Third-tier House Democrat Rep. Jim Clyburn ripped off Republicans for opposing minimum wage increases, saying their threatened use of the filibuster in the Senate to stop it reminded him when the filibuster opposed civil rights legislation has been.
“You can see that our Republican colleagues are now clinging to the political philosophies that are a throwback to the 1940s and 1950s. And they are using the filibuster to basically deny progress to people on low incomes, ”Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, said at a press conference Tuesday prior to a party politics rally.
"And if they use the filibuster to refuse to raise the minimum wage, it would be tantamount to denying civil rights," he said. "For me, that's what we're going to talk about in the future."
Opinion: Here's why the Senate's filibuster rule could be safely abolished
The Democratic Party's elimination of the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to end the debate on a law for a final vote, re-emerged after Senate MP Elizabeth MacDonough Had decided against Democrats' proposal to raise the minimum The proposal would have violated a Senate rule that governs what can be included in quick budget bills that the Senate can pass with just 51 votes, she noted.
The wage boost was only included in the bill because it was believed it could not garner the required 10 Republican votes to move forward on a regular bill. But if the Democrats scrapped the filibuster, as was done for Sen. Mitch McConnell's nominations when the Republicans controlled the Senate, it would allow the minimum wage and other major party's priorities to increase by 51 votes. Republicans have warned they refuse to get rid of the filibuster and Democrats would regret the move the next time they're in the minority.
Clyburn, the party whip, is the only black lawmaker in a longstanding democratic triumvirate that has led House Democrats since 2007, along with House majority leader Steny Hoyer and spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi.
He was prominent during the Democratic President's primaries in 2000. His support for Joe Biden, who had hobbled through the early states, was seen as instrumental in reversing the Biden campaign.
Opponents of the filibuster have long pointed to its use against civil rights legislation as one of the reasons it is illegal and should be eliminated. Clyburn recalled his own story when he was arrested in South Carolina for taking part in an anti-segregation protest.
"Nobody thought that any of those little 20-year-olds who were arrested that day would be standing here today," he said.
"We're not just going to give in to these arcane methods of denying progress." This party is not going to do it, and if [Republicans] want to be characterized that way, we are going to sign them, ”he said. “I tell you, I will not be silent on this matter. Colored people will not be silent on this issue. "