Democratic Whip James Clyburn (S.C.) signaled Sunday that a deal is being worked out to fill the position in the 112th Congress as he made a case for his record as whip.
“As I talk to the members of our Caucus, they are very satisfied with the way that I’ve conducted myself as whip. ... And I want to continue in that position,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “We’ll get all this worked out in the coming days, and I suspect that it will be resolved in such a way that our Caucus will be very satisfied with the leadership team going forward.”
Republican victories in Tuesday’s midterm elections pushed House Democrats into the minority in the 112th Congress. There is one fewer leadership slot for the minority party in the House, and both Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) and Clyburn have announced they are pursuing the whip role. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) announced last week her intention to pursue the Minority Leader spot.
“I am perfectly satisfied with Nancy Pelosi’s leadership, and I don’t have any problems with that, but I’m also satisfied with the record that I’ve laid out as whip,” Clyburn said.
He pushed back against the argument that Hoyer is a more moderate Democrat and that the leadership may appear too liberal with Pelosi and Clyburn at the top.
“I would ask anybody to look at my record of 18 years, look at my record here in South Carolina, and tell me why you classify me as being liberal or conservative. ... It’s very hard to pinpoint where I am on the political spectrum, and I think that people are doing that because of assumptions because of the way that I look,” Clyburn said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.