Rep. James Clyburn becomes only the second African-American to become the majority whip, the No. 3 leadership post in the House.
Clyburn, 66, will be responsible for counting votes and moving the Democrats’ legislation through the House. In an interview on C-SPAN, he said his leadership style will differ from that of former Republican Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas, whose tough, take-no-prisoners approach earned him the nickname “the Hammer.”
“I will work very closely with our other leaders — the speaker and the leader — as well as our chief deputy whips to try and develop consensus in our caucus and use a velvet glove rather than a hammer,” Clyburn said.
State Sen. John Matthews, a Democrat from Bowman in Orangeburg County, said he has been friends with Clyburn since they attended South Carolina State University in the 1960s.
“He has demonstrated an ability to bring people together,” Matthews said. “That’s what America needs.”
As Democrats retook control of the House and Senate after more than a decade out of power, they moved immediately to pass lobbying and ethics reforms in the House and to establish their top 10 legislative goals in the Senate.