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James Clyburn on Welfare & Poverty

Democratic Representative (SC-6)


History of S.C. precludes block granting food stamps

As the sole Democrat in the South Carolina delegation (albeit one in a district protected by Voting Rights Act provisions to guarantee minority representation), Clyburn had learned how to make himself relevant in s conservative state. He was pronuclear and along with Senator Lindsey Graham had been instrumental in acquiring funding to deepen the Charleston port. Eric Cantor proposed block-granting food stamps -- a popular conservative idea that Speaker Gingrich's House Republicans had pushed in 1995 and had also been included in the Ryan budget plan. Much as with what Ryan had in mind for Medicaid, the proposal would essentially do away with the food stamp program and instead send each state a lump sum of federal money to spend on feeding the poor however they saw fit.

"If you knew the history of my state," the South Carolina African-American told the Republicans, "you wouldn't be in favor of that." Cantor backed down immediately, and the subject did not come up again.

Source: Do Not Ask What Good We Do, by Robert Draper, p.230 , Apr 24, 2012

Voted NO on maintaining work requirement for welfare recipients.

Congressional Summary:

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:

Opponent's Argument for voting No: