News From Congressman Ben Cline
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Sixth District Perspectives
with Congressman Ben Cline

    As the District Work Period comes to an end, defeating COVID-19 remains at the top of our agenda in Washington. I enjoyed the opportunity to hear from business leaders in Botetourt this past week and chat with government students at James River High School. With the House returning to Washington, I would also like to hear from you to better understand what issues you believe Congress should focus on in the last two months of the 116th Congress. Be sure to take the survey below and let me know. However, one issue I know we should take up is ensuring the integrity of our federal elections. Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, there was some very promising news regarding a potential vaccine this past week from Pfizer and Moderna. Finally, this past week we honored our Nation's servicemembers as we celebrated Veterans Day.  

COVID-19 Vaccine Update:

     In extremely encouraging news this past week, Pfizer and Moderna announced that the first interim analysis of their Phase Three vaccine candidates were found to be 90% and 94.5% effective respectively in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. According to CNBC, scientists were hoping for a coronavirus vaccine that is at least 75% effective, while White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has previously said one that is 50% or 60% effective would be acceptable. Both Pfizer and Moderna plan to ask the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization of their two-dose vaccines later this month, after the companies have collected the recommended two months of safety data. By the end of the year, it is reported that the two companies would be able to manufacture enough doses to immunize 40 million people. Experts believe we could have wide-spread vaccine availability by early Spring. 


Botetourt Chamber of Commerce:

     It was a pleasure to join the Botetourt Chamber of Commerce on a video-call this past week to hear first-hand from small business owners and to answer questions regarding negotiations on future COVID-19 relief legislation. As of right now, Majority Leader McConnell has said that Congress should pass a limited stimulus bill by the end of the year, especially after positive data on unemployment and encouraging news on a COVID vaccine. This limited plan is around $500 billion, but Speaker Pelosi says this package is inadequate and continues to push her $2.4 trillion plan to bail out poorly-run cities and states. But regardless of where things stand now, as I return to Washington, I will continue to advocate for targeted relief to individuals and businesses, as well as fight for liability protections to be included in any proposal. As our economy continues to reopen, the last thing our small business owners should be worried about are frivolous lawsuits.   


Take Your Legislator to School Day:

     Since taking office, it has been a priority of mine to meet with students across the Sixth District. It has been a pleasure engaging with these bright young minds who will soon be tomorrow's leaders. As they prepare for the next steps in their lives, whether that be college, joining the military, or entering the workforce, I wish to instill in them the importance of service to others. And this past week, I participated in the Virginia School Boards Association's "Take Your Legislator to School Day" at James River High School in Botetourt. While there, l enjoyed chatting with government students and hearing about issues regarding the legislative process and college affordability. I look forward to meeting with more students in the new year and continuing to foster the value of public service.  


Your Opinion Matters:

     This weekly e-newsletter regularly provides updates on my work both in Washington and from across the Sixth District. However, as your representative, hearing from you is equally as important to me. As the House returns to Washington this week, it faces some tough questions in its remaining legislative days. I value your opinion and want to hear from you about which issues you believe the House should focus on in the next two months. Take the survey below and let me know.


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. This past week, as we celebrated Veterans Day, we recognized those who have served this country in both war and peace, and as a Nation, we extended our gratitude to all our Veterans who put their lives on the line to protect freedom at home and around the world. 


     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 and across the Sixth District, please follow my Facebook and Twitter pages.