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

With the impeachment Articles finally sent over to the Senate, the House can now begin focusing on the issues most important to the American people. One of the highlights of the week was the signing of a historic trade deal with China which will help Sixth District farmers by dramatically increasing U.S. exports. Along the same vein, I joined my Virginia colleagues in supporting the Norfolk Harbor Project which will allow Commonwealth manufacturers to more effectively ship their goods overseas. While it was a busy week in Washington, I had the pleasure of visiting with students throughout the District and am looking forward to meeting with constituents in Lynchburg and Roanoke City during the coming week’s town halls.

Impeachment:

For months, Democrats called impeaching the President urgent - yet 28 days went by before the Speaker transmitted the Articles to the Senate this week. This attempt to grab headlines exposed what Americans already knew, that impeachment was nothing more than political theater. This show has been at the expense of working on truly urgent matters like fixing our crumbling infrastructure, reforming our broken immigration system, and getting USMCA across the finish line. Further, the delay once again denied the President the right to due process that is afforded to every American.

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Phase One Trade Agreement & USMCA:

This week President Trump continued to make progress in working towards negotiating better, fairer trade deals for the United States. On Wednesday, the President signed the “Phase One” Trade Agreement with China which will serve as a tremendous boost to American businesses, farmers, manufacturers, and innovators. At the core of this deal, China has pledged to increase American imports by $200 billion over the next two years. Of that, $40 to $50 billion will be on agriculture products, $75 billion in manufacturing goods, $50 billion in the energy sector, and $40 billion in financial services. Further, this deal addresses longstanding intellectual property and trademark concerns and will establish enforcement mechanisms against pirated and counterfeit goods. This trade agreement rebalances the playing field for the United States and China and will be beneficial to both countries.

This deals comes on the heels of the Senate approving the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. The measure creates a more level playing field for American workers, strengthens agricultural trade, and modernizes intellectual property protections. USMCA is a win for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses and will create 176,000 new jobs and add $68 billion to the U.S. Economy. I look forward to the President signing this Agreement into law. 

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Supporting the Iranian People:

The United States has always and will always stand for freedom and democracy around the world. Following recent actions by the Iranian government, the nation's people took to the streets to demand accountability and express their collective desire for the country's leaders to respect human rights. Iran has a violent history when faced with opposition from within its borders, and the government killed 1,500 demonstrators as recently as November of last year. In response, I cosponsored a resolution this week introduced by Leader McCarthy condemning the Iranian government and supporting the protesters. Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi rejected this resolution in yet another purely political move. 

Norfolk Harbor Project:

This week, I was proud to join my Virginia colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to the Office of Management and Budget requesting additional funds for the Norfolk Harbor Project. This critical infrastructure project will widen and deepen the port and add an additional traffic lane, making it more capable of handling mega container commercial vessels and ships. Not only will this increase the Harbor’s competitiveness and further connect Virginia to global markets, but it will also enable continued operational successes for our service members at Naval Station Norfolk. Despite the headlines of gridlock in Washington, this project is just one example of legislators from both parties coming together to support an initiative that is beneficial to the Commonwealth as a whole.

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School Visits:

I am always excited to discuss government and how legislation becomes law with students across our region. This week I had the pleasure of chatting with government classes from opposite ends of District at both Lord Botetourt High School in Daleville and Skyline Middle School in Harrisonburg. Opportunities like these allow me to answer students’ questions and engage in constructive dialogue about the issues that matter most to my younger constituents.

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Town Halls:

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. This coming week, I will hold two additional town halls in Lynchburg and Roanoke City. In order to accommodate the diverse schedule of Sixth District constituents, I have rotated all of my town halls between morning, lunch, and evening meetings. Citizens of these two localities will be given priority regarding comments during the town hall. Please note that signs and noisemakers are prohibited.

Lynchburg Town Hall
Thursday, January 23, 2020
8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
American Legion Post 16 
1301 Greenview Drive Lynchburg, VA 24502
To Register, Please Click Here

Roanoke City Town Hall
Thursday, January 23, 2020
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
VFW Post 1264 
4930 Grandview Ave NW, Roanoke, VA 24012.
To Register, Please Click Here

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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