Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has represented South Carolina in both the US House and Senate for 15 years. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina) has served since 1993. So when both say they’ve never been in a meeting like Monday’s, it’s noteworthy.
Governor-elect Nikki Haley met with all of the state’s congressmen in Columbia Monday to discuss the upcoming sessions in Washington, and how to protect South Carolina’s interests.
Graham said the meeting was productive.
I’ve never been involved in a meeting like this, where all of us were in the same room, the governor-elect putting out her priorities, what she would like to see happen here in South Carolina, and how we could be good teammates in Washington. I really think that it’s something that can bear fruit for the state as a whole.
Haley says the issues they discussed ranged from healthcare reform, to illegal immigration, to the budget. “You name it,” she told reporters in a press conference at the Statehouse.
Most importantly, what we talked about is South Carolina comes first. We stand here together and… unified in making sure that we do everything that we can for the people of South Carolina.
Haley said she hopes to hold quarterly meetings with the state’s congressional delegation.
Clyburn will be the only South Carolina Democrat in Congress next year. He said he hopes to work together with Republicans for the good of South Carolinians.
This is all about South Carolina. This is all about the future of the state that I love dearly, and I feel invested in significantly. This morning was a great meeting. The spirit in the room was a great spirit.
Clyburn says it was the first time the entire state congressional delegation has met with the governor since 1995. However, he said then-governor David Beasley was not in the room during that meeting.
Jeff Duncan will represent South Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District in January. He said one topic of the meeting was the future of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site. South Carolina has sued the US Energy Department to keep the Nevada site open to receive radioactive waste from the Savannah River Site in Aiken County.
There is a by-product that needs to be stored, and Yucca Mountain’s a perfect place. So, hopefully, we’re going to have that back on the forefront.
Graham and fellow senator Jim Demint (R-South Carolina) had to leave soon after the press conference so they could fly to Washington for a vote on tax cut extensions Monday afternoon.
Rep. Tim Scott was the only Congressman not in attendance, but he participated in the meeting by phone.