Two members of South Carolina’s delegation in Washington are set to take on major roles in the upcoming session.
Senior U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham is set to become the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee after current chairman Chuck Grassley elected to move to the Senate Finance Committee. Graham is the senior ranking member on the committee, which traditionally allows him to be elected chair by his peers.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn is believed to have enough votes to be elected House Majority Whip with Democrats in control next session. If true, Clyburn would return to the third-ranking position next session. He previously held the post from 2007 until Republicans won control after 2011.
Clyburn’s ally US Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-NC, tweeted that Clyburn has enough committed votes to return to the post. “I just informed (Rep. Clyburn) that our whip team has secured more than enough commitments from Democratic members of the next Congress to elect him the House Majority Whip!” Butterfield’s Twitter account posted Friday.
The judiciary chairmanship will allow Graham to play a potentially crucial role in the nomination of future Supreme Court justices the next two years, as well as potentially having oversight of the Justice Department and FBI as they investigate Russian influence in the 2016 elections. “If I am fortunate enough to be selected by my colleagues to serve as Chairman, I will push for the appointment and Senate confirmation of highly qualified conservative judges to the federal bench and aggressive oversight of the Department of Justice and FBI,” Graham said in the statement.
Clyburn had claimed there were rumors that some Democratic colleagues were hesitant to support him because of his race. “People were saying to me (back in 2007) that an African-American did not have the capacity to raise the kind of money that you need to raise,” he told MSNBC on Thursday. “I proved them wrong.”