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Legislative Update

Legislative update from Delegate Chris Collins – February 2019



Governor & Lt. Governor’s Actions
I have found the current affairs of our Commonwealth to be disturbing. The revelations that have come to light in recent days have cast a shadow over all of the good works in the legislative body. As more information is gathered and published the House of Delegates will consider any and all options which may be available.

I do not support racists, sexists, abusers, or anyone that supports them. I do not stand with anyone associated with the administration in regards to these issues. I support any reasonable measure that properly address the allegations made.


Crossover, when all of the legislation passed by the House goes to the Senate for consideration, has recently occurred and I am proud to report that 12 of the 15 bills I carried are heading to the Senate. Several other notable pieces of legislation were advanced, including: establishing an independent redistricting commission, lowering the cost of attending college, providing greater healthcare coverage for those with autism, and increasing schools’ safety. I am hopeful that the second half of session will be as productive and successful as the first and I look forward to collaborating with our Senate colleagues on our shared priorities.

Track Legislation – Click Here

Tax Relief
Republicans in the House and Senate have agreed on the terms of a $1 billion tax relief package, the most significant tax relief plan in 15 years and the second largest tax cut in Virginia history. The House and Senate Finance Committees met on Friday to act on legislation that is expected to be voted on by the House and Senate on Monday, and then forwarded to Governor Northam. This joint compromise will provide up to $110 in refunds to individuals and up to $220 for married couples. We will maintain the current rules for state and local taxes so homeowners are not hit with an unexpected tax increase at the state level. The total package will guarantee at least $976 million in tax relief, or about $400 for every family in the Commonwealth. We will ensure that all additional revenues from the permanent provisions of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are placed in the state’s cash reserve fund. The legislation also conforms Virginia tax law to the federal law.

Interstate 81 and Tolls
The House and the Senate have both decided against approving tolling on I-81 for this session. There were several questions that arose during discussions that require more work before they can be answered to create meaningful, constructive changes to the interstate. We need to address issues such as: How will tolls be collected? Where will there be tolling gantries? How long will we be tolling I-81? How much will the tolls be?

The joint Senate and House group that is being created has been tasked with answering these questions so next year we will have specifics to present to the citizens who live in the I-81 corridor. This is not a study to see what we need, we know that already; it is to provide the pros and cons of tolling or other revenue sources for I-81.

I am very much aware of the needs of I-81 and the $2.2 billion in projects, including what is required for the 29th District’s section of improvements. These will not come from any funds other than finding an independent source. Tolls may be the best of all the options. I look forward to working with the group and providing updates as this process moves forward.

The House and Senate advanced similar budget proposals on Wednesday that work together with the tax relief plan. The House budget eliminated all spending based on the tax increase proposed by Governor Northam. The budget builds on our multi-year efforts to responsibly invest in a stronger economy, provide more funding and flexibility to local schools, and make college more affordable. The House and Senate will negotiate the final terms of the budget over the next two weeks.

Hands Free Driving Bill
HB1811 is my legislation to try and combat the growing epidemic of distracted driving deaths and injuries. The bill as it stands now will make it a traffic infraction to be driving a motor vehicle, while in motion, while holding an electronic communication device. This law, if signed by the Governor, will not take effect until January 2020 to allow for education of the public.

In summary, I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office over the coming months. I value the feedback you provide on a continual basis as it helps me do a better job of representing you. You can email me at or call my office in Richmond at (804) 698-1029.

I will provide you with weekly email updates during the 2019 General Assembly Session and will schedule my Coffee with Chris events after Session to report on important topics and take questions.

Thank you for your support and I look forward to serving you in 2019.

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Legislative Update

Four Kaine bills included in bipartisan health care package, including bill to raise tobacco age to 21



Senator Tim Kaine.

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, released the following statement on the bipartisan health care agreement announced Sunday. Four of Kaine’s bills were included in this comprehensive package: one to raise the tobacco age to 21, one to improve the nation’s public health data systems, one to expand health care to rural areas through telehealth, and provisions of a bill to increase patent transparency for biologic drugs.

“I’m excited that my reforms to improve our health care system were included in this bipartisan package, including my bill with Leader McConnell to raise the tobacco age to 21. Our nation is facing a youth e-cigarette epidemic, and this legislation is a critical step to help keep tobacco products out of kids’ hands. I’m pleased this package also includes my legislation with Senators Isakson and King to boost our ability to respond quickly to health threats like the recent outbreak of vaping-linked lung injuries. Countless people will benefit from the expansion of telehealth in rural areas, greater patent transparency for innovative treatments, and reforms to stop the surprise medical bills that have wreaked financial havoc on families. This is a good compromise, and I hope we’ll quickly pass it into law.”

Kaine’s proposals were drawn from four bipartisan bills he introduced this year: 

·         The Tobacco-Free Youth Act, legislation Kaine introduced with Senate Majority Leader McConnell to raise the nationwide minimum age to buy all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21. The bill passed the HELP Committee in June. The following Virginia organizations support the Tobacco-Free Youth Act: Virginia Rural Health Association, Prevention Council of Roanoke County, Piedmont Community Services Board, Drug Free MHC (Martinsville-Henry County), Fresh (Focus on Response and Education to Stay Healthy) – Franklin County, RAYSAC, One Care of SWVA, and Loudoun Youth, Inc.

·         The Saving Lives Through Better Data Act, bipartisan legislation Kaine introduced with Senators Isakson and King to modernize public health data infrastructure so clinicians, state health departments, and the CDC can work together more quickly and seamlessly to identify and respond to health threats like the current outbreak of vaping-linked lung injuries.

·         The Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes Act of 2019 (ECHO 2019 Act), legislation Kaine introduced with Senators Schatz and Murkowski to increase access to health care services in rural areas by expanding the use of technology-based collaborative learning and capacity building models. 

·         Key provisions of the Biologic Patent Transparency Act, legislation Kaine introduced with Senator Collins to require companies to publicly disclose the web of patents that protect their biologics, making it easier for competitors to evaluate and plan for the development of biosimilar versions of these drugs. It would also discourage late-filed patents and require the FDA to regularly publish information in its “Purple Book” on approved biologics, such as patents, exclusivity, and biosimilarity. 

The agreement also includes reforms to tackle surprise medical bills and extends funding for community health centers and other key primary care programs for five years. A list of Virginia CHCs can be found here. It also includes as a number of other reforms to address the youth e-cigarette epidemic – like provisions improving age verification, increasing penalties on retailers selling tobacco products to those under 21, updating regulations on advertising and sales requirements for all tobacco products, preventing online sales of e-cigarettes to those under 21, including e-cigarettes in the definition of tobacco products banned in schools, and requiring labeling directly on e-cigarette devices.

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Legislative Update

Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – December 9, 2019



Members of Congress are back in Washington after a Thanksgiving spent in our districts with family and friends. Last week, Americans came together to cherish their blessings – they put aside their differences and joined hands in giving thanks. It is my hope that this tradition can transcend that single day in November and reverberate year-round.

Speaker Pelosi has said that impeachment must be, “compelling, overwhelming, and bipartisan.” Unfortunately, none of what has been presented so far has been any of these things. Instead, we have a desire to move this process along at unprecedented speed. This week’s Judiciary hearing began with Chairman Nadler denying Republican motions to call Chairman Schiff as a witness to testify in front of the committee regarding his report. The American people and the attorneys who sit on the Committee were then given a lecture on the Constitution by four law professors. But as I’ve heard during my travels across our part of Virginia, citizens care about moving this nation forward and want Congress to focus on passing the USMCA trade agreement, lowering prescription drug prices, and fixing our crumbling infrastructure. I wrote a column this week about the ongoing impeachment process in greater detail, here.

Working For Virginia’s Sixth District:
Since taking office in January, I have worked to be an effective voice for the Sixth District and for the people who call it home. Although the division runs especially deep on Capitol Hill this year, I have sought to reach across the aisle to get things done for my constituents and the country. I have worked to bring a spirit of bipartisanship and friendship to the House of Representatives. Together, we have passed bills benefiting everyone from veterans to small business owners to inventors and artists. In order to do our jobs in serving the American people, we must put aside partisan politics and work with one another. Only then can we move this nation forward and help ensure the success of every American citizen. To read more about my first year in office, click here.

When traveling throughout the Sixth District, constituents often tell me stories of the irritating robocalls that constantly plague their telephones. On Wednesday, Congress took a step toward stopping these daily annoyances and passed S. 151, the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act with overwhelming support. The measure will allow the imposition of civil penalties for violating the prohibition on robocalls, which involve the use of automated dialing equipment or an artificial or prerecorded voice. The bill also will give the FCC the authority to seek and enforce financial penalties against those making calls with misleading caller identification information, a practice known as “spoofing.” The TRACED Act, which I proudly cosponsored in the House, represents a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the bill, and its passage is proof that even a divided Congress can get things done when we abandon partisan politics and work for the Americans we represent.

Pearl Harbor:
Seventy-eight years ago, on December 7th at 7:48am Hawaii time, residents were awoken to find a changed world and an America at war. In two waves from six aircraft carriers, the Naval base at Pearl Harbor was attacked, resulting in 2,403 Americans killed, 1,178 others wounded, and four battleships sunk with another four damaged. As that day’s events grow more distant, we must never forget the sacrifices paid by those who gave their last full measure and always remember those who fought and perished in the coming battles in the Pacific and Atlantic fronts.

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.

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

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Legislative Update

Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – December 3, 2019



As we celebrated Thanksgiving last week, I am forever grateful to the residents of the Sixth District for putting their trust in me to serve as their representative in Washington. While many believe that the first Thanksgiving was observed in Massachusetts, as proud Virginians, we know that it was in fact celebrated right here in our Commonwealth at the very inception of our nation. We are blessed to live in a country that affords every citizen the opportunity to succeed, and we must always remember those that came before us who made the endeavor that is the story of American possible.


“We ordain that this day of our ships arrival, at the place assigned for plantation, in the land of Virginia, shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

The above prayer was recited on December 4, 1619, not in Plymouth, Massachusetts but at Berkley Plantation, Virginia just over a year before the meal in Plymouth took place. The settlers who landed at Berkley were a small religious-minded group who decided that annually they would celebrate their successful and safe voyage from England with prayer.

This thousand-acre property, in what is modern day Charles City County, Virginia, is the sight of the true first English Thanksgiving in the New World. When President John F. Kennedy issued the Thanksgiving proclamation in 1962, he failed to acknowledge Virginia’s role in establishing the holiday. After a hearing from a Virginia Senator, Kennedy acknowledged that “over three centuries ago, our forefathers in Virginia and Massachusetts, far from home, in a lonely wilderness set aside a time of Thanksgiving.”

Roanoke Rescue Mission:
The Roanoke Rescue Mission has been dedicated to providing assistance to individuals and families in need since 1948. Last week, I had the opportunity to tour the Mission and serve meals to those seeking the Mission’s services. On any given night, the Roanoke Rescue Mission’s dedicated staff and volunteers provide emergency shelter for nearly 300 men, women, and children, serve nearly 200 meals, and offer an addiction recovery program. This holiday season, let us all take time to lend a hand to those in need and spur hope of a better tomorrow. Thank you, Roanoke Rescue Mission, for your tireless efforts and continued commitment to our community.

Turkey and the Sixth District:

Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District is the largest agriculture producing district in the Commonwealth, and its turkey production plays an integral part in that equation. In the Sixth District alone, the turkey industry employs 5,472 people.

Further, the turkey industry in the Sixth District has an economic impact of almost $1.49 billion. This number comes not only from the direct output of the agriculture community, but also includes the indirect economic benefit to the trucking, banking, real estate, accounting, and even printing industries.

Rockingham County has hundreds of turkey farms and was once known as the Turkey Capital of the World. In the 1920s, a man named Charles Wampler, Sr. successfully incubated turkey eggs and raised turkeys in confinement, which set the stage for the modern turkey industry. If driving into the county from the north or south on Route 11, one will see large bronze turkey statues that were erected in the 1950s.

When Congress Returns:

This week, the Judiciary Committee will be tasked with continuing the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. I look forward to finally addressing this inquiry in the only committee that actually has jurisdiction over this process so that, once completed, Congress can move forward and focus on the important issues facing Virginia’s Sixth District. We must begin to address our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, securing our borders, passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, and work to lower prescription drug prices.

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.

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

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Legislative Update

Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – November 27, 2019



It is great to be home preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving. As we gather with family and friends this week, let us be mindful of the blessings each of us has been granted. May we also remember those defending our nation in known and unknown places who are away from their families standing watch during this holiday season.

Unfortunately, last week the House was once again wrapped up in impeachment despite the fact that we still have no budget deal beyond December 20, have no resolution to securing our southern border, and have yet to pass the USMCA trade agreement nearly a year after it was reached.


The Majority’s three-year obsession with impeaching President Trump is distracting Congress from the real work we should be doing for Americans: improving our Nation’s infrastructure and highways such as I-81, fully funding our Nation’s military and veterans’ programs, securing our border and preventing the flood of gangs, drugs, and human trafficking that has flowed across it, and supporting our farmers and manufacturers by approving the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA).
Since the very beginning, the Majority has taken an impeachment at all costs strategy in an attempt to undo the 2016 election and undermine the votes of nearly 63 million Americans. It is time to move on from this inquiry and get back to work for the American people.

 Click to watch comments from Congressman Ben Cline. WSET 11/13/19

Continuing Resolution:
Our nation is on the edge of a fiscal cliff, and our government avoided a shutdown last week by passing yet another Continuing Resolution. These sorts of stopgap funding deals do nothing but push our problems off to another day, while harming our military and jeopardizing our national security. Legislation like this is nothing more than a band-aid on our broken budget process, and Congress has yet to send a single appropriations bill to the President’s desk. We must return to regular order in our appropriations process to ensure a stable fiscal future for the American people.

This week will mark one year since the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement was sent to Congress for ratification. It has been nearly 365 days, and this Chamber has yet to take any action toward passing this critical agreement. Canada and Mexico are vital agricultural trade partners for the United States, and our farmers export nearly $40 billion in goods to our neighbors to the north and south annually. Further, independent studies show that the USMCA trade agreement would add $68 billion to the U.S. economy and spur 176,000 new jobs. There is no reason why the House should continue to stall the implementation of a deal that will have a profoundly beneficial impact on the American workforce. Congress must put partisan politics aside and pass this deal for the betterment of our constituents.

JMU Washington Semester Program:
The Sixth District is fortunate to be home to more than 20 institutions of higher education, including James Madison University in Harrisonburg. JMU is known for providing its students with exceptional opportunities, one of which is its Washington Semester Program. This program allows JMU students to study and work in Washington, D.C., while taking advantage of everything the city has to offer. Last week, I was thrilled to be one of the program’s guest speakers and spent nearly two hours engaging with students and hearing their concerns. We discussed not only the hot button issues of the day, but also what it takes to be successful after graduation. Many students were participating in internships here on Capitol Hill, which offer a front row seat to the legislative process. If you or someone you know is interested in an internship with my office, please click here.

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.

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

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Legislative Update

Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – November 17, 2019



This week, I had the honor of traveling the Sixth District and meeting with the men and women who served our country in celebration of Veterans Day. Spending time amongst America’s finest made it all the more difficult to return to the tumultuous environment that is Washington. Yet again, the House spent an inordinate amount of time talking about impeachment, despite the fact that another government shutdown looms just around the corner. With another week in the books, I remain committed to being available to constituents and fighting for policies that will benefit the great Commonwealth of Virginia.

Open Impeachment Hearings:

I am honored to be a Member of the Judiciary Committee, but I spent this week watching the Intelligence Committee hear testimony from several “witnesses,” none of whom had first-hand knowledge of any conversation between President Trump and the President of Ukraine. Unfortunately, the process still remains far from fair considering the Majority continues to deny key witnesses from testifying, has blocked the White House Counsel from participating, and has scheduled two additional secret hearings. Further, precedent has been broken by removing this inquiry from the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee, and Speaker Pelosi has rejected the adoption of the bipartisan Rodino rules used during the Nixon and Clinton impeachment proceedings. This process has become fundamentally and irredeemably flawed, while doing great harm to the Institution of Congress and the Rule of Law.

Military Families and Veterans Month:

In recognition of Military Families and Veterans Month, this week Congress passed a number of bills honoring veterans including legislation that aids veteran entrepreneurs start businesses and expands female veterans’ health care – women are the fastest growing segment of the veteran population. Additionally, while in Washington this week, I met with the Navy League to discuss their legislative priorities for the coming year and attended an event hosted by Rivers of Recovery, an organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI.

Further, it was an honor and privilege to participate in events throughout the Sixth District to pay tribute to those who served. With stops in Botetourt, Lexington, Vinton, and Roanoke, it was inspiring to listen to our veterans and hear how deep their patriotism still runs.

A Win For Poultry:

Prior to 2014, the United States was exporting nearly $500 million worth of poultry products to China annually. Unfortunately, in 2015 China banned the importation of U.S. poultry due to an outbreak of avian flu. As the second largest exporter of poultry in the world, this was a huge loss for American farmers. However, since President Trump took office, it has been a top priority of his Administration to reopen this market. After tireless efforts from the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative, China announced this week that it will lift its ban on U.S. poultry products. This change in policy is a significant win for Sixth District farmers and businesses, as poultry is one of the Commonwealth’s largest exports. It is estimated that the reopening of this market will result in an additional $1 billion in economic output and speaks to the importance of why Congress must pass better trade deals like the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Town Halls:

Being accessible to the citizens of the Sixth District is one of my most important responsibilities as Congressman. Whether it’s jobs and the economy, trade and foreign affairs, or transportation and I-81, I always appreciate hearing from constituents about the issues that matter most to them. It was a pleasure holding a town hall in each of the Sixth District’s nineteen localities over the past year, and I look forward to continuing to holding forums like this in the future.

Virginia’s Political Landscape:
As you all know, Democrats now control both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly. In the past, thanks in large part to its legislature, Virginia has been an extremely well-run state, ranking among the top states to do business. However, many fear that this change will sweep away past progress. But rest assured that on the federal level, I am fighting to make sure that the Commonwealth maintains its competitive edge.

Recognizing that offshore oil and natural gas exploration could bring thousands of jobs to local Virginia economies, I did not support totally outlawing the practice as called for in HR. 1941, the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act.

Virginia holds the title as the best state in the nation in which to do business. Recent state and federal efforts to undermine the Commonwealth’s right-to-work status is the reason that during a markup in the Education and Labor Committee, I opposed H.R. 2774, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, which would inhibit a worker’s ability to freely negotiate his or her own pay and right to freedom of association.

Continuing to fight to ensure Virginia remains competitive and that its residents have the best possible opportunity to succeed remains one of my greatest priorities.
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.

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

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Legislative Update

Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline: Honoring our Nation’s Veterans



Honoring our Nation’s Veterans
On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, the guns of World War I finally fell silent, and the armistice with Germany went into effect. Out of the ashes of this day rose what was originally called Armistice Day but since 1954 has been recognized and set aside as Veterans Day.

On this Veterans Day, we recognize the roughly 20 million veterans who have served this country in both war and peace, and as a Nation, we extend a hand of gratitude to all our veterans who put their lives on the line daily to protect freedom on our soil and around the globe.

As a Member of Congress, advocating for our veterans and their families is a top priority. My district offices in Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Roanoke, and Staunton help veterans with their claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and in Washington, I am always looking for new ways to do more to support those who have supported us.

Over the past year, my colleagues and I have strived to honor veterans by advocating for and passing legislation, some of which the president has signed into law, concerning burn pits, suicide prevention, veteran healthcare options, Blue Water Navy, the widow’s tax, Reserve and National Guard bankruptcy, and opening up membership into the American Legion for previously disqualified veterans.

Couple that with some good employment and economic news: The 2018 veteran unemployment rate of 3.5 percent was the lowest since 2000, meaning that the unemployment compensation payments to veterans fell to $178 million in 2018 from a high of almost $1 billion in 2011.

Burn Pit Registry Enhancement Act:
Passing the House in March, H.R. 1381, the Burn Pit Registry Enhancement Act, would strengthen and expand the VA’s registry of service members who were exposed to toxic chemicals and fumes from burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. This measure currently awaits further action in the U.S. Senate.

Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act:
In June, the president signed H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. For decades, tens of thousands of veterans suffering from diseases caused by Agent Orange in the Vietnam War and their families have been denied their earned benefits under the Agent Orange Act of 1991. While it was long past due, the House voted unanimously to correct the injustice done to Blue Water Navy veterans. Under the bill’s provisions, veterans who served in specified offshore areas near Vietnam from January 9, 1962, through May 7, 1975 will be given the presumption of Agent Orange exposure, thus allowing them to receive medical care and disability compensation.

Also in June, a new VA program went into effect. Titled the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthen Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act, this legislation overhauled VA care programs by allowing veterans to seek medical treatment outside of the VA system. While the VA offers overwhelming support to our nation’s veterans, those who wish to seek health services outside the system should have the right to do so. This bill does not force any veteran out of the VA system, but simply ensures that our service members have access to the quality and timely care they have earned. As the VA continues to implement the changes laid out in the MISSION Act, you may rest assured that my colleagues and I in Congress will continue to hold the agency accountable to protect against any veteran falling victim to a broken system.

On July 30, I joined the President in the Oval Office as he signed H.R. 1641, the Let Everyone Get Involved in Opportunities for National Service (LEGION) Act. This legislation expands American Legion membership criteria to include all honorably discharged veterans who served their country. The passage of this legislation means that our heroes who have served in times of unrecognized conflicts will finally be eligible to join the American Legion. Passing this bipartisan bill was the right thing to show our gratitude for those military members who honorably served and for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during unrecognized periods of conflict.

National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act:
In August, the President signed another one of my bills, H.R. 3304, the National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act into law. Under the new law, certain members of the National Guard and Reserves who fall on hard economic times after returning from active duty deployment will continue to obtain relief without having to fill out the substantial paperwork required by the so-called “means test” under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. This bipartisan legislation allowed us to extend the commonsense measure of relieving our veterans of burdensome paperwork for four years.

Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act:
Additionally, I was pleased to also support legislation aimed at ending the “widow’s tax” and to expand the burn pit registry program. Impacting an estimated 67,000 military survivors, I was proud to cosponsor H.R. 553, the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act. If passed, this legislation would allow the survivors of deceased servicemen and women to keep their Military Survivor Benefit Plan payments when they are awarded the VA’s Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. Dubbed the “widow’s tax,” current law calls for an offsetting of these two payments, in some cases wiping out most or all the Benefit Plan payments.

Improve Act:
It is a national shame that 20 veterans a day die by suicide, and 14 out of these 20 veterans are not under the care of the VA and are outside the system. After 15 years and billions of dollars spent on VA mental health programs, the statistic has remained virtually unchanged.

To address this ongoing problem, I cosponsored H.R. 3495, the Improve Well-Being for Veterans Act, which if passed, would create a grant program that would allow the VA to tap into the nationwide network of organizations, including state and local organizations, already providing lifesaving services to local veterans, especially those the VA has not been able to reach before. It is my hope that this much needed legislation reaches the House floor soon and that its intended purpose saves the lives of our service men and women who suffer from the unseen costs of war.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please call the Veterans Crisis Line below for help:

More Work To Be Done:
While Congress has done much since January, there must be continued focus on the veteran suicide rate, as well as improvement on the quality and timeliness of healthcare treatment, female veterans, veteran homelessness, and military spouse hiring.

Females are the fastest-growing segment of the veteran population. They are also most at risk for becoming homeless. The VA must continue to improve on their healthcare delivery for female veterans. There must be uniform and consistent care in the VA system that meets the unique needs of all female veterans at every hospital within the VA system.

After a decade of reduction in veteran homelessness, the number of veterans on the street has ticked up slightly, with housing prices in cities like New York and Los Angeles being the leading cause. Although we spend billions on helping the homeless, we must ensure that there are jobs that can provide the means to support them and their families. We must not rest until every veteran who wants to work has a job, and every veteran who is homeless is housed.

For over 250 years, our nation has produced individuals who came before us in the fights for freedom and democracy. Our republic has been blessed that there are those for whom service above self is more than a saying but a way of life.

On Veterans Day we honor your courage and sacrifice, and we salute you and your family for service to our nation.

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.

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

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King Cartoons

‘Tis the Season


Front Royal
Rain / Freezing Rain
07:2216:51 EST
Feels like: 32°F
Wind: 1mph ESE
Humidity: 94%
Pressure: 30.31"Hg
UV index: 0


Upcoming Events

6:00 pm Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Dec 13 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Ruby Yoga will host a Holiday Open House Friday, Dec. 13. Doors open at 6 p.m. with free gentle yoga starting at 6:20, followed by refreshments and door prize drawings.
7:30 pm Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Dec 13 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
The Blue Ridge Singers presents its 2019 Christmas concert titled “Canticum Novum:  Sing a New Song” featuring some of the finest Christmas choral music across the centuries at one of the most popular events in[...]
11:00 am Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
December 14 is the 220th anniversary of George Washington’s death. Today we will learn more about this great leader of our country and celebrate his legacy. Refreshments will be served. For ages 7 to 18.[...]
11:00 am Saturday with Santa @ Warren County Community Center
Saturday with Santa @ Warren County Community Center
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Saturday with Santa @ Warren County Community Center
Bring the kids and your camera for yummy snacks, crafts, and a picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus! All are welcome!
1:00 pm “Clara, Little Mouse & the Golde... @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
“Clara, Little Mouse & the Golde... @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Dec 14 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
"Clara, Little Mouse & the Golden Key" @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Join us for this original version of the timeless story ballet The Nutcracker Suite. Follow Clara and Little Mouse on a journey to find what the Golden Key unlocks… Christmas will never be the same[...]
4:00 pm R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
Dec 15 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas Concert @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
The local community is invited to join the Randolph-Macon Academy family for an afternoon of holiday spirit with the R-MA Band and Chorus! The annual R-MA Christmas Concert will be held on Sunday, December 15th,[...]
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 17 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
7:30 pm Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Dec 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert | Presented by the American Legion Community Band Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at 7:30 pm Boggs Chapel on the R-MA campus in Front Royal, VA
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 18 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 19 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]