Jim Clyburn, Hakeem Jeffries, House

The End of An Era: Rep. Jim Clyburn Is Stepping Down From Democratic House Leadership 

You will be missed, Rep. Clyburn!

Rep. James “Jim” Clyburn (D-SC) is moving on from his post as a Democratic leader in the House of Representatives. 

In an official statement, Clyburn said he is leaving his duties as Assistant Democratic Leader, which he has held since 2011. He informed Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) of his departure and said he was confident that things were in good hands.

“I have informed Leader Hakeem Jeffries of my intention to step down as Assistant Democratic Leader of the House Democratic Caucus,” Clyburn said. “I am confident that Leader Jeffries, Whip Katherine Clark, Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar, and the entire leadership team will continue the important work of putting people over politics.” 

While he is moving away from his leadership position, the 83-year-old lawmaker is hoping to remain the face of South Carolina’s Sixth Congressional District as he plans to run for re-election. “I will run for re-election for the Sixth Congressional District. Events of the last several years have made it clear that the greatness of America is at peril, and the threats to our continued pursuit of a more perfect Union’ are real,” he wrote. 

Clyburn set a new standard for younger political leaders to stand up and take charge. He was doing the unexpected in 2022 after he decided not to follow the lead of then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). Such moves have allowed rising political stars such as Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) to run for Clyburn’s position. The spotlight has been on the 39-year-old politician since being named one of the impeachment managers during former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment.

The announcement comes weeks after Clyburn began campaigning for President Biden’s 2024 presidential election. With Biden’s reputation on the line with Black voters, Clyburn pushed some concern about MAGA’s hold on the country ahead of the 2024 election season. “I have no problem with the Biden administration and what it has done,” Clyburn said. “My problem is that we have not been able to break through that MAGA wall in order to get to people exactly what this president has done.”  

After being praised by his mentor, Jeffries saluted Clyburn for the important work he had done during his time in office. He has worked on important legislation for former Presidents Bill Clinton and Obama, such as the Affordable Care Act, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. 

Jeffries says millions of lives have changed thanks to leaders like Clyburn: “These enormous legislative achievements have changed millions of lives for the better. Rep. Clyburn has been a moral compass and powerful voice encouraging the Congress to be effective, equitable, and ethical public servants,” Jeffries said. “We are all better representatives because of Jim’s stewardship.”