The Senate’s acquittal of President Trump and the State of the Union grabbed most of the headlines this week. I was proud to stand in defense of citizens’ right-to-work and opposed legislation seeking to force people to join a labor union to get or keep a job. It was also a pleasure to have so many different groups from across the Sixth District join me in Washington this week to advocate for the issues they care most about. With impeachment officially behind us, I am hopeful Congress can move past partisanship and spend the next year working for the American people.
From the beginning, Speaker Pelosi said that impeachment must be compelling, overwhelming, and bipartisan. However, the impeachment of President Trump did not possess any of these qualities. The flawed and rushed process conducted in the House, coupled with the lack of evidence required to prove high crimes and misdemeanors, made the acquittal of President Trump by the Senate appropriate and necessary.
The impeachment process in the House was a sham, and it set a dangerous precedent that we must reject moving forward. Never again can we allow one political party to use impeachment as a tool for political gain. This entire process has been little more than an attempt by Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats to overturn the results of the 2016 election and the will of 63 million Americans – all while denying the President his right to due process. The partisanship displayed by some of my colleagues has fueled the rancor and division within this country, and this entire display of political theater will forever be remembered as a sad stain on the House of Representatives.
After wasting months focusing on impeachment, I am hopeful that Congress can now get back to work on issues important to the American people, including improving our Nation’s infrastructure and highways, supporting our military and veterans’ programs, securing our border and preventing the flood of drugs and human trafficking that has flowed across it, and finding solutions to bring down the costs of health insurance and prescription drugs.
State of the Union:
After an eventful few months, President Trump gave his annual address to a joint session of Congress this week. He delivered a message that Americans already knew – that the state of our union is strong. Throughout his speech, he laid out a forward-looking and optimistic agenda that will lead to the continued prosperity of this Nation.
Over the course of the last three years, President Trump and his Administration have accomplished a great deal for the American people. Above all, President Trump’s commitment to cutting bureaucratic red-tape has allowed businesses to thrive and the economy to flourish. Since his swearing in, the United States has added more than 7 million new jobs and a record 160 million people are currently in the workforce. Many of these new jobs have been in the manufacturing sector – a result of more than 12,000 factories opening their doors throughout the President’s term. Further, unemployment currently stands at or near-fifty-year lows, including record lows among African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Women, and Veterans. The President’s landmark Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created opportunity zones to encourage investment in low-income areas, which have lifted nearly 2.5 million Americans out of poverty and risen the median wage for middle-class families by $5,000 a year.
These economic victories can also be seen right here in Virginia. Our Commonwealth’s unemployment rate stands at 2.6 percent – a result of the 120,000 new jobs created in the state since President Trump took office. Unemployment insurance claims are down 22 percent since his election and real median household income in Virginia is up 12 percent. The 212 opportunity zones designated in our state have lifted 137,000 Virginians out of poverty and have inspired hope in our struggling communities.
While the economic success our Nation has seen during this Administration is immense, President Trump has secured countless other victories for our country. Not only has he signed new trade deals like USMCA and the Phase One agreement with China, but he has also made significant progress in securing our border, passed historic criminal justice reform legislation, stood for pro-life values, enhanced vocational education, strengthened our military, and taken out numerous terrorists abroad ensuring the safety and security of our Nation.
Protecting the Right to Organize Act:
This country was founded so that all Americans could have the opportunity to succeed. One way that we promote this is through policies and laws that allow people the right to work, which in turn makes us more competitive in the business market. Thankfully, our Commonwealth is a right-to-work state. And because of this, Virginia was once again ranked as the number one state in which to do business in 2019 by CNBC.
H.R. 2474, which passed the House this week, would inappropriately preempt and prohibit right-to-work laws in 27 states that value and protect this fundamental right. This is unacceptable. In an even further affront to liberty, this bill abhorrently violates the privacy of workers by forcing them to share their personal contact information with union organizers, even when this has been shown to enable harassment and intimidation of those very workers. If signed into law, this bill would have grave impacts on workers and businesses at great cost to the fabric of our workforce.
Every American deserves the right to create their own success from their own volition – free of the requirement that they join an organization solely to hold a job. Simply put, as our Founding Father and fellow Virginian Thomas Jefferson said, “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.” I voted against this bill to protect Virginia workers and stand for the freedom and success in which our Founding Fathers believed.
Sixth District in DC:
It is truly always a pleasure to host Sixth District residents in Washington, D.C.
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.
Cracking Down on Espionage: Rep. Cline’s New Bill Targets Visa Loopholes
The Protecting America from Spies Act Seeks to Fortify U.S. Borders Against Foreign Espionage.
In a bold move to safeguard national security, Congressman Ben Cline introduced legislation aimed at tightening the reins on espionage activities by foreign actors. The proposed “Protecting America from Spies Act” sets forth measures to empower the Department of State with the authority to deny visas to individuals suspected of engaging in espionage or intellectual property theft against the United States.
Targeting Espionage at the Immigration Level
According to Rep. Cline, the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to permeate American society, pilfer intellectual property, and uncover state secrets present a clear and present danger to the nation’s security. This bill, mirroring Senator Ted Cruz’s Senate version, proposes to close loopholes that currently allow expelled spies, particularly those associated with the Chinese Communist Party, to reapply for U.S. visas with little delay.
This legislative action comes on the heels of the Trump Administration’s closure of China’s Houston consulate in 2020, following evidence of espionage and theft of intellectual property. The Protecting America from Spies Act seeks to amend the Immigration and Naturalization Act to ensure that anyone attempting espionage or technology transfer is barred from visa eligibility.
The Path Ahead for Immigration and National Security
If enacted, this bill could signify a major step in overhauling immigration policies with a sharp focus on national security concerns. Rep. Cline believes the country can make significant headway in combating foreign espionage activities by preventing the entry of those who seek to undermine U.S. interests.
As the proposed bill gains traction in Congress, it draws attention to the persistent challenge of intellectual property theft—a problem with vast economic and security implications. The bill is anticipated to prompt a broader discussion on immigration reform and national security strategies in the digital age.
Your Voice Matters: Meet Ben Cline’s Team in Front Royal
Address Your Concerns with Federal Agencies on November 14th.
Congressional representation goes beyond casting votes and debating policies; it’s about genuinely understanding the challenges and aspirations of the people who put their faith in a representative. Congressman Ben Cline knows this and is actively making efforts to be accessible.
For residents of the district who’ve found themselves entangled in bureaucratic complications with federal agencies like the Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or the Internal Revenue Service, relief might be a few days away. Cline’s office is bringing its “Mobile Office Hours” to Front Royal to hear and address constituents’ issues directly.
Whether you’re a veteran navigating the intricacies of the VA, a retiree with Social Security inquiries, or a taxpayer with IRS questions, you’re encouraged to meet and chat with a dedicated member of Congressman Cline’s team. It’s a personalized approach to governance designed to cut through the red tape and bridge the distance between policy-making corridors in Washington, D.C., and the daily lives of ordinary citizens.
The upcoming session will occur on November 14th, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Interested attendees should visit the Baxter-Bowling Conference Room at Samuels Public Library at 330 East Criser Road in Front Royal, VA. It’s an opportunity to seek resolutions and make your voice heard, offering insights that could potentially inform future legislative decisions.
Congressman Cline extends his hope that many will take advantage of this opportunity, reinforcing his commitment to an interactive and dynamic form of representation. Remember, democracy works best when its stakeholders – all of us – actively participate.
Warner and Kaine Announce Over $71 Million to ‘Rapp’ Electric Co-op & Dominion Power to Improve Electric Grid Resiliency Across Virginia
WASHINGTON – Today (Oct. 19), U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $71,816,110 in federal funding to reduce power outages, enable more clean energy sources to reach the electric grid, and provide consumers with cost-saving insights into their power use. The funding, made possible by the bipartisan infrastructure law, which both senators helped pass, was awarded through the Department of Energy’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) program.
“Communities across Virginia need access to consistent, affordable power – especially as we face increasing threats of severe weather and surging demand on our electric grid,” said the senators. “We’re glad to see federal money headed straight to Virginia to make sure we limit power outages, utilize more clean energy, and help folks save money on their power bills.”
The funding is distributed as follows:
- $38,162,015 for the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative for the Enabling EV and DER Adoption through DERMS, AMI, and Fiber Integration Project. This funding will deploy a distributed energy resources management system, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), and a fiber utility network. AMI allows consumers to access cost-saving plans that offer different electricity prices throughout the day. This project will also support the expansion of clean energy within the Rappahannock Tribal Designated Area and lay the fiber network necessary to transmit vast amounts of grid data.
- $33,654,095 for Dominion Energy for the Analytics and Control for Driving Capital Efficiency Project. This funding will expand grid management capabilities to integrate $70 million of clean energy and eliminate approximately 500 outages per year. Additionally, funding will improve grid planning by collecting real-time electrical grid data, increase network capacity to accommodate rising electric use, and work alongside academic institutions to invest in the clean energy jobs pipeline.
Sens. Warner and Kaine have long supported efforts to improve resiliency and invest in clean energy across the Commonwealth. In addition to the GRIP program, the bipartisan infrastructure law provided $47 billion for climate resilience measures to help communities address the impacts of severe weather and $7.5 billion to expand electric vehicle charging stations across the country. Sens. Warner and Kaine also supported the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), landmark legislation that will reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030. In August, Sen. Warner broke ground on the largest-ever clean energy project at a U.S. airport alongside Dominion Energy, which will power 37,000 homes and businesses in Northern Virginia. In April, Kaine hosted an event with the U.S. Department of Energy in Big Stone Gap to discuss clean energy tax credits, economic development, and job creation in the IRA. Additionally, Sens. Warner and Kaine have advocated and secured hundreds of millions in federal funding for initiatives that reduce utility costs for Virginians, including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
(From a release by the Office of Sen. Mark Warner)
Virginia’s Small Businesses Brace for Impending Shutdown
Senators Warner & Kaine Sound the Alarm on Funding Delays and Business Impact.
As the clock ticks down with only a day left to the government funding deadline, Virginia’s small business sector stands on the edge, looking at a precarious future. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine have voiced their concern, emphasizing the potential derailment of businesses in Virginia if the government fails to reach a consensus on its budget.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and economy, and many of these businesses rely on support from the Small Business Administration to operate. Every day the government is shut down, critical access to capital provided by the Small Business Administration will be delayed, forcing Virginia small businesses that rely on this funding to make tough decisions about how they’re going to continue to stay open. The only reason we’re in this position is because of a small but loud group of members in the House who are refusing to fund the government if they don’t get everything they want. We remain committed to working in a bipartisan way to fund the government as quickly as possible.”
The primary concern remains the inability of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to greenlight new loans or alter existing ones through their 7(a) and 504 programs during a shutdown. Breaking down the numbers reveals the gravity of the situation: an estimated financing delay of $2,122,200 daily for Virginia’s small businesses.
This year, the positive momentum was evident as the SBA approved 955 loans, amassing a value of over $488 million, propelling Virginia businesses through their 7(a) program. But this momentum is at risk of being stalled.
The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Voices Survey underscores the sentiments of the business owners. A staggering 91% believe it’s paramount for the federal government to circumvent a shutdown. Moreover, 70% of these owners foresee a negative impact on their establishments if the shutdown ensues. Drilling further into the data, 93% anticipate revenue reduction, while 67% predict a drop in customer demand, attributing it to the ensuing economic uncertainty and instability.
While policy decisions and political wrangling continue, the real impact cascades down to the businesses and, by extension, the people of Virginia. As Senator Warner and Kaine reiterated, “We remain committed to working in a bipartisan way to fund the government as quickly as possible.” Time will tell if their efforts and the voices of the business community will resonate within the halls of Congress.
Virginia Airports to Receive Over $17.2 Million for Vital Upgrades
Investments Aim to Bolster Safety, Infrastructure, and Economic Potential.
Virginia’s skies are about to become safer and more efficient. Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine disclosed a significant grant of $17,259,239 aimed at enhancing several airports across the state.
This hearty financial injection comes courtesy of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s 2023 Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Grant Program. An initiative of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the AIP focuses on the crucial infrastructural elements of our airports. These range from primary aspects like runways and taxiways to the details of lighting, signage, and markings that ensure efficient and safe airport operations.
The latest allocation is a continuation of the ongoing support, with Virginia’s regional airports having benefited from an impressive $56,828,185 through the AIP just this year.
Speaking about this financial boost, the senators jointly expressed, “Our regional airports are pivotal for economic growth in our communities. We’re excited that these funds will enhance safety and reliability by upgrading infrastructure at various airports across the Commonwealth.”
Here’s a breakdown of the allocation:
- Winchester Regional Airport receives $4,875,000 to refresh its apron.
- Leesburg Executive Airport gets $4,018,500 for its apron rehabilitation, a project Senator Kaine highlighted in a recent visit.
- Danville Regional Airport is set to use $3,401,884 to revamp its apron.
- Manassas Regional Airport obtains $3,348,877 for taxiway reconstruction.
- Accomack County Airport in Melfa will use $951,500 to build a taxiway and manage obstructions in its airspace.
- Lee County Airport in Jonesville receives $600,748, focusing on navigation aids and runway upgrades.
- Finally, Mountain Empire Airport in Smyth County gets $62,730 for equipment housing repairs related to airfield lighting systems.
In addition to their most recent announcement, both Warner and Kaine have a history of staunchly backing Virginia’s airports. Just earlier this year, the senators heralded grants totaling over $50 million combined, aimed at amplifying airport safety and capacity. Kaine’s endeavors seek to remedy aviation workforce gaps, laying a roadmap for the education and nurturing of pilots, aviation maintenance staff, and aerospace manufacturing professionals.
In the grand tapestry of modern infrastructure, airports serve as pivotal nodes connecting communities and spurring economic growth. With this latest financial commitment, Virginia’s future in the aviation domain seems to be on an assured upward trajectory.
Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – September 2, 2023
House Republicans have hit the ground running during the District Work Period, highlighting how the new House Republican Majority continues to deliver on our Commitment to America. We ensured our Veterans, our service members, and their families have the resources they deserve. Combatting illegal immigration and restoring America’s sovereignty is a central pillar of our Commitment, and the passage of the Secure the Border Act fulfills that promise. We’ve also held the Biden Administration and federal agencies, like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), accountable to the American people and brought transparency back to how our country is governed. As your Representative, I’ll fight for your values and interests in Washington as Congress returns this fall and help protect the safety, security, and freedom for the people of the Sixth District.
Keeping Our Promise to Our Nation’s Veterans
Congress has a duty to fund the core functions of the federal government responsibly, providing for important programs that help take care of those who have taken care of us. At the top of the list are our Veterans, our service members, and their families. Our Nation’s heroes have sacrificed to give us the cherished freedoms that we have today, and we made a promise to ensure they have the support and resources they deserve.
House Republicans delivered on that promise recently by passing the Fiscal Year 2024 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act — funding that is so important to those who selflessly serve to defend our freedom and protect our homeland. Rest assured, our Nation’s heroes will always have the unwavering support of their Representative in the Sixth District of Virginia. Read more in my op-ed in the Roanoke Times here.
Biden’s Border Crisis Rages On
President Biden and the Far Left’s open border policies have created the worst border crisis on record. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, there were 183,503 illegal border crossings in July, a 27% increase from June. Even more troubling, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has now admitted that 40% of illegal migrants caught and released into our communities have disappeared, with no way to track them.
A secure Nation requires a secure border, which is why earlier this year, House Republicans passed the Secure The Border Act – the strongest border security legislation that Congress has ever considered. While President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas have no plans to get this chaos under control or take any responsibility, we’re fighting to stop it.
Demanding Answers on CCP-Linked Money Going to NIH Employees
It’s no secret that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) remains one of the biggest threats to our country and will do whatever it takes to gain an advantage in its quest for world domination. According to a recent report, National Institutes of Health (NIH) employees – including Dr. Anthony Fauci – took $325 million in payments from companies directly linked to the CCP, posing a risk to our national security.
The American people deserve to know that their public health officials follow the science and make decisions based purely on objective information, not personal financial motives, which is why I joined my colleagues in demanding answers from the NIH on this concerning report. House Republicans will continue working to hold the Big Bureaucracy accountable and ensure our national security is protected from those who wish us harm. Read our letter here.
National Aviation Week
120 years ago, Orville and Wilbur Wright took their first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Decades later, in commemoration of National Aviation Week, we celebrate the many aviation trailblazers who paved the way and innovative businesses shaping today’s industry, such as Dynamic Aviation in the Sixth District, which have helped our Nation be the leader in aviation that it is today.
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.