WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn delivered the following remarks today on the Floor to urge the adoption of the resolution to hold Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist, in Contempt of Congress:
Click image to watch the full floor statement.
"I often quote George Santayana, who warned, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'
"The insurrection on January 6 was the worst attack on our Constitution since the Civil War. While the secessionists were defeated in 1865, our nation’s experiment with multiracial democracy during Reconstruction did not last.
"It was extinguished by the Lost Cause mythology that minimized the evils of the secessionists and raised monuments to the leaders of the confederacy that they established. These willful circumventions and misrepresentations were used as justification for avoiding accountability and violently stripping African Americans of Constitutional rights.
"We are at risk of repeating that history today. Just as the Lost Cause laid the ideological groundwork for Jim Crow and all its inhumanities, the Big Lie seeks to justify voter nullification laws that seek to suppress votes and establish autocratic rule.
"The former president and his enablers are using the Big Lie to deny the horror of January 6. They are attempting to obstruct and subvert the Select Committee’s work and to prevent a full accounting of their efforts to undermine our democracy.
"We know from our history that when our government is attacked, failing to hold the perpetrators accountable emboldens them. Allowing their myths to gain currency incentivizes them. And underestimating their disregard for their fellow citizens enables them to deny those citizens their constitutional rights.
"I urge the adoption of this resolution so that we avoid repeating the past, at least that part of our past, that dehumanizes our fellow citizens. We must act to strengthen our democracy and build a better future for our country so that it can once again, be the envy of the world.
"With that, I yield back the balance of my time."