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

    This week, I attended the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the 46th President and 49th Vice-President of the United States respectively. While there is much on which President Biden and I disagree, I join President Trump and all Americans in wishing President Biden and his new administration the best of luck during this challenging time in American history. Further, while I was in Washington this week, I took the opportunity to thank members of the Virginia National Guard who have been serving in our Nation’s capital during the inauguration, and I expressed outrage at their relegation to parking garages following the conclusion of the events.  Additionally, I began the 117th Congress by reaffirming my commitment to the sanctity of life and to defending the Second Amendment. As the new Administration begins, I will continue fighting for the people of Virginia's Sixth District.


     On Wednesday, I attended the Inauguration of President Joe Biden out of respect for the office of the Presidency and to commemorate the peaceful transfer of power that has become a cornerstone of our American Republic. However, we must forge beyond this moment in history to meet the short and long-term challenges facing our country. As I have for the last two years, I will continue to support fiscal responsibility and reducing burdensome regulations, defeating the COVID-19 virus while getting Americans back to work and back in school, securing our borders, and supporting our brave men and women in uniform. After four years of progress, we cannot afford a third term of the Obama era’s failed policies. Already, the Biden Administration has announced a first-day agenda that will drag our country backward during a time in which our Nation desperately needs to move forward. With Democrats controlling both Chambers of Congress and the White House, I will continue to strongly advocate for the commonsense conservative values of the citizens of Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District.


Thanking the Guard: 

     While in Washington this week, I took the opportunity to thank members of the Virginia National Guard who have been deployed in Washington, D.C. these past two weeks. These civilian soldiers put their daily lives on hold in order to serve our country, and we are grateful to them for ensuring the safety and security of everyone attending the Inauguration of President Joe Biden. Whether battling forest fires in California, aiding hurricane relief efforts in Louisiana, or helping quell unrest in our cities this summer, the National Guard continues to live up to its motto of being Always Ready, Always There. Our Nation is forever grateful for their service and sacrifice here at home and in harm's way across the world.  

     Sadly, these heroes stationed at the Capitol have not been treated with the respect they deserve. Following the inauguration, Guardsmen were ordered out of the Capitol complex into a nearby parking garage. While I was pleased that this situation was quickly remedied, it should never have happened in the first place. That is why I joined my colleagues in writing to the Capitol Police requesting an explanation as to what initiated this action. We must ensure our men and women in uniform are never simply used as pawns to be discarded again. To read the full letter, please click here.   


Standing Up for Life:

     This week marked 48 years since Roe v. Wade was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Since 1973, more than 50 million preborn children in America have had their lives cut short. Our right to life is among our most basic human rights, and I will continue fighting to protect the most innocent among us. One of the very first bills I signed onto in the 117th Congress works toward that end. The Protecting Life in Crisis Act would prevent federal funds allocated in COVID-19 relief legislation from being used for abortions or abortion coverage. The bill would extend existing Hyde Amendment protections to any coronavirus health care provisions, and prevent federal tax credits from being used to cover post-employment health care premiums (COBRA) that include abortion coverage.

     Since taking office, I have fought to defend life and have a legislative track record of supporting policies to that end. I am incredibly proud to have received an “A+” rating from the Susan B. Anthony List, one of the Nation’s most prominent pro-life organizations.

     As the organization stated last year, “Congressman Cline has voted consistently to protect the lives of the unborn as well as the consciences of taxpayers who don’t want their hard-earned tax dollars paying for abortion domestically or internationally. Rep. Cline has defended the Trump administration’s pro-life regulatory efforts from pro-abortion attacks to prohibit their implementation.” 


Supporting the Second Amendment:

    Whether in Richmond or Washington, I have always been a staunch defender of the Second Amendment. That is why I earned an "A+" rating from the NRA last term, and I will remain an advocate for the Second Amendment in the 117th Congress. As evidence of this, the first piece of legislation I cosponsored this term was H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This bill affirms that law-abiding citizens who are qualified to carry concealed firearms in one state can carry in other states that allow residents to do so. Because some states refuse to allow their citizens to fully exercise their Second Amendment rights, concealed carry reciprocity is needed to protect the constitutional rights of millions of law-abiding citizens across America. I look forward to supporting this important legislation, as well as similar bills intended to protect citizens' rights. 


IRS Update:

    The Internal Revenue Service announced this week that the agency will not start accepting federal tax returns until February 12. This decision was made to allow the IRS time to do additional programming and testing of agency systems following the December 27 tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits. Further, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS is urging all Americans to file their taxes online this year to ensure taxpayers receive their refunds in a timely manner. To learn more, click here


COVID-19 Update:

    I continue to be disappointed with Governor Northam's inadequate roll out and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine across the Commonwealth. Currently, only 34% of Virginia residents have received the vaccine, which, percentage wise, is the 49th worst in the country. And despite setting a goal of inoculating 50,000 Virginians a day, that number has fallen woefully short and stands at only 16,000. Further, the Governor has prioritized urban centers above rural areas in the Sixth District, which is unacceptable. As the federal government considers the rate at which states are administering vaccines to determine the next allotment of doses, I implore the Governor to take the steps necessary to correct this situation. 


      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.