Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- When it comes to a possible government shutdown, Sixth District Congressman Jim Clyburn says "it ain't gonna happen."
Clyburn spoke with reporters at a roundtable Tuesday morning. He says a shutdown would be devastating to the defense industry in South Carolina, but he doesn't think it is probable.
He also said he does not believe the House's push to defund the Affordable Care Act will survive.
"It's up to the speaker. I think the speaker's got to make a decision. He's got to decide whether or not he gonna put the interests of the country ahead of the interests of the so-called Tea Party," said Clyburn.
He said the health plan needed tweaking but he does not believe that means the entire thing should be thrown out.
"There are a lot of things in the Affordable Care Act; I guess I'm in that group that doesn't think we went far enough. So when I'm asked, though I've never been asked by any pollsters, I support what we've done. I think we need to go back time and time again as we have done with Medicare, as we have done with Medicaid, as we have done with Social Security, all of these things need to be tweaked periodically, in order to respond effectively and efficiently to the times in which we live," he said.
Clyburn said he wished Congress would put more money towards community health centers.
He also spoke about the House vote to cut funding for the SNAP program, or what is more commonly known as food stamps. He says taking that step would mean more consequences than just fewer dollars.
Clyburn said the legislation also cuts funding to food banks.
He also says it could force families to choose their loved ones and benefits, due to bans on those convicted of some felonies.
"The point I'm making, there's a lot of parents who don't wanna give up on their children when they commit a crime. A lot of grandparents who don't want to give up on their children, this bill will force families to give up on their children if you say to this child I cannot, I'll lose my benefits if you come back to live with me when you get out of prison," he said.
Clyburn says the measure also paves the way for state to require drug testing in order to receive benefits.