James Clyburn, a member of House Democratic leadership, said Sunday he was “absolutely” open to West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s proposed changes to election law reform that include a voter ID requirement — as long as it’s equitable.
“We are always for voter ID. We are never for disproportionate voter ID. When you tell me that you got to have a photo ID and a photo for a student activity card is not good but for a hunting license it is good,” Clyburn, the House majority whip, told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.” I don’t know of a single person who is against ID’ing themselves when they go to vote. But we don’t want you to tell me my ID is no good because I don’t own a gun and I don’t go hunting.”
The comments from the South Carolina Democrat, who has previously criticized voter ID requirements as a form of voter suppression, comes days after the Supreme Court ruled two provisions of an Arizona voting law that restrict how ballots can be cast do not violate the Voting Rights Act. After Senate Republicans blocked a path forward on an elections reform bill and as GOP-led state legislatures move to enact restrictive voting laws, Democrat lawmakers are also calling for action, including ending the filibuster.
While some moderate Democrats, including Manchin, have called for a bipartisan effort on voting rights reform and not to gut the filibuster, Clyburn told Bash that “we need to get rid of the filibuster for constitutional issues just as we have done for budget issues.”
“We ought not be filibustering things like equal voting rights,” he said Sunday.
“So Sen. Manchin, I like him a whole lot, we have talked about this. And I will say it once again senator, I am not against the filibuster, but you ought not be filibustering nobody — to filibuster anybody’s constitutional right.”