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House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Wednesday that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) "ought to be ashamed of himself" for claiming that aid for disadvantaged farmers in President Biden's COVID relief package amounts to "reparations."

Context: The $1.9 trillion bill set to be passed by the House on Wednesday includes a $5 billion fund for disadvantaged farmers, about a quarter of whom are Black.

  • The fund is intended to help disadvantaged farmers with their debt repayments, as well as provide support for "grants, training, education and other forms of assistance aimed at acquiring land," according to the Washington Post.
  • Experts told the Post that the relief bill could be the most significant piece of legislation for Black land ownership since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, thereby attempting to right historical inequities.

Driving the news: Graham called the COVID relief package a Democratic "wish list" on Sunday and specifically called out the provisions for disadvantaged farmers, telling Fox News, "[I]f you're a white person, if you are a white woman, no forgiveness. That's reparations."

What they're saying: "Lindsey Graham is from South Carolina. He knows South Carolina's history," Clyburn shot back on CNN Wednesday.

  • "He knows what the state of South Carolina and this country has done to Black farmers in South Carolina. They didn't do it to white farmers. We're trying to rescue the lives and livelihoods of people."
  • "I think he ought to go back and maybe go to church. Get in touch with his Christianity," Clyburn added.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Don McGahn agrees to closed-door interview with House panel on Russia report

Former White House counsel Don McGahn during a discussion at the NYU Global Academic Center in Washington, D.C., in 2019. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former White House counsel Don McGahn agreed Wednesday to speak with the House Judiciary Committee about the Russia investigation that led to the impeachment trial of former President Trump — with certain conditions, per a court filing.

Why it matters: The agreement ends a two-year standoff after McGahn, a key player in former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, repeatedly refused to agree to a subpoena for testimony — resulting in the matter being taken to court.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Over 70 dead in worst bombardments between Israel and Hamas for years

Smoke and flames rise after Israeli fighter jets conducted airstrikes in Gaza on May 13, 2021. Israeli forces said on May 12 they had killed a senior Hamas commander and bombed several buildings. Gaza's health ministry has said children are among the dead. Photo: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

At least 67 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in fighting between Israel's military and Hamas since Monday, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 come days after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.

3 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 pandemic was "preventable disaster," WHO-commissioned report says

A health worker gives a COVID-19 test to a woman in Oakland, California. Photo: Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group

The COVID-19 pandemic was a "preventable disaster" that exposed weak links "at every point" of the preparedness process, according to a World Health Organization-commissioned report published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The report by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response criticized governments worldwide for being unprepared for the pandemic despite the prevalence of past "global health threats," such as Ebola, Zika, and SARS outbreaks.