Congressman Clyburn Announces South Carolina Appropriations in the Science, State, Justice, and Commerce Bill

Nov 9, 2005

(Washington, DC) - Sixth District Congressman James E. Clyburn's Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Act cleared its first hurdle today toward becoming law.  H.R. 694 passed the U.S. House of Representatives with unanimous support on the suspension calendar that includes uncontested legislation. 

            "I thank my colleagues in the House for recognizing the urgency to pass this bill in a timely manner so we may begin to implement the preservation efforts it establishes as quickly as possible," Congressman Clyburn said.  "The National Park Service sounded the call for immediate action to preserve the unique Gullah/Geechee culture in its 2004 report, and it is evident that the Congress heard that call."

            Congressman Clyburn's original legislation passed both the House and Senate last session, but Congress adjourned before the bill could become law.  Because of the overwhelming Congressional and grassroots support for the measure, Congressman Clyburn reintroduced the bill on February 10, 2005 with the bipartisan sponsorship of the House Members who represent the Gullah/Geechee coast that runs from northern Florida through Georgia, South Carolina and into North Carolina.

            The bill will establish a Gullah/Geechee Heritage Corridor that covers the four-state coastal region, which is home to this culture that is a unique blend of African and European influences brought to America during colonial times.  The culture thrived on isolated Sea Islands until bridges and development began encroaching on these Gullah/Geechee communities. 

            The bill must pass the Senate before the President can sign it into law.