto State.

“Biden was desperate to get Clyburn’s endorsement,” they wrote. “Very few endorsements carry weight in modern politics. In South Carolina, though, a perception had built up that Clyburn’s imprimatur meant everything. Voters believed it, the media believed it, and even most political insiders thought there was at least a good helping of truth in it.”

They added: “There was no Black political figure in the history of the state who had more influence with Black voters in South Carolina or across the Deep South.”

The South Carolina victory brought Biden’s candidacy back to life, translating to a slew of Super Tuesday wins, including unexpected victories in states like Massachusetts and Texas.

Read the original article on Business Insider