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Legislative Update

House passes Cline’s Small Business Reorganization Act

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WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives on Tuesday, July 23, passed H.R. 3311, the Small Business Reorganization Act. The bill, introduced by Congressman Ben Cline (VA-06), would simplify the process for small businesses to use bankruptcy as a means of reorganization.

Under the Small Business Reorganization Act, businesses with less than $2.5 million in debt would be able to file for bankruptcy in a timelier and more cost-effective manner. While in bankruptcy reorganization, a small business would be able to negotiate with creditors while keeping the doors open, employees on payroll, and suppliers and vendors paid.

“Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code has, for many years, been key to survival for firms needing to reorganize their debts so they can continue in business,” Cline said. “Reorganization preserves jobs, investments and valuable contributors to our economy, but for just as many years, Chapter 11’s terms have been poorly suited to allow small businesses and their creditors to take full advantage of the relief it promises.

“To solve this problem, the Small Business Reorganization Act takes the provisions of Chapter 12, which help small family farmers to reorganize their farming enterprises when needed, as a model for small businesses. Chapter 12 has long worked well for family farmers, and it is a terrific idea to weave terms modeled on it into chapter 11 for general use in small business cases.

“This bill promises to finally make our laws work better for the entrepreneurs whose small businesses are critical to life in communities across our nation.”

The bill next goes to the Senate for consideration.

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Legislative Update

Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – October 20, 2019

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After spending the two weeks of the fall District Work Period traveling across our part of Virginia, I returned to Washington, where Congress considers bills to address prescription drug pricing and foreign affairs, among others. Despite the increased partisanship that has been created by the Speaker’s efforts to move their impeachment inquiry behind closed doors and out of the public view, I remain committed to focusing on the issues and priorities of the Sixth District.

Hong Kong Legislation:
As Ronald Reagan once said, “America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.” The United States will always stand for democracy, and the citizens of Hong Kong have taken to the streets in support of a fairer society. The desire to live in freedom leads individuals to do heroic acts in the face of certain condemnation, and I applaud the people of Hong Kong for using their voice to spur positive change.

Impeachment:
When Congress sought to impeach Presidents Nixon and Clinton, it was done with bipartisan support and in a transparent and fair fashion before the American people. Unfortunately, the Majority is pursuing impeachment behind closed doors and re-writing the rules to remove due process protections. At the expense of fundamental fairness, the Majority is pursuing impeachment at all costs and have let fall by the wayside the issues that matter most to the American people like passing the USMCA trade agreement, repairing the country’s crumbling infrastructure, and fixing our broken immigration system.

Drug Pricing:
Congress should take action immediately to encourage lower prescription drug prices and better enable Americans to afford the medications they need. That is why I am the lead cosponsor of the Terminating the Extension of Rights Misappropriated Act (TERM Act). This bipartisan legislation would allow for the quicker introduction of generic medications to the marketplace by ending the practice of “evergreening” by the pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi’s H.R. 3, which passed in the Education and Labor Committee this week, would use socialist price controls to crush the pharmaceutical industry, deter innovation, and dramatically reduce the ability of patients to access life-saving medicines. Further, this legislation could cost Virginia roughly 7,200 jobs and nearly $1.8 billion in yearly economic output. I am hopeful that we can address the problem of high prescription drug prices in a bipartisan way moving forward.

Constituent Meetings:
As Members of Congress, one of the great privileges we have is meeting with constituents both in the District and here in Washington. This week, a number of Sixth District residents visited my office to advocate on behalf of causes that matter most to them. Some constituents discussed increasing funding for muscular dystrophy research, others asked for support for the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Liberty University, and one family from Roanoke simply stopped by to tour the Capitol. It is always great to have a bit of the Valley in Washington and to have an opportunity to hear my constituents’ concerns. My door is always open.

For the latest updates from Washington, please follow my social media accounts: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Congressman. If my office can ever be of assistance, please contact my Washington office at (202) 225-5431.

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Legislative Update

Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – October 13, 2019

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With temperatures falling and the leaves in the Valley and Central Virginia beginning to change, the beauty of the Sixth District and its people is in full swing. As I wrapped up the second week of October’s District Work Period, I had the opportunity to continue my travels and visits throughout the Sixth District meeting with those I am privileged to represent in Congress.

Higher-Education Roundtable: 

This week I focused on education in the District, and I was pleased to host a Sixth District Higher-Education Roundtable at JMU, which fostered productive discussions as to how we can help make college more accessible and affordable for all students.

In addition to the Higher-Education Roundtable, I also met with students, educators, and administrators at the K-12 level. I participated in Shadow a Principal Week at Herman L. Horn Elementary School in Vinton and Parry McCluer High School in Buena Vista, as well as had the opportunity to speak to AP Government students at  E. C. Glass High School in Lynchburg. Finally, I met with the new superintendent of Botetourt County schools, Dr. Lisa Chen, who I know will serve the county well.

Focusing on Education:

During my campaign, I promised to hold town halls across the District and it’s 19 counties and independent cities. This week marked my 17th town hall since my election last November, and this time I enjoyed hearing from constituents with Congressman Riggleman (VA-05) in Bedford County.

Town Hall:


Roll CallVirginia GOP representatives’ town hall heavy on policy, light on impeachment

News VirginianCline, Riggleman hold town hall in Bedford

Around The Sixth:

In addition to holding a town hall and a round table with educators, I attended a number of other community events across the District this week. On Tuesday, I had the honor of addressing the the Fraternal Order of Police in Lynchburg to thank our dedicated men and women in blue for all they do to serve our localities. I also spoke at the Virginia Municipal League Annual Conference and Staunton Lions Club, stopped by the Augusta County Farm Bureau meeting, and toured the School of Nursing at JMU and the Brandon Oaks Retirement Community in Roanoke. While I could not make it to all of the great events, I am working hard to represent the people of Virginia’s Sixth District.

One of the greatest honors I have as a Member of Congress is the ability to nominate individuals to our nation’s Military Service Academies. For those interested in attending one of the Academies, submission packets must be postmarked to my office by October 18, 2019. For more information, please click here.

Academy Nominations:

For the latest updates from Washington, please follow my social media accounts: FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Congressman. If my office can ever be of assistance, please contact my Washington office at (202) 225-5431.

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Legislative Update

Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – October 5, 2019

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During this week’s District Work Period, I have had the opportunity to travel throughout Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District to meet and listen to constituents across our region. My visits have taken me from Timberville to Roanoke and everywhere in between.

Sixth District Farm Tour:
This week, I participated in a Sixth District Farm Tour where I met with dozens of local farmers to discuss the issues that matter most to them. Many expressed their support for the new USMCA trade agreement, which would benefit their farms, particularly those operating in Virginia’s largest agricultural export industries: beef, poultry, and dairy. The USMCA is a 21st-century agreement that opens markets, reduces trade barriers, and will result in 176,000 new jobs.

Read more here at WHVS:

And here at WDBJ:

District Travels:
In addition to visiting our District’s local farms, I made a number of other stops throughout the Valley this week as well. I attended the ribbon cutting of the Chaplick Center at The Glebe in Daleville, which will provide unique care to our seniors dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Additionally, I toured the Manheim Auto Auction in Harrisonburg, which employs 90 people and provides an important resource for auto dealers across our region. I also spoke at the Rural America Conference held at JMU, where we discussed economic development opportunities for our rural communities.

Joint Bedford Town Hall with Rep. Riggleman:
I invite residents of Bedford County to join me for a joint town hall with Congressman Denver Riggleman (VA-05) next Wednesday in Bedford, VA. For more information and registration details, please follow the link.

For the latest updates from Washington, please follow my social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Congressman. If my office can ever be of assistance, please contact my Washington office at (202) 225-5431.

Washington D.C. Office
1009 Longworth
House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5431

Harrisonburg Office
70 N Mason St
Suite 110
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
Phone: (540) 432-2391

Lynchburg Office
916 Main St
Suite 300
Lynchburg, VA 24504
Phone: (434) 845-8306

Roanoke Office
10 Franklin Rd SE
Suite 510
Roanoke, VA 24011
Phone: (540) 857-2672

Staunton Office
117 S Lewis St
Suite 215
Staunton, VA 24401
Phone: (540) 885-3861

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Legislative Update

Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – September 21, 2019

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This week I had the pleasure of welcoming U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, to Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District. Agriculture is the lifeblood of rural America, and the industry employs more than half a million Virginians throughout the Commonwealth.

Knowing the importance of the dairy industry is to our district, I asked Secretary Perdue to join me on a tour of Mt. Crawford Creamery in Mt. Crawford, VA. While there, the Secretary and I had the chance to see their operation firsthand and gained a better understanding of what it takes to succeed in the dairy industry. We also heard about the issues family farms in our region face, especially when it comes to the tariffs and crippling taxes imposed by the federal government. When the creamery’s owner passed away in 1997, his two sons were left with a massive estate tax that severely depleted their cash reserves. Fortunately, through their hard work, passion, and innovation, they were able to overcome the government’s roadblock and continue to remain successful to this day.

Following the tour, Secretary Purdue and I hosted an agriculture listening session with various stakeholders from the area. I was pleased that the Secretary and I had the opportunity to hear directly from farmers and producers in our district about the difficulties they face each and every day. I thank Secretary Purdue for coming to the Sixth District and look forward to working with him to ensure the long-term success of Virginia farmers.

Congress Passes Short-Term Funding Bill:
This week, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the 2019 fiscal year on September 30. This temporary funding bill merely pushes discussion on important spending issues off until after November 21 and almost certainly ensures that Congress will be pressured to pass another bloated omnibus spending bill for 2020.

Our appropriations process is broken. CRs are intended to be used only in extreme circumstances, but yet again, the Senate has failed in their duty to pass any appropriations bill at all. Year after year, Congress uses CRs, which should be the option of last-resort, to postpone—or rather, altogether avoid—its duty to pass a responsible budget. During my time in the Virginia General Assembly, I worked to ensure that our rules required that the state’s budget deal be available for review for 48 hours before the General Assembly voted on it. This kind of transparency is important for our government. Unfortunately, our federal government does not heed the same rule, even when it’s required of them. In violation of the 72-hour House rule, the CR was considered less than 24 hours after its introduction.

Passing this CR is bad for our country. It extends funding for some programs beyond their originally prescribed levels, and it perpetuates an inability of Congress to properly wield its constitutional power of the purse to carry out annual appropriations. Our continued failure to control spending and address our mounting debt is a threat to our nation, our economy, and our children. Going forward, Congress must make meaningful changes to the appropriations process.

Congress Honors NASA’s “Hidden Figures”:
The House also honored several notable women this week. H.R. 1396, the Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act, awarded Congressional Gold Medals to Katherine Johnson and Dr. Christine Darden and posthumously awarded Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Much of the success of the early space program, including the 1969 Apollo moon landing, would not have been possible without the minds of these brave and brilliant women.

Katherine Johnson began her career as a “computer” in the segregated West Area Computing unit at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Despite the discrimination she initially faced, Johnson became one of the most instrumental figures in getting American astronauts in space and to the moon. Dr. Christine Darden’s work as a NASA aerospace engineer revolutionized aerodynamics design. Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, like Johnson, began in Langley’s West Area Computing unit. Vaughan, an expert FORTRAN programmer, became NASA’s first African-American supervisor. Jackson, a native Virginian, worked in and studied theoretical aerodynamics and contributed a dozen technical papers on the boundary layer of air around airplanes.

These four women, also known as the “Hidden Figures,” were integral to the success of the early space program, and their stories exemplify the experiences of the other brilliant women who played an integral role in building the space program in the World War II and Cold War era. Our nation owes them a great debt and a grand show of gratitude.

For the latest updates from Washington, please follow my social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Congressman. If my office can ever be of assistance, please contact my Washington office at (202) 225-5431.

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Legislative Update

Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – September 14th

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Energy Independence:
Our nation is rich in natural resources, including fossil fuels such as oil, timber, and natural gas that have recently enabled the United States to be energy independent for the first time in over 50 years. This includes the Commonwealth of Virginia, which has an abundant supply of energy sources that could help us fund improvements to our infrastructure, roads, and local schools.

Unfortunately, this week the House voted on legislation that would block the potential for new research and investment in energy production off our Atlantic coastline. The legislation would stifle innovation, prevent job creation, and severely limit the ability of the United States to achieve its full potential of energy independence for the long term.

In my remarks against this legislation on the House Floor, I spoke about my visit earlier this spring to the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, where I was able to see firsthand the great strides that have been made in energy exploration, technology, and innovation. The amazing developments in ensuring that energy resources can be explored and extracted safely, with minimal impact to our environment, demonstrated to me that similar efforts can be achieved back home in the waters off the coast of Virginia. These new developments would ensure that our environmentally sensitive areas can be protected for future generations while we lower energy costs for residents and businesses across the Commonwealth.

Studies have shown that exploring offshore oil and natural gas resources would bring thousands of jobs to Virginia and significantly boost its economy. The legislation passed in the House would block millions of dollars from coming to Virginia, and the federal government should not be in the business of stifling Virginia’s economic growth.

CASE Act:
Back in May, several colleagues and I introduced H.R. 2426, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act, also known as the CASE Act. This week, I was pleased that this bill passed the Judiciary Committee and now awaits further action on the House Floor.

Should this bill become law, it will create a Copyright Claims Board within the Copyright Office to provide for an efficient and less expensive forum for small creators to better enforce their rights.

Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over copyright. However, because of the high cost of federal litigation, small creators, such as graphic artists, authors, songwriters, photographers, and others across the country, often have difficulty enforcing their rights and protecting their works from infringement. Due to the comparatively low value of their work compared to the high cost of federal litigation, most attorneys do not even consider taking these small cases. This leaves small creators with little remedy to protect their works and their livelihoods. The CASE Act, largely based on a Copyright Office study from 2013, provides these creators with an alternative option to protect their rights.

Protecting the Second Amendment:
Also this week, the Judiciary Committee took up the issue of gun control. Unfortunately, the majority voted in favor of three pieces of legislation that would not have prevented past acts of mass violence. In addition, they refused to consider any Republican bills that would actually work toward preventing future tragedies. Further, the Committee rejected all commonsense amendments, ensuring the bills will likely fail in the Senate.

Instead of searching for common ground, the committee passed legislation that limits our Constitutional rights and infringes on the Second Amendment. The bills that passed will lead to the deprivation of due process rights for citizens across this country. These pieces of legislation are broad and open to inconsistent interpretation and do nothing to address mental health, which is often a contributing cause of mass violence. I opposed these bills and will continue to defend the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

For the latest updates from Washington, please follow my social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Congressman. If my office can ever be of assistance, please contact my Washington office at (202) 225-5431.

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Legislative Update

Warner, Kaine praise Warren County inclusion into program to combat drug trafficking

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U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA)

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) released a statement today following a decision by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to include Warren County in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program:

“Despite increased public awareness about the dangers of opioids, this epidemic continues to devastate families all across the Commonwealth,” said the Senators. “We applaud the Office of National Drug Control Policy for including Warren County in the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA Program. We look forward to seeing these federal resources put to use to prevent future tragedies in Warren County as we continue working to channel additional federal dollars to fight this ongoing crisis.”

Opioid overdoses have surpassed car accidents and gun violence as the leading cause of accidental death in Virginia, with more than 1,500 overdose-related deaths in 2017. In Warren County alone, pharmacies distributed an average of 45 opioid pills per person, per year between 2006 and 2012.

HIDTA, a program created by Congress, is designed to facilitate law enforcement coordination at the federal, state, local, and tribal level in areas designated as critical drug-trafficking regions. In addition to facilitating law enforcement cooperation, HIDTA aims to enhance the sharing of intelligence among law enforcement agencies, facilitate the design of effective enforcement strategies and operations, and support coordinated law enforcement strategies in order to reduce the supply of illegal drugs in the United States.

Sens. Warner and Kaine have long advocated for increased federal funding to combat the opioid epidemic in Virginia. Last year, the Senators worked to successfully pass bipartisan legislation to help communities across Virginia by improving opioid treatment and recovery efforts and providing new tools for law enforcement. In 2016, Sens. Warner and Kaine also successfully advocated for the inclusion of other Virginia counties into HIDTA.

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Upcoming Events

Oct
23
Wed
10:30 am Art Class “Fall is Here” @ Art in the Valley
Art Class “Fall is Here” @ Art in the Valley
Oct 23 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Art Class "Fall is Here" @ Art in the Valley
We are offering classes for children ages 7-12 who would enjoy expressing themselves through art. The students will expand their creative side with drawing, painting and constructing, using various mediums such as acrylic, pastels, watercolor[...]
1:30 pm Botanical Drawing: October 2019 @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing: October 2019 @ Art in the Valley
Oct 23 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanical Drawing: October 2019 @ Art in the Valley
Learn and practice the art of botanical drawing in pencil with local artist and instructor Elena Maza. This four session course will focus on learning basic drawing skills as applied to botanicals: basic line drawings[...]
Oct
24
Thu
10:30 am Small Business Lending Forum @ Samuels Public Library
Small Business Lending Forum @ Samuels Public Library
Oct 24 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Small Business Lending Forum @ Samuels Public Library
The forum will provide participants with an overview of U.S. Small Business Administration and USDA/Rural Business Cooperative-Services (RBS)’s financing programs and services.  Participants will have the opportunity to field questions to lenders and learn more[...]
1:30 pm The Fundamentals of Oil Painting... @ Art in the Valley
The Fundamentals of Oil Painting... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 24 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The Fundamentals of Oil Painting - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This class will focus on proven approaches for successful oil paintings. Subject matter will be the student’s choice. No previous painting experience with oils necessary. The class will introduce students to fundamental concepts of color[...]
Oct
25
Fri
9:00 am Virginia Department of Veteran S... @ Able Forces Foundation
Virginia Department of Veteran S... @ Able Forces Foundation
Oct 25 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Virginia Department of Veteran Services @ Able Forces Foundation
Able Forces Foundation is hosting Andre Miller, Resource Specialist, Virginia Veteran and Family Support, Virginia Department of Veteran Services, to assist veterans, their spouses, and dependents with questions regarding Veteran benefits and in filing claims[...]
1:30 pm The Fundamentals of Acrylic Pain... @ Art in the Valley
The Fundamentals of Acrylic Pain... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 25 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The Fundamentals of Acrylic Painting - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This class will focus on proven approaches for successful acrylic paintings. Subject matter will be the student’s choice. No previous painting experience with acrylics necessary. The class will introduce students to fundamental concepts of color[...]
Oct
26
Sat
9:00 am Walk to End Alzheimer’s @ Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Walk to End Alzheimer’s @ Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Oct 26 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Walk to End Alzheimer's @ Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Join the Northern Shenandoah Valley Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s Together, we can provide care and support to improve the lives of Americans affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia (including family, friends, and caregivers), and[...]
11:00 am “The Great I Am” Refreshing, Hea... @ Warren County Fairgrounds
“The Great I Am” Refreshing, Hea... @ Warren County Fairgrounds
Oct 26 @ 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
“The Great I Am” Refreshing, Healing & Restoration @ Warren County Fairgrounds
Come to the Warren County Fairgrounds October 26th and 27th to enjoy live praise and worship! Miraculous testimonies will be shared both days, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., at this free event. Bring your[...]
1:00 pm Workshop: Perspective Basics @ Art in the Valley
Workshop: Perspective Basics @ Art in the Valley
Oct 26 @ 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Workshop: Perspective Basics @ Art in the Valley
This one day workshop is designed to increase your knowledge of perspective theory as it applies to art. All images including landscapes, portraits and still life make use of perspective. It is a necessary tool[...]
Oct
27
Sun
11:00 am “The Great I Am” Refreshing, Hea... @ Warren County Fairgrounds
“The Great I Am” Refreshing, Hea... @ Warren County Fairgrounds
Oct 27 @ 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
“The Great I Am” Refreshing, Healing & Restoration @ Warren County Fairgrounds
Come to the Warren County Fairgrounds October 26th and 27th to enjoy live praise and worship! Miraculous testimonies will be shared both days, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., at this free event. Bring your[...]