As the U.S. Congress gears up for another round in health care reform negotiations, House Democrats from South Carolina say they are ready to move past health care and on to creating jobs.
Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, a close advisor to the president, says he wants the next State of the Union address to focus forward, not on health care reform. He spoke to the press before the holidays.
“So we would like for this to be out of the way before we start concentrating on what we we want to concentrate on for next year: jobs, more jobs and many more jobs,” he says.
Clyburn, from the Sixth District, says the House has adopted one measure to keep expenses under control: “PayGo, pay as you go. I find it kind of interesting how my Republican friends get away with accusing Democrats of being big spenders. The last time we had PayGo…Bill Clinton. George Bush came in, threw it out the window.”
Clyburn, however, will be first tied up with health care reform in House-Senate conference committee.
The only other Democrat in the South Carolina delegation, Fifth District Congressman John Spratt, says his focus is also on the economy.
“The bigger issue than health care is the economy and jobs, particularly in South Carolina where we are the third or fourth highest unemployed state in the nation. I’ve been a steadfast supporter of the stimulus bills that we passed to try to get this economy out of the ditch and back to work. Fortunately, the economy is beginning to show signs of life. Our stimulus efforts are beginning to bear fruit but it’s going to be a while before we see the results in terms of new, net jobs,” says Spratt.
Spratt, the longest-serving Congressman on the delegation, is the chairman of the House Budget Committee.