Clyburn Tells HR Policy Members Rural Internet Will Close Gaps Highlighted by Pandemic

October 09, 2020

Expanded internet access in rural America could be an issue that brings the two parties together in the next Congress, said U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC).  On a call with members Tuesday, Mr. Clyburn said the pandemic highlights the need to expand broadband access to facilitate online school and telehealth services.

The third-ranking Democrat in the House, Clyburn shared opening remarks and hope for the country to fix its faults.  Mr. Clyburn drew from Alexis de Tocqueville in noting that the greatness of America is not that we are “more enlightened than any other nation, but rather because we’ve always been able to repair our faults.”

Perry Stuckey, CHRO at Eastman, asked the congressman what businesses should be doing to repair those faults, especially with respect to racial justice.  Mr. Clyburn did not offer a legislative fix.  Rather, he said he expected businesses to “do the right thing by all your employees” and to recognize the roles diverse talent can play.  He said there is “no magic wand” and it is important to “create the environment in which people feel comfortable sitting down and offering advice.”

HR Policy President and CEO Tim Bartl asked Mr. Clyburn about priorities for January.  He listed the pandemic as issues one through three.  “We are not going to fix the economy until you fix this health care crisis,” Clyburn said.

As the election approaches, HR Policy Association is hosting a series of Zoom calls every Wednesday on issues we expect to be hot early next year.  We are also seeking lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to join us to share their insights with our members.