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Biden awards ally Clyburn, longtime No. 3 U.S. House Dem, highest civilian honor

President Joe Biden awards the Medal of Freedom to U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., throughout a ceremony within the East Room of the White House on May 3, 2024. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. James Clyburn obtained the Presidential Medal of Freedom Friday from President Joe Biden, the chief whose presidential marketing campaign Clyburn, a South Carolina native, re-energized in 2020.

Clyburn, the former House majority whip who has represented South Carolina’s sixth Congressional District since 1993, was awarded the highest civilian honor in a White House ceremony alongside 18 fellow recipients, together with former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Secretary of State John Kerry and former Vice President Al Gore.

“Always grounded in faith, family and service, Jim has guided South Carolina and our country with a steady hand and honest heart for over the last half century,” Biden stated when introducing Clyburn.

“And I can say this without fear of contradiction: I would not be standing here as president making these awards were it not for Jim. I mean that sincerely,” Biden continued. “And neither of us would be standing here without (his late wife) Emily Clyburn, a woman of enormous character who we all miss. We’re a great nation because we have good people like Jim and Emily Clyburn and our honorees today. All my fellow Americans, Jim is the best.”

Biden pumped his fists when Clyburn’s identify was referred to as. Before inserting the medal round Clyburn’s neck, Biden positioned his arm across the congressman.

This 12 months’s honorees additionally included Michael Bloomberg, a former New York mayor and rival to Biden within the 2020 Democratic major, journalist Phil Donahue, Olympic swimming champion Katie Ledecky, actress Michelle Yeoh and Judy Shepard, mom of Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in one of many nation’s most high-profile anti-gay hate crimes.

(*3*) Clyburn, 83, stated in a press release.

“I am immensely grateful to President Biden for this incredible honor and take seriously the responsibility it carries. While it serves as a recognition of one’s accomplishments, it is also an astute reminder of the challenges that lie ahead. It speaks to the duty each and every one of us has to further the founding fathers’ dream of a ‘more perfect union.’ I accept this award with deep humility and the promise to uphold this vision,” he continued.

Clyburn spent a lot of his time in Congress as a frontrunner, shortly rising to chair the Congressional Black Caucus and serving in Democratic Caucus management for the previous twenty years. He was the longtime third-highest-ranking House Democrat behind Pelosi and Maryland’s Steny Hoyer, although his title shifted relying on whether or not the get together held a House majority.

Clyburn was elected because the get together’s vice chair in 2003 and subsequently served as House majority whip from 2007 to 2010 and from 2019 to 2022. During that point, Clyburn additionally chaired the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Between his tenures as Democratic whip, Clyburn held the title of assistant Democratic chief from 2011 to 2018 and once more in 2023 till he stepped down in March.

His endorsement of Biden within the 2020 South Carolina major is credited as a major boost to Biden’s presidential run, serving to Biden safe the nomination and ultimately defeat then-President Donald Trump.

Among his work in Congress, Clyburn touts his work on targeting sources to communities experiencing persistent poverty, advocating for federal loans for rural energy savings tasks and increasing broadband web entry as a part of the 2021 infrastructure law.

In a review by States Newsroom of the South Carolina delegation’s 2022 monetary disclosures, Clyburn reported far much less in property than his congressional colleagues, most of whom reported property within the hundreds of thousands.

Clyburn’s district contains massive swaths of central and southwestern South Carolina, together with Charleston and the outskirts of Columbia.

Clyburn was a trainer and state authorities official earlier than being elected to Congress.

He was born in Sumter, South Carolina, in 1940 to a minister and sweetness store operator.

According to his biography, he met his late spouse, Emily, a fellow pupil protester, in jail in Orangeburg, South Carolina in 1960. They had three daughters, 4 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

The submit Biden awards ally Clyburn, longtime No. 3 U.S. House Dem, highest civilian honor appeared first on SC Daily Gazette.

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