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

     The 116th Congress adjourned this week, and it has certainly been one for the history books. Beginning in January 2019 in the middle of a government shutdown, we should've known it would be a session full of challenges. It was an honor to be appointed to the Judiciary and Education Committees during my freshman term, and I hit the ground running in pushing policy initiatives that would benefit our community and advance the values that I was sent to Washington for which to fight. Further, my office worked tirelessly to provide critical constituent services on behalf of residents of Virginia’s Sixth District. Whether helping folks deal with the impact of the COVID-19 virus, assisting with a federal agency, or facilitating tour and flag requests, I have made every effort to make myself and staff available to the citizens of our District. Through town hall meetings, community events, mobile office hours, and direct outreach, I have been able to connect with hundreds of thousands of area residents. It has truly been an honor to serve the people of the Sixth District, and I am returning to Washington this week in the 117th Congress with the same passion to move this country forward and advocate those whom I am blessed to represent. 

Passing Legislation:

     Navigating Washington as a freshman Member of Congress can often be tricky. However, my staff and I committed ourselves to building relationships on both sides of the aisle and pursuing commonsense conservative legislation that could make it through both Chambers of Congress, despite facing a politically divided government. These efforts culminated in 6 bills being signed into law that I either introduced myself or co-introduced with a Member of the majority party. Below please find a list of the legislation I have championed that has become law.  

  • LEGION Act — expands American Legion membership criteria to include all honorably discharged veterans who served during unrecognized times of war.
  • Small Business Reorganization Act — simplifies the process for small businesses to use bankruptcy as a means of reorganization, helping them to keep their doors open, employees on payroll, and suppliers and vendors paid.
  • National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Act 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.
  • Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act — creates a process within the Copyright Office to provide for an efficient and less expensive forum for small creators to better enforce their rights.
  • Danger Pay for US Marshals Act — ensures US Marshals qualify for danger pay in certain countries as do employees of other federal law enforcement agencies.
  • National George C. Marshall Museum — designates the ‘George C. Marshall Museum’ as the ‘National George C. Marshall Museum'.

Cosponsoring Legislation:

    In addition to legislation I have introduced myself, I have sought to sign onto bills and resolutions that if passed would serve the best interests of Sixth District residents. While I have cosponsored bills that promote conservative values like protecting the sanctity of life, defending the Second Amendment, securing our borders, lifting the regulatory burden on businesses and farmers, putting America first, and promoting fiscal responsibility, I have also worked tirelessly to reach across the aisle. In fact, over 80 percent of legislation I have introduced or co-led has included members of both parties as cosponsors. As we begin the 117th Congress, I will continue to seek out opportunities to cosponsor legislation that will benefit our region. For a full list of legislation I have cosponsored, click here.  


Working on Your Behalf:

     While the work that occurs in Washington is important, one of the most vital functions of a Member of Congress’ office is helping folks in the District. The staff in my District offices in Harrisonburg, Staunton, Roanoke, and Lynchburg are committed to hearing constituents’ questions, comments, and concerns, and are also dedicated to helping folks deal with the Federal Government. If you cannot get an answer from a federal agency in a timely fashion, or if you feel you have been treated unfairly, our office may be able to help resolve the problem or get you the information you need. If you ever need help dealing with a federal agency, whether it be the Department of Veterans Affairs, IRS, State Department, or any other, please know that my office is here to help. Since January of 2019, my staff and I have worked to close more than 3,000 cases and fought to ensure constituents receive their benefits. To request help with a federal agency, please click here


Accessible to You:

     Reaching from Front Royal in the North to Lynchburg and Roanoke in the South, Virginia’s Sixth District stretches nearly 200 miles long, which is larger than most Congressional Districts across the country. In order to accommodate the size, I opened four District offices at the beginning of my term. However, in an effort to make my staff even more available to constituents, my office regularly hosted Mobile Office Hours prior to the pandemic and will again do so when it is safe. During Mobile Office Hours, my staff travel to localities throughout the District on a rotating basis and meet with constituents to listen to questions, comments, or concerns, as well as help with any issues with the Federal Government. To date, my office has held 130 Mobile Office Hours. To stay up to date on where and when these events will occur, sign up for my newsletter here


Holding Town Halls:

     Hearing directly from constituents is why I promised to hold town halls throughout the Sixth District during my campaign. I kept my word, and since being elected I have hosted 25 town halls – with at least one being held in each locality throughout the District. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was on track to hold a second one in each locality, but unfortunately, that plan was hindered due to state-mandated restrictions on public gatherings. I hope to continue these sorts of in-person forums in the future, but for now, virtual events remain the best option to connect directly with constituents on a larger scale and ensure that their voices are heard in Washington. For that reason, beginning in March, I started hosting telephone town halls. Since then, I have hosted seven such events and between in-person and telephone town halls, I have held 32 forums during my first term in Congress. I plan to host additional events in the near future. As we continue to navigate this pandemic, I will continue to make myself available as your representative. 


Corresponding With Constituents:

     The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees citizens the right to petition their Government for a redress of grievances. Therefore, as your Congressman, one of the greatest responsibilities I have is to listen to the concerns of my constituents and provide responses to those who contact my office. Over the course of the past two years, thousands of Sixth District residents have called, emailed, and written my office with questions and comments. To date, my office has responded to 155,527 constituent inquires. My staff and I pride ourselves on providing timely and thorough responses to address the issues brought to our attention by those we serve. If you would like to express your thoughts on a matter before Congress, please click here.


Meeting With Constituents:

     In a representative democracy, having an open-dialogue with your elected officials is critically important. Therefore, in order to best serve the interests of the Sixth District, I take regular meetings with constituents both in Washington and in the District. These opportunities allow me to better understand the issues most important to folks in our area and enables me to ensure their views are arcuately represented in Congress. Since January 3, 2019, I have taken 615 meetings with constituents and advocacy groups, which have been invaluable during my tenure. And while in-person meetings have certainly slowed down since March, these have been supplemented with regular Zoom and Skype meetings. If you would like to schedule a meeting, please do not hesitate to reach out by clicking here for a meeting in DC or here for a meeting in the District.


Out and About in the Community:

    Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of serving as Congressman for the Sixth District is traveling throughout our region and meeting great folks along the way. I have been honored to participate in various community events from the day I took office. Whether touring local businesses or farms, attending ribbon cuttings for new opportunities helped by federal assistance, volunteering with charitable organizations, or visiting service groups like Rotary or Kiwanis for their monthly meetings, I have been so grateful for the opportunity to experience so many of the different groups and places that make the Sixth District special. From Roanoke and Lynchburg to Bath and Highland to Shenandoah and Warren, I have enjoyed visiting nearly every corner of our District. Throughout my first term, despite nearly ten months of government restrictions on public gatherings, I have still managed to attend 234 events throughout our community. I look forward to continuing my travels throughout the District in the 117th Congress.


Visiting With Students:

     Since taking office, it has been a priority of mine to meet with students across the region. 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. Since being sworn in, I have had the pleasure of visiting 42 elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as colleges and universities. Whether it’s reading House Mouse, Senate Mouse to youngsters or discussing the issues of the day with older government classes, I always appreciate the opportunity to foster the value of public service within our District’s youth.  Image

Service Academy Nominations:

    One of the greatest honors I have serving as the Representative for Virginia’s Sixth District is the privilege of nominating individuals to one of four United States Service Academies. Applicants to the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy require a recommendation from a Member of Congress or another nominating authority. An academy appointment has an estimated value of over $400,000 and admission is competitive. Each academy selects nominees based on moral character, scholastic achievement, physical fitness, leadership, and college admission test scores. I make it a priority to meet with each qualified individual who requests a nomination, and to date, have nominated 16 individuals to the U.S. Service Academies. Those that I have had the pleasure of meeting during this process are truly some of the best and brightest of their generation. The passion for service and love of country that these students often exude is truly inspiring. If you are interested in applying to a U.S. Service Academy, please click here.


Booking Tours:

    Our Nation’s Capital of Washington, DC provides visitors with numerous opportunities to explore and experience the many facets of history, culture, and government that the city has to offer. One of the many services in which my office provides is helping constituents book and arrange tours throughout Washington. My tour coordinator will work to help ensure your visit to Washington is enjoyable. My office can help you book tours of the Capitol Building, White House, Smithsonian museums, and many other federal buildings. In the past two years, my office has arranged tours for more than 560 families from the Sixth District. While most tours in Washington remain suspended due to COVID-19, click here to learn more about tour options.


     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.