"I saw the patterns in this,' House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, said Sunday of his state's recent Democratic primaries. (Photo Credit: CNN)
(CNN) – A leading South Carolina Democrat charged Sunday that his state’s recent Democratic primaries had been tainted. And House Majority Whip James Clyburn used some very colorful language to do so.
In addition to the fact that Alvin Greene, an unemployed veteran with no apparent campaign apparatus, won Tuesday’s race for the South Carolina’s Democratic Senate nomination, Clyburn also told CNN of a suspicious element in his own primary race - a consultant with Republican ties worked for Clyburn’s unsuccessful challenger.
Watch: Clyburn speaks out on recent S.C. Dem primaries
“I saw the patterns in this,” Clyburn said on CNN’s State of the Union. “I know a Democratic pattern. I know a Republican pattern and I saw in the Democratic primary elephant dung all over the place. And so I knew something was wrong in that primary. And this result tells us that.”
Clyburn also told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that he did not see himself supporting Greene in his effort to unseat popular conservative lawmaker Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina. And Clyburn reiterated his theory that Greene’s candidacy was orchestrated to disrupt the electoral process in South Carolina. “Of course, Candy, I never said [Greene] was a Republican plant,” explained Clyburn. “I said he was someone’s plant.”
Speaking to CNN’s Don Lemon in an interview that aired Saturday night, Greene denied that he had been planted in the race by the Republican Party.
(Video of Lemon's interview with Greene embedded after the jump)
Washington (CNN)– Majority Whip James Clyburn is calling for an investigation into the source of funds that currently-unemployed Senate Democratic nominee Alvin Greene used to pay his state party's $10,440 filing fee in South Carolina.
During an appearance on the Bill Press radio show, Clyburn said, "Nobody in his or her right mind would believe that an unemployed person would take $10,000 out of his or her pockets to run for the United States Senate. That doesn't add up. Somebody gave him that $10,000 and he who took it should be investigated and he who gave it should be investigated."
On Wednesday Greene told CNN that "I funded my campaign entirely out of my pocket." "I am self-managed and self-funded out of my personal money, everything up to this point." Greene said.
Greene, whose candidacy was almost unknown before Tuesday's Senate primary, paid the fee to the South Carolina State Democratic Party in March.
Kristie Grecko, a spokesman for Clyburn's office said that Clyburn's remarks are based on the fact that "Alvin Greene does not have an income."
Grecko also said that Clyburn has asked the State Democratic Party to reach out to the federal government to investigate the matter.
When asked if there were any investigations pending regarding Greene, William Nettles, US Attorney for South Carolina, told CNN that he "cannot confirm or deny any FEC election investigation."
FEC representative Mary Brandenburg would not comment on Greene's case specifically, but said that that candidates "are not required to file with the FEC until they have passed a $5,000 fundraising and spending threshold."
Clyburn is not the only Democratic leader who is dissatisfied with the explanation behind Greene's surge into politics. South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler called for Greene to withdraw from the nomination on Wednesday, following a media report that Greene is facing felony charges.
Washington (CNN) – A leading House Democrat told reporters Monday that Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, owes the entire House of Representatives an apology for his outburst during Sunday night's health care reform debate.
House Democratic Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina said Neugebauer's apology to Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, was inadequate. "He needs to go the well. He disrupted the decorum of the House of Representatives…It was wrong," Clyburn said after the health care reform bill's signing ceremony in the Capitol.
But Clyburn's colleague, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland was content to move past the controversy over Neugebauer's comment. "He's apologized. He shouldn't have done it. It was inappropriate. He's apologized. I don't think further action is needed."
Clyburn also slammed Republicans for cheering on a protester who yelled out in the House chamber earlier in the day. The individual was removed from the chamber for disrupting the floor debate by yelling out opposition to the health care reform bill. Republicans on the floor could be heard cheering as the U.S. Capitol Police took the person out.
Washington (CNN) – Can the House of Representatives pass a health care bill without actually voting on it?
That question - bizarre to most casual political observers - took center stage Tuesday as top House Democrats struggled to find enough support to push President Barack Obama's top legislative priority over the finish line.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote later this week on the roughly $875 billion bill passed by the Senate in December. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, needs a bare majority of 216 votes from her 253-member caucus to pass the measure. No Republicans are expected to back it.
Pelosi's problem: A lot of House Democrats don't like the Senate bill. Among other things, some House members have expressed concern that the Senate bill does not include an adequate level of subsidies to help middle- and lower-income families purchase coverage. They also object to the Senate's proposed tax on high-end insurance plans.
Pelosi's solution: Have the House pass the Senate bill, but then immediately follow up with another vote in both chambers of Congress on a package of changes designed in part to make the overall legislation more acceptable to House Democrats.
Now, however, Pelosi may also try to help unhappy House Democrats by allowing them to avoid a direct up or down vote on the Senate bill. The speaker may call for a vote on a rule that would simply "deem" the Senate bill to be passed. The House would then proceed to a separate vote on the more popular changes to the Senate bill.
House GOP leaders will try to block the procedure, a House GOP aide told CNN Tuesday morning. They will try to force a vote on a resolution requiring the Senate health care bill to be brought to an actual up or down vote, the aide said.
Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, called the maneuver Pelosi's "scheme and deem" plan Tuesday morning. He said the maneuver was "jaw-dropping in its audacity."
Washington (CNN) - Majority Whip James Clyburn said Thursday that he is waiting for the final pieces of health care reform to fall into place before he is able to definitively say there are enough votes in the House to pass it.
"We don't know exactly what to whip," Clyburn told CNN's Don Lemon in an interview. "That's why we are waiting on these fixers to take place, and the moment we get the fixers done and post them for the American people, I will look in on it the same way the American people will, and then I will know what to go to my caucus with."
House Democrats need 217 votes to pass the health care bill approved by the Senate as well as an additional bill to change some revenue measures. The Senate would then only need to pass the one bill with the revenue changes, which is likely to occur through a process known as reconciliation. Reconciliation only requires 51 votes.
Clyburn said the final product will include ideas from both sides of the aisle.
"Now we are looking to reconcile the Republican's ideas, the president's wishes, with the House and Senate bills, and that's what we are trying to get a simple majority vote on those fixers," Clyburn said.
Turning to 2010 politics, the South Carolina Democrat sharply criticized the Republican National Committee for a fundraising presentation that paints President Obama in an unfavorable light.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - After announcing his intention to move forward with a health care reform bill in the Senate that includes a version of the public health insurance option that would allow states to opt out, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told CNN that he has not ruled out using a budgetary procedure called reconciliation which would allow Democrats to pass the bill with a simple majority.
"It's always an option," Reid told CNN when asked about reconciliation Monday.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, told CNN he hopes Democrats don't need to go that route and remained open to putting a bill on the Senate floor that does not include a public option, should the Reid-pushed bill fail. A proposal without a public option would still require 60 votes to move forward in the Senate.
In an interview prior to Reid's announcement Monday, House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn, D-South Carolina, made a public appeal to Reid to use reconciliation.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Citing a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, House Majority Whip James Clyburn said Monday that the Senate Majority Leader should use a budgetary maneuver to pass health care reform with a government-run insurance option if Democrats do not have the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster.
According to the survey released last week, 61 percent of Americans favor a public health insurance option that would compete with private plans. Support for the public option rose six point since an earlier poll in August.
"I can't imagine that 60 percent of the United States Senate will deny 61 percent of the American people the opportunity to get what they say they want," Clyburn said Monday in an interview on CNN's Newsroom. "So I would say to Senator [Harry] Reid that 60 ought not be the crucial number. Fifty ought to be the crucial number."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A sharply divided House of Representatives debated passage of a White House-backed climate change bill Friday as Democratic leaders made a final push among members worried about the legislation's potential economic and political fallout.
"We're getting there," House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, told CNN. "We're on the eight (yard line). First and goal."
The bill would reduce nationwide greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 through a so-called "cap-and-trade" program under which companies would buy and sell emissions credits.
Among other things, the bill would also require utilities to generate an increasing amount of power from renewable sources.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn said Tuesday that Gov. Mark Sanford should have told the state's lieutenant governor he would be traveling out of state before embarking on a hiking trip along the Appalachian Trail.
"I wish he had called the lieutenant governor and at least alerted him to the fact that he was going to be out of pocket," Clyburn told CNN. "That way we would not have any kind of possible crisis."
But Clyburn, the highest-ranking African-American in Congress, said he understands the need for politicians to escape from the public eye every now and then. "I think that we give up a lot of our privacy when he get into public office," he said.
Sanford reportedly left Columbia last Thursday in a state law enforcement vehicle. Clyburn said he did not think it was unusual for an official to slip away without telling security.
"I went to the barber shop this morning," Clyburn said. "I didn't tell my security detail. I think a lot of time we do that. So I don't see any real harm in that. But leaving the state is another question."
"I wish he had chosen the Palmetto Trail to hike upon, that way he could have stayed within the state and not created a possible crisis," he said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic Rep. James Clyburn on Friday defended his remark that opponents of the stimulus bill are insulting African-Americans.
The House Majority Whip argued that many of the federal funds are specifically targeted towards low-income minority communities. He also accused GOP governors who have resisted the stimulus of hypocrisy.
“Let’s take, for instance, Louisiana,” the South Carolina Democrat told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. “Gov. [Bobby] Jindal has been in my office a number of times. He has called me a number of times asking for billions of dollars in assistance to stand communities back up as a result of hurricane Katrina and Rita.”
“Yet he says there is something wrong with this money for the stimulus that comes from the same pot, that he sees nothing wrong when he’s trying to stand back up after Katrina,” he said.
Asked about opposition from South Carolina’s governor Mark Sanford, Clyburn said that in his home state, a chunk of the stimulus funds would be directed to the poorest counties along the I-95 corridor, a poverty-stricken region of the state most famous for its dilapidated schools.
He said it would be an affront to black South Carolinians in those counties if Sanford turns down the money.
“That’s why I called this an insult,” Clyburn said. “That’s why I said it's slap in the face. Because a majority of the people in these counties are African-Americans.”
Clyburn did not say that Republicans who oppose the funds are racists.
“I have never used that word in my life and I won’t use it now,” he said.