Congressman Jim Clyburn will focus on campaigning for fellow Democrats ahead of the 2024 election after stepping down from his leadership role in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Clyburn announced he would be stepping down as assistant Democratic leader of the House Democratic Caucus in a statement Wednesday.

He will focus his time on traveling the country to promote President Joe Biden’s re-election bid, as well as Democratic candidates for the House and Senate, he told The T&D after the announcement.

The future of the nation’s democracy is dependent on keeping Democrats in the White House and Senate and reclaiming the House, Clyburn said.

“I’m convinced there are forces at work in this country today who are hell-bent on stepping away from our pursuit of a more perfect union, who are hell-bent on establishing an autocracy in this country,” he said. “The whole Republican Party has turned into a bunch of cult worshipers.”

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He already has several speaking stops scheduled across the country.

Clyburn says he plans to draw from his South Carolina State education to warn voters of a possible future for the country similar to the Jim Crow-era South.

“There are people who are trying to return to that,” he said. “That’s why I’ve decided that other people can do the administerial work as assistant leader. I’m going to be out here doing what I can to wake people up to what’s going on in this country.”

He also noted the governance of the Republican-controlled House.

“They just don’t seem to know how to run this place,” he said.

He specifically mentioned the recent Republican-led impeachment of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and on-going pushes to impeach Biden.

“How do you have an impeachment of a public servant over a difference in policy, nothing akin to breaking the law, nothing to do with high crimes or misdemeanors, just because you disagree with the policies that this man has implemented on behalf of this administration?” Clyburn said.

Clyburn says serving in leadership has allowed him to advocate for rural communities, as he did through his rural broadband internet initiative included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021.

“I was a little bit taken aback today when it was said to me that a lot of people were uncomfortable with the fact that these perspectives may not be prominent enough at the leadership, but I plan to do what I can to make sure that they are,” he said.

Clyburn, 83, also announced he will run for re-election for U.S. House District 6. He was first elected to Congress in 1993.

“I do plan to continue to make this country’s greatness affordable for all – not just all of my constituents, but for my fellow Americans,” he said. “That is the great challenge of the day. This is a great country in no need of being made great. We have to figure out a way to make this country’s greatness accessible and affordable for all.”

Prior to serving as assistant leader in the House, Clyburn was also majority whip twice as well as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, vice chair and chair of the House Democratic Caucus and co-president of his freshman class.

Having officially informed House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries he will step down, an election for his replacement will likely be held around the end of the month or the beginning of March, at which time he will officially leave the position, Clyburn said.

There are many Democrats in the House who could serve well in the role, Clyburn said. Politico reported Wednesday there are rumors Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse could fill the spot.

“I think he’s a very talented young man,” Clyburn said. “I’m sure there’ll be others who will be interested, but he would be a fantastic person.”

Clyburn doesn’t have a successor in mind, he said.

Clyburn follows other longtime House Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer in stepping aside for new leaders to be called up.

“I am confident that Leader Jeffries, Whip Catherine Clark, Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar, and the entire leadership team will continue the important work of putting people over politics,” Clyburn said in his announcement.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5553. Follow on Twitter: @bozardcaleb.

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