CHARLESTON — House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina says federal stimulus spending has stopped the economic hemorrhaging but more work is needed to make sure the South's rural areas are not left behind.

Clyburn spoke Tuesday to the annual meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference that has attracted 1,600 lawmakers to Charleston.

He says he doesn't think another round of federal stimulus spending is needed, but he says passing a new highway bill would help provide jobs.

Clyburn urged state lawmakers to promote tourism and take advantage of the South's rich cultural diversity. He says the region's history has been glorious and at times painful. But he says diversity that once caused wedges between people is the region's strength.