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

Much has happened since the start of the new year. An American working in Iraq was killed, our embassy in Iraq was attacked, and the terrorist responsible was swiftly and appropriately brought to justice. I was pleased to have the opportunity to address this issue and other foreign policy concerns directly with constituents this week at the three town halls I held throughout the District. Further, it is an honor to announce those students from Virginia's Sixth District who I have nominated to U.S. Service Academies. These individuals are prepared to serve our country and defend our freedoms overseas.  

Iran and War Powers 

Iran is the leading sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. soldiers and thousands of civilians around the world. Further, Gen. Soleimani was the leading architect of Iran’s global terror strategy, including the killing of an American working in Iraq and the attack on our embassy in Baghdad. I commend President Trump for taking strong and decisive action to eliminate the terror leader, Soleimani, in order to protect our troops and defend American interests.

Unfortunately, Democrats chose to politicize this issue and passed a resolution to attack the President and limit his powers to defend us from further aggression by Iran. Even though the bill is not binding, it recklessly hinders President Trump's ability to use force against an enemy who only last week attacked U.S. interests. Not only does this resolution jeopardize our national security, but it also puts our troops and our allies in harm’s way moving forward.

Instead of a debate about the question of the separation of powers, H. Con. Res. 83 condemns the President’s appropriate reasoned response to Iranian aggression. While only Congress can declare war, it is necessary for the President to be able to respond in a swift manner to defend American interests and our men and women in uniform.

Town Halls

As a Member of Congress, a top priority of mine is to be accessible to the constituents of the Sixth District. For this reason, I have made a commitment to hold town halls throughout the District to ensure I can hear first-hand from those I represent and bring their views back to Washington. Prior to the new year, I hosted nineteen town halls – one in each locality – and plan to continue holding events like these throughout my term. Already in 2020, I have hosted three such forums in Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Botetourt County. I look forward to meeting with as many residents as possible in the coming year and encourage all constituents to visit my Facebook page, website, and keep an eye on their local newspaper for town hall announcements coming in the near future.

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Service Academy Nominations:

One of the greatest honors I have serving as the Representative for Virginia's Sixth District is the privilege of nominating high school seniors 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. Understanding the seriousness of this responsibility, I spent the past several months traveling the District meeting individually with each interested applicant. The passion for service and love of country that these students exuded was truly inspiring, and I am pleased to announce the names of those I have nominated to each academy. Congratulations and best of luck throughout the rest of the admissions process. 

United States Naval Academy:

Ashleigh Dickman, senior at Skyline High School and a resident of Front Royal 

Noah Harding, senior at Hidden Valley High School and a resident of Roanoke 

Stephen Hanley, completed his first semester at VMI and a resident of Stuarts Draft

Brian Hayden, senior at Cave Spring High School and a resident of Roanoke

Joseph Kilgallen, senior at Warren County High School and a resident of Front Royal

Liesel Nelson, senior at Rockbridge High School and a resident of Lexington

Alexander Plonsky, senior at Fort Defiance High School and a resident of Weyers Cave

Ryan Scott, completed first semester at Hampden-Sydney and a resident of Roanoke

Andrew Wheeler, senior at Cave Spring High School and a resident of Roanoke

United States Military Academy: 

Bryce Corkery, senior at William Byrd High School and a resident of Vinton

Revely Keesee, senior at Jefferson Forest High School and a resident of Forest

Erin Wienke, senior at William Byrd High School and a resident of Vinton

United States Air Force Academy:

Jacqueline Kelly, senior at Seton Home Study School and a resident of Front Royal 

Ezra Paul, senior in a home school program and a resident of Rockingham

John Shelor, senior at Cave Spring High School a and resident of Boones Mill

United States Merchant Marine Academy:

Daniel Pettyjohn, senior at Brookville High School and a resident of Forest 

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FCS Championship Game:

I congratulate North Dakota State on their victory in the FCS Football Championship yesterday. The Dukes put up a heck of a fight, but unfortunately fell just short. I am proud to represent the dedicated student-athletes at James Madison University who left it all on the field. 

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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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