CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) — House Majority Congressman Jim Clyburn cast his ballot in the June primaries in Orangeburg on Tuesday, the first day the state expanded access to early voting.
Gov. Henry McMaster signed the bill into law earlier this month, replacing in-person mail-in ballots.
READ MORE: Early voting begins this week in South Carolina
“I wish they had allowed Saturday and Sunday,” Rep. Clyburn said. “I will consider these two weeks as the glass half full… But it’s better than it was, and let’s keep working,” he added.
The congressman with nearly 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 cheering supporters and chefs. State.
“I don’t need to tell you that we are at a critical crossroads 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 is needed is that we make the greatness of this country 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 passing the U.S. bailout and the president’s infrastructure bill. Biden, which includes $65 billion for broadband access, which Rep. Clyburn has personally defended.
“The governor told me, because of what you did with the CARES package, because of what you put in the bailout act, that extra $65 billion from the infrastructure bill, we’re going to be able to build every residence and every business in South Carolina in the next three to five years,” Clyburn said.
The representative also said he hoped that sensible gun legislation would be passed in light of the Ulvade tragedy, with his words drawing the biggest public reaction.
It’s “top of the list” for the top-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 the red flag on that. It’s irrational,” he said. “I’ve been working on it for the past five days. There are 39 bills before Congress right now on this topic. And I suggested that we wrap up these 39 pieces of legislation in six or seven separate bills and put them on the floor on one rule and have a national discussion about what is and what isn’t rational.
Rep. Clyburn reflected on the Emmanuel Church shooting, which inspired him to write a bill to shut down the “Charleston Loophole” that allowed the shooter to purchase guns before the background check was completed.
Clyburn said the bill passed the House twice but stalled in the Senate.
He also spoke about ongoing legislative efforts with Sen. Elizabeth Warren to potentially 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 will take place on Tuesday, June 14.
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