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

     Sometimes I feel like Congress is its own worst enemy as it often takes two steps forward and one step back. Last week was no exception. While passing several bipartisan bills aimed at helping our Nation’s Veterans, Congress also abdicated its responsibility by passing a trillion dollar Continuing Resolution to fund the government through December 11. While I support funding the core functions of government, a “must support” funding bill brought to the Floor within days of the end of the fiscal year for a vote is not the way to do business. In the same vein of operating outside of normal legislative procedure, Speaker Pelosi has refused to call a vote on legislation aimed at helping our Nation’s small businesses. That’s why I joined my colleagues in signing a discharge petition for the bill in an effort to bring it to the House Floor for a vote. I also took to the Floor last Thursday to honor Sweet Briar College for being named one of the most innovative schools in the country. Additionally, I was pleased to see the White House take action to combat human trafficking across our country. And finally, as our Nation mourns the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we also applaud the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump. Barrett is a constitutionalist like her mentor Justice Antonin Scalia, and I am confident she will make a tremendous Justice when she is confirmed next month by the U.S. Senate. 

Continuing Resolution:

     While it is important that we keep the federal government open, Continuing Resolutions do nothing but push our problems off to a later day. Our Nation is on the edge of a fiscal cliff and we cannot continue to simply put a Band-Aid on our broken budget process. The lack of certainty when it comes to appropriations makes it difficult for federal agencies to execute certain essential programs and puts a significant strain on the military, which jeopardizes our national security. We cannot continue to kick the can down the road, and Congress must return to regular order in our appropriations process to ensure a stable fiscal future for the American people. For that reason, and because we cannot continue to threaten future generations of Americans with reckless deficit spending, I voted against this weak and misguided resolution.

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Fighting for Small Business:

     While negotiations on an additional coronavirus relief package remain stalled following Senate Democrats blocking targeted COVID-19 legislation, House Republicans remain committed to delivering aid to the American people. That is why I joined my GOP colleagues in signing a discharge petition for H.R. 8265. Speaker Pelosi has refused to bring this bill to the House Floor, despite the fact that the legislation would free up $138 billion in unspent Paycheck Protection Program funds, extend the program until December 31, and allow businesses to take a second loan if needed. If 218 members sign the discharge petition for H.R. 8265, it would immediately trigger a vote on the House Floor. In order force a vote on this critical piece of legislation, 19 Democrats would need to put people above politics and sign the petition.

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Honoring Sweet Briar College:

     For the second time in three years, Sweet Briar College was named one of the most innovative schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report. Having just visited their campus recently, this came as no surprise after being briefed on the new and exciting opportunities they are offering their students. Sweet Briar utilizes its sprawling 2,800-acre campus – including its lakes, vineyards, apiary, and 26,000 square foot greenhouse - as a “natural canvas and laboratory” to offer students an experience unlike any other in the country. It was a pleasure to recognize their achievement on the House Floor last week. 

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Combating Human Trafficking:

     Human trafficking is an often-overlooked problem facing our country. As a former prosecutor, I saw first-hand the devastating effects it can have on our communities and of course its victims. That is why I was pleased that the White House announced more than $100 million in grants to deal with this issue. These grants will go toward task forces combatting human trafficking, victim services, and victim housing. To read more about the White House’s announcement click here. To report suspected human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or click the graphic below. 

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 Tours in Washington:

     If you are planning a trip to visit our Nation’s Capital, I wanted to update you on what may be open and closed. At this time, tours of most federal buildings, including of the U.S. Capitol Building, remain suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the below institutions have recently reopened to the public with limited access. If you are interested in visiting any of the below locations, be sure to click on the hyperlink as tickets may be required. Please continue to check my website for updates or call my Washington office at (202) 225-5431 for further information.

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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 and across the Sixth District, please follow my Facebook and Twitter pages. 

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