Dear Colleague to Democratic Members and Members-Elect of the 114th Congress

Nov 7, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – House Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn (D-SC) today sent a letter to Democratic colleagues announcing his intention to run for Assistant Democratic Leader in the 114th Congress.  Below is the text of the letter.

Dear Democratic Colleague,

Congratulations!  I am looking forward to serving with you in the 114th Congress.  While I wish our numbers were greater, we must use the election results as motivation to redouble our efforts to create an America where hard work is rewarded and every American has an opportunity to succeed.  I am more determined than ever to succeed in this fight, and in that spirit, I ask for your support of my continued service as Assistant Democratic Leader.

To successfully advance a progressive agenda in a Republican-controlled Congress, our Caucus needs to be united.  Now those of you who know me well know that I do not expect that we will always be unanimous in our views and approaches. The history of our nation shows that unity is very challenging but can also be very rewarding, especially when a group as diverse as our Caucus works together in pursuit of common goals. 

Because of my record in current and previous Leadership positions, I feel uniquely qualified and well positioned to help our seven internal caucuses find common ground and present a united front in pursuit of greater opportunities and fundamental fairness for hard-working Americans.

While our Caucus remains focused on increasing and expanding America's middle class, our friends across the aisle have incessantly pursued policies that leave too many families vulnerable and communities challenged.  My service among our Leadership has been defined by working with you to combat these regressive measures. 

We have initiated and continue to promote the 10-20-30 formula and other economic development proposals to ensure that no community is left behind. 

We have collaborated on the Voter Empowerment Act and Voting Rights Amendment Act to stop nefarious schemes to disenfranchise the disadvantaged. 

We have stood fast in budget negotiations to ensure that the budget isn’t balanced on the backs of children and senior citizens, as well as other vulnerable citizens, while taxes are cut for the most privileged. 

We have spoken out loudly against multiple votes to repeal the landmark Affordable Care Act and many states’ thoughtless refusal to expand Medicaid under that law.

As we seek to lift up those who feel down and out, we must recognize that much too often our message has failed to resonate with many of those for whom we fight.  As the only southern Member of our Leadership, and a representative of a largely rural district, I understand the challenges our party faces and will work with each and every one of you to help sharpen our message and will redouble my efforts to reach and motivate those families and communities that stand to benefit from our policies. 

I look forward to working with you in this effort, and I respectfully ask for your support.


           James E. Clyburn