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Legislative Update

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

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

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

Read more here at WHVS:

And here at WDBJ:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Legislative Update

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

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

Higher-Education Roundtable: 

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

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

Focusing on Education:

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

Town Hall:


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

News VirginianCline, Riggleman hold town hall in Bedford

Around The Sixth:

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

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

Academy Nominations:

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

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

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Legislative Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Legislative Update

Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – September 14th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Legislative Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Legislative Update

Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – August 31, 2019

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Labor Day
As we look to celebrate Labor Day, I want to take a moment to discuss the significant job growth and record-breaking employment numbers our country has seen over the past two years. This Administration’s commitment to reversing burdensome regulations, cutting taxes, and providing business incentives has resulted in more Americans in the workforce than ever before and more money in the pockets of this country’s citizens.

Since January of 2017, more than 5.7 million jobs have been created. Industries such as education and health services, professional and business services, and financial services have seen the greatest uptick in employment meaning the jobs created are offering high paying, family sustaining wages. The current unemployment rate stands at 3.7% making July the 17th straight month of unemployment under 4%. This continued job growth has significantly benefited minority communities as well, with the African American and Hispanic unemployment rates near record lows. Veterans have also benefited seeing an 18-year low in unemployment under this Administration, and women are experiencing the lowest rate of unemployment in more than a decade.

With wage growth at a 3.2% yearly rate and more open jobs than there are people to fill them, I know that our country is on the right track.

Just this week, I made several stops at local businesses, learning from folks the struggles they’re facing and the battles they’re winning. I met with farmers, manufacturers, and business owners and saw first-hand how this Administration’s policies of cutting taxes and regulations are benefiting the working class.

This positive growth has reached Virginia and is contributing to businesses wanting to invest and grow in places like the Sixth District. In Glasgow, the town just opened a new events venue which will bring more visitors to the town and surrounding communities. I also recently attended an economic development announcement for Howell Metal which will be investing $8 million to expand their facility in New Market, adding more than 100 new jobs.

Labor Day was established to celebrate the working people of this country. I am proud to represent an area of the Commonwealth that is thriving and continues to be competitive nationally.

Ranking as the nation’s top state to do business in, per CNBC, is only a small testament to all Virginia has to offer. It is the people of this country and Commonwealth that make it successful.

National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act:

Last week, President Trump signed H.R. 3304, the National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act into law. I was proud to be the lead Republican sponsor of this bill which passed the House 417-1.

The legislation ensures that certain members of the National Guard and Reserves who fall on hard economic times after returning from active duty deployment will continue to obtain bankruptcy relief without having to fill out the substantial paperwork required by the so-called “means test” under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Serving a recall to active duty is hard enough on Guardsmen, Reservists, and their families, it should not be made more difficult by financial uncertainty. I am pleased that the President recently signed this bill giving a crucial lifeline for returning service members who have fallen on hard economic times. We must continue to support our nation’s warriors who put service above self.

This measure becomes the third bill I have authored that has been signed into law this month, and I will continue to advocate for policies that will benefit constituents in the Sixth Congressional District.

Mobile Office Hours:
For those in need of constituent services, staff will host Casework Staff Mobile Office Hours next week. A staff member will be available to meet with citizens to assist with problems they might have with a federal agency and hear their views on current issues before Congress. Mobile office hours will take place at the following locations:

Amherst Casework Staff Mobile Office
Tuesday, September 3, 2019 – 9:00am
Amherst County Administration Building (Board of Supervisors Room)
153 Washington Street
Amherst, VA 24521

Front Royal Casework Staff Mobile Office
Wednesday, September 4, 2019 – 10:00am
Samuels Public Library (Baxter-Bowling Conference Room)
330 East Criser Road
Front Royal, VA 22630

Elkton Casework Staff Mobile Office
Thursday, September 5, 2019 – 11:30am
Elkton Area Community Center (Council Chambers)
20593 Blue and Gold Drive
Elkton, VA 22827

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Legislative Update

Cline Bill addressing service member debt relief signed by President Trump

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WASHINGTON – President Trump signed H.R. 3304, the National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act into law Friday, August 23. Congressman Ben Cline (VA-06) was the lead Republican sponsor of this bill which passed the House 417-1.

The legislation ensures that certain members of the National Guard and Reserves who fall on hard economic times after returning from active duty deployment will continue to obtain bankruptcy relief without having to fill out the substantial paperwork required by the so-called “means test” under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.

“Serving a recall to active duty is hard enough on Guardsmen, Reservists, and their families, it should not be made more difficult by financial uncertainty,” Cline said. “I am pleased that the President recently signed the National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act, giving a crucial lifeline for returning service members who have fallen on hard economic times. We must continue to support our nation’s warriors who put service above self.”

This measure becomes the third bill Congressman Cline has authored that has been signed into law in the month of August.

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King Cartoons

Get Your Zombie Walk Shirt

Front Royal
46°
Clear
07:2118:35 EDT
Feels like: 46°F
Wind: 0mph NE
Humidity: 93%
Pressure: 29.98"Hg
UV index: 0
SunMonTue
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Quotes

Upcoming Events

Oct
15
Tue
10:00 am Acrylic Painting: An Individuali... @ Art in the Valley
Acrylic Painting: An Individuali... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 15 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Acrylic Painting: An Individualized Approach @ Art in the Valley
With an emphasis on individuality and creativity, this acrylic painting class welcomes all skill levels. Some concepts we will explore include various paint application techniques, color theory, and composition. Within these basic parameters, we will[...]
Oct
16
Wed
10:30 am Art Class “Fall is Here” @ Art in the Valley
Art Class “Fall is Here” @ Art in the Valley
Oct 16 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Art Class "Fall is Here" @ Art in the Valley
We are offering classes for children ages 7-12 who would enjoy expressing themselves through art. The students will expand their creative side with drawing, painting and constructing, using various mediums such as acrylic, pastels, watercolor[...]
7:00 pm Author Jeff Hunt book signing @ Warren Rifles Confederate Museum
Author Jeff Hunt book signing @ Warren Rifles Confederate Museum
Oct 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Author Jeff Hunt book signing @ Warren Rifles Confederate Museum
Author Jeff Hunt will be presenting and signing copies of his books from the Meade and Lee Series at multiple events in the state of Virginia. The first event is at 7:00 pm on Wednesday,[...]
Oct
17
Thu
1:30 pm The Fundamentals of Oil Painting... @ Art in the Valley
The Fundamentals of Oil Painting... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 17 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The Fundamentals of Oil Painting - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This class will focus on proven approaches for successful oil paintings. Subject matter will be the student’s choice. No previous painting experience with oils necessary. The class will introduce students to fundamental concepts of color[...]
Oct
18
Fri
10:00 am R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Oct 18 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Randolph-Macon Academy will welcome alumni and their families back to campus on Friday and Saturday, October 18th and 19th, during the annual Homecoming weekend. Events that are open to the general public include the Homecoming[...]
1:30 pm The Fundamentals of Acrylic Pain... @ Art in the Valley
The Fundamentals of Acrylic Pain... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 18 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The Fundamentals of Acrylic Painting - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This class will focus on proven approaches for successful acrylic paintings. Subject matter will be the student’s choice. No previous painting experience with acrylics necessary. The class will introduce students to fundamental concepts of color[...]
Oct
19
Sat
10:00 am R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Oct 19 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Randolph-Macon Academy will welcome alumni and their families back to campus on Friday and Saturday, October 18th and 19th, during the annual Homecoming weekend. Events that are open to the general public include the Homecoming[...]
10:30 am 2nd Annual Peak Leaf Music & Bre... @ Valley Roots Farm
2nd Annual Peak Leaf Music & Bre... @ Valley Roots Farm
Oct 19 @ 10:30 am – 7:00 pm
2nd Annual Peak Leaf Music & Brewers Festival @ Valley Roots Farm
Join us for the 2nd annual Peak Leaf Music & Brewers Festival! Come party on Saturday, October 19th, 2019, for a day of live music, local brews, local merchants, and local food trucks; all for a[...]
1:00 pm Workshop: An Introduction to Col... @ Art in the Valley
Workshop: An Introduction to Col... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 19 @ 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Workshop: An Introduction to Color Theory @ Art in the Valley
This one day workshop will be an introduction to color theory as it applies to image-making. We will talk about primary, secondary and tertiary colors and how to mix them from a simple palette for[...]
5:30 pm 7th Annual Front Royal Zombie Walk @ Bing Crosby Stadium
7th Annual Front Royal Zombie Walk @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Oct 19 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
7th Annual Front Royal Zombie Walk @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Put on your best zombie costume and practice your best shambling limp, because it’s time for the annual FRONT ROYAL ZOMBIE WALK! The Walk will begin at Bing Crosby Stadium at 6pm sharp. We will[...]