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Legislative Update

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

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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.

Impeachment:

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.

USMCA:
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 – December 3, 2019

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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.

Thanksgiving:

“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 17, 2019

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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

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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.

VA MISSION Act:
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.

LEGION Act:
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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Legislative Update

Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – November 6, 2019

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Working to make college more affordable and to reduce regulations, I spent much of last week in the House Education and Labor Committee fighting to ensure that parents and students would not be adversely impacted by legislation reauthorizing the Higher Education Act. I also took time to join my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month to call attention to this growing issue in America. Finally, when I returned home to the Sixth District, I had the pleasure of continuing my Fall Farm Tour to meet with the hardworking producers throughout our area. It was an eventful few days, and I am excited to be back in the Sixth District interacting directly with my constituents.

Higher Education Act:
Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District is home to more colleges and universities than almost any area in the country. To ensure that these institutions continue to thrive, we must address the skyrocketing cost to parents, the crushing debt to students, and the burdensome regulations to administrators. Unfortunately, at an estimated cost to the taxpayers of over $400 billion and coming in at 1,200 pages long, legislation passed out of the Education and Labor Committee does not accomplish these goals. One of the amendments I offered would have provided necessary reforms by returning much of the administrative oversight power to the states and private sector, increased accountability and transparency, and pushed down the rising cost of tuition. Unfortunately, committee Democrats voted my amendment down, which I believe was the best alternative to their proposal and instead favored interventionist methods that will stifle innovation at institutions and stunt intellectual growth on campuses. The misnamed College Affordability Act (CAA) fails to produce solutions to make higher education work better for Americans, and instead, the Democrats doubled down on provisions that only exacerbate the problems people face today in the education space.

Click picture to watch comments.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month:
Last week, we recognized Domestic Violence Awareness Month to acknowledge the strength of survivors and call for an end to the abuse experienced by more than 2 million Americans each year. Whether in the VA House of Delegates or in Congress, I have been and will continue to be, a tireless advocate for reforms to end the cycle of abuse.

Click picture to watch comments.

Fall Farm Tour:
Last Friday, I embarked on the third day of my Fall Farm Tour of the Sixth District, and was pleased to be joined by Ranking Member of the House Committee on Agriculture, Mike Conaway (TX-11). Together we met with local farmers throughout Amherst, Bedford, and Botetourt counties. A few of our stops included Greenvalley Meat Processors and Albert Family Farm in Monroe, VA – as well as tours of Kennedy Farm in Bedford and Jeter Farm on the James in Buchanan.

A common theme we heard throughout the day was the need to pass the USMCA trade agreement. This agreement would benefit our local 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.

Roanoke County Town Hall:
I recently held a town hall in Roanoke County at the Charles R. Hill Community Center in Vinton, VA. I was pleased to be joined by Congressman Morgan Griffith (VA-09) who participated as my special guest. As with my previous town hall meetings, I enjoyed the opportunity to engage directly with the nearly 100 constituents in attendance. I always appreciate the privilege of listening to those I represent and hearing about the issues that matter most to them.

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 28, 2019

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Last week was a busy week in Washington, and while the impeachment inquiry was a major focus on Capitol Hill, the House was still able to pass a handful of important pieces of legislation like the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act and the CASE Act, both of which are bills I have supported and worked for passage of this year. In addition, I am still eager to address issues like passing the USMCA trade agreement, fixing our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, and addressing the country’s broken immigration system. I hope now that we have returned to Washington that Speaker Pelosi will begin considering bills like these that are of critical importance to the American people.

Debbie Smith Act:
As a former prosecutor, I know how critical DNA evidence can be in achieving justice for victims of sexual violence. Last week, the House passed the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act, which is crucial in supporting law enforcement agencies’ efforts to reduce DNA backlogs and protect people from violent sexual predators. While I have been a vocal advocate for the Senate version of this legislation, I am confident that this House bill is a step in the right direction.

CASE Act:
Last week, the House also passed H.R. 2426, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act – legislation of which I was proud to be an original cosponsor. This bill would create a Copyright Small Claims Board within the Copyright Office to provide 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.

A Blow to ISIS:
Our nation saw a great victory in the fight against terror this weekend. At the direction of President Trump, U.S. Special Operations Forces executed a secret mission to capture or kill ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Without the loss of American life, Special Forces entered Syria and successfully eliminated the world’s most wanted terrorist. With this action, not only is the world a safer place, but ISIS is dealt a serious blow to their ability to carry out terror activities in the region. We owe a debt of gratitude to the brave men and women who carried out this mission to ensure evil does not win. I applaud President Trump for his commitment to rooting out terror all over the world, and I thank our intelligence and Special Operations communities for the dedication to ensure such a successful outcome.

A Call For Transparency:
Precedent demands that impeachment proceedings against a president should be conducted in the Judiciary Committee. In fact, that is what the Committee, of which I am a member, was doing over the last six months. My colleagues on the other side of the aisle have been searching for something—anything—that they could use to impeach this President. After failing to achieve their goal, Speaker Pelosi has removed further investigations from the Judiciary Committee so that they can be conducted behind closed doors. The American people deserve better, and most of all, they deserve transparency. As your duly elected representative, I have been denied the ability to read any records, documents, or transcripts from the closed door hearings taking place in the basement of the Capitol. This lack of openness is what my colleagues and I were protesting last week outside the Intelligence Committee. While I was not allowed inside the Committee, I have officially requested to review all materials from the ongoing investigation in accordance with House rules. To read my letter to Chairman Schiff, please click here. Every citizen deserves to know what the three committees investigating the President are learing, just as they learned everything during the earlier hearings in the Judiciary Committee. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I will continue to advocate for greater transparency in this deeply flawed process.

Meeting with Constituents:
Last week, a number of groups from Virginia’s Sixth District made the trip to Washington to discuss with me the issues that matter most to them. For example, graduate students from the JMU School of Nursing stopped by my office to discuss a broad range of healthcare policy initiatives. Our rural communities are often under-served in their healthcare needs, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact these students will have in the future. Additionally, constituents from Mt. Crawford visited the office to support passage of the USMCA trade agreement, which will have a profoundly beneficial impact on our District’s agriculture industry. When the House is in session, it does not mean my ability to assist folks across the Sixth District stops. My dedicated staff is always available to serve constituents, and on a daily basis, they meet with residents and attend community events to ensure the voices of those who call the Sixth District home are heard.

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 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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‘Tis the Season

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Front Royal
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Quotes

Upcoming Events

Dec
10
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 10 @ 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.[...]
Dec
11
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 11 @ 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.[...]
Dec
12
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 12 @ 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.[...]
Dec
13
Fri
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[...]
Dec
14
Sat
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.[...]
Dec
15
Sun
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,[...]
Dec
17
Tue
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
Dec
18
Wed
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.[...]