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

     It was great to be home in the Sixth District this week connecting with constituents both in person and on the phone. I not only had the privilege of joining the dedicated staff of Harmony Day Support in Forest for a ribbon cutting ceremony but also had the opportunity to visit Sweet Briar College in Amherst County. Further, thousands of constituents joined me for a Coronavirus Telephone Town Hall where they were provided the latest updates on both the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. As your representative, I will continue to make myself available to ensure your voices are heard in Washington. 

Harmony Day Support:

     This week I had the pleasure of joining the team at Harmony Day Support in Forest as they cut the ribbon on their new handicap accessible bus. Harmony is a tremendous non-profit that is dedicated to providing adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities with the tools and support necessary for them to lead fulfilling and independent lives. The vehicle was a generous gift from Forest River Bus as part of their National Bus Giveaway, and their donation will allow Harmony to continue its mission of serving those in need. 


Sweet Briar College Visit:

     Virginia’s Sixth District is home to more colleges and universities than nearly any other congressional district in the country. Throughout the past year and a half, I have enjoyed the opportunity to visit most of these schools and see first-hand the work these institutions are engaged in. This week, I toured Sweet Briar College in Amherst County and as always was impressed by the exciting and diverse areas of study they offer. I was pleased that many of their courses pertain directly to industries that are prevalent within our region. I was briefed on the school’s agriculture and forestry activities as well as toured their vineyard, equestrian center, and greenhouse. Sweet Briar College is truly indicative of the abundance of educational opportunities the Sixth District offers students from across the country. 


Coronavirus Update Telephone Town Hall:

     Being accessible to my constituents and providing them the most up-to-date information on the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus is vital to helping control its spread. As such, on July 9, I hosted the third Coronavirus Update Telephone Town Hall and was joined by Dr. Laura Kornegay, the Health Director of Central Shenandoah Health at the Virginia Department of Health and Steve Bulger, the Acting Regional Administrator for Mid-Atlantic Region III of the Small Business Administration. 

     During the conversation, we fielded questions about schools reopening, safety precautions for reopening businesses, the PPP and EIDL programs, and other federal efforts to mitigate the damages of this pandemic. A recording of the event can be found here


Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

     The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) recently launched a new application portal to the federal PEUC benefits program. As you may know, this program provides up to an additional 13 weeks of regular/traditional unemployment insurance benefits to individuals who have already exhausted their regular Unemployment Insurance benefits. This program applies to claims by individuals whose benefit year ended on July 6, 2019, or after. Payments to recipients are scheduled to start next week. Payments will be retroactive; the first payable week for qualifying applicants under PEUC is the week ending April 4, 2020. The final payable week for extended benefits is the week ending December 26, 2020. The final payable week for supplemental $600 weekly payment is the week ending July 25, 2020. To apply for PEUC benefits visit the VEC website here and click “Apply Online Now."


     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.