Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., has flipped the script on his past opposition to voter identification requirements, asserting he’s “always” been in favor of it.
In an interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” the majority whip said he “absolutely” would be able to back West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin’s push toward a voting reform compromise — asserting if a state allows IDs for another purpose, it ought to be applicable for voting as well.
“We are always for voter ID. We are never for disproportionate voter ID,” he said. “When you tell me that you got to have a photo ID and a photo for a student activity card is not good but for a hunting license it is good,” Clyburn’s told host Dana Bash.
“I don’t know of a single person who is against ID’ing themselves when they go to vote. But we don’t want you to tell me my ID is no good because I don’t own a gun and I don’t go hunting.”
But in October 2020, Clyburn tweeted voter ID laws, long lines at polling sites, and closed polling locations were “all voter suppression.” And in April, he said he was “insulted” by Manchin’s proposed voting reform compromise.”
“I’m insulted when he tells me that it’s more important to maintain a relationship with the minority in the U.S. Senate than it is for you to maintain a relationship with the minority of voters in America,” Clyburn said in his Sunday interview. “That’s insulting to me.”
Clyburn’s comments to CNN came in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that two provisions of an Arizona voting law restricting how ballots can be cast do not violate the Voting Rights Act.
Meanwhile, Democrats have called for actions including ending the Senate filibuster.
“We need to get rid of the filibuster for constitutional issues just as we have done for budget issues,” Clyburn said in his Sunday interview. “We ought not be filibustering things like equal voting rights.”
“So Sen. Manchin, I like him a whole lot, we have talked about this,” he added. “And I will say it once again Senator, I am not against the filibuster … nobody should filibuster anybody’s constitutional right. We’ve done it for the budget on the reconciliation. Reconciliation is a much better word to apply to constitutional issues than it is to the budget.”
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