Cline will hold town hall April 23 in Buena Vista

Congressman Cline has announced plans to hold a town hall meeting on Tuesday  April 23 in Buena Vista at American Legion Post 126, 1953 Magnolia Avenue. The meeting is scheduled for 10 to 11:30 a.m., unfortunately an inconvenient time for many people.

According to the announcement:

Constituents planning to attend should register on Eventbright. Citizens of Buena Vista will be given priority regarding comments during the town hall.

Perhaps some of our Buena Vista area readers can take the opportunity to ask Cline about some of the things he has said and done, as chronicled here and elsewhere, since he was sworn in as our representative in Washington.

Update: Cline has also announced plans for a town hall meeting in Daleville on Friday April 26 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Cline’s Q1 campaign finance report

Congressman Cline’s campaign committee has reported raising $64,160.50 during the first three months of 2019.

Among the donors to Cline’s reelection campaign between January 1 and March 31 are:

  • Huntington Ingalls Industries (a shipbuilder for the military): $1,000
  • National Association of Health Underwriters (a health insurance company lobby): $1,000
  • Toyota Motor Company of North America: $1,000
  • Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee: $1,000
  • Norfolk Southern Corporation: $2,500
  • National Rifle Association: $1,000
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment: $1,000
  • Universal Music Group: $1,000
  • The Recording Industry Association of America: $1,000


Cline and the “death tax”scam

In his latest report to constituents, Congressman Cline wrote that he is co-sponsoring a number of bills.

One of these bills, the Death Tax Repeal Act, is a bill which would benefit farmers and ranchers across the Sixth Congressional District. The men and women who raise our cattle, plant our crops, and feed America know how harmful the death tax has been to families in the agriculture industry. A repeal of this tax allows our working farm families to maintain their small businesses across generations.

“Death tax” is what Republicans like Cline call the federal estate tax. It’s an invented phrase designed to make it sound especially awful. But according to the Tax Policy Center:

[O]nly about 80 small farms and closely held businesses—estates with farm and business assets totaling no more than $5 million and making up at least half of the gross estate—paid any estate tax in 2017. Small farms and businesses will not be subject to the estate tax in 2018 because of the $11.2 million effective exemption under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The higher exemption amount expires after 2025.

The chances that this tax would affect any family farmers, ranchers or small business owners in the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia are next to nil.

Congressman Cline should devote his legislative efforts to issues of more direct concern to the people he represents.

Cline opposes expanded law protecting women from violence

Congressman Cline on Thursday joined most Republicans in the House of Representatives to vote against an expanded version of the Violence Against Women Act.

The legislation passed easily, 263 to 158, but the divided vote came on what was once a broadly bipartisan measure first passed in 1994. In recent years, partisan rancor over efforts to expand the protections of the legislation have clouded efforts to renew it, and this year, the divide was over gun control.

The provisions would close the so-called boyfriend loophole and bar those under a restraining order or who were convicted of abusing, assaulting or stalking a domestic partner from buying guns. The [National Rifle Association] seized on the new measures and warned Congress that it would track and publish how lawmakers voted, hoping to intimidate Republicans and Democrats in Republican-leaning districts.

[The boyfriend loophole means stalkers and current or former boyfriends or dating partners can still buy and own a gun, even if they’ve been convicted of a domestic violence crime.]

“Do not let the N.R.A. bully you,” Representative Debbie Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, urged her colleagues before the vote, noting that her recently deceased husband, former Representative John Dingell Jr., also a Democrat, was a member of the organization.
Republicans had advocated a clean one-year extension of the current law, which expired in February, arguing that new elements of the legislation were controversial and overreached — in particular, the gun restrictions and language offering additional protections to transgender people.

Cline issued a statement trying to explain his vote against the measure:

H.R. 1585 preconditions grant funding on policies that revictimize women and would curtail the vital tools used by prosecutors and law enforcement to protect victims from harm. It rolls back existing trafficking protections under a grant program intended to help child victims, and it fails to provide religious hiring exemptions for faith-based grant recipients.

These are just a few of the reasons I cannot support this bill, which includes provisions which could actually undermine women’s safety.

Cline provided no evidence to support these claims. I have contacted him asking for the evidence, and will post any response I get.

Cline, who dutifully supports the NRA’s position on every issue, has in turn been generously supported by the the NRA as a candidate for House of Delegates and for Congress.


Cline still clueless on health care

On Wednesday Congressman Cline joined almost all Republicans in the House of Representatives to oppose a resolution calling on the Trump administration to halt its legal attempt to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act.

If successful, the administration’s effort would nullify provisions of the law that protect people with preexisting conditions and allow individuals to remain on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26.

In an interview last week with CBS News, Cline made the dubious claim that “this administration has made health care a priority,” drawing a skeptical reaction from news anchor Anne-Marie Green.

cline on cbs2

He talked vaguely about “providing more options and more affordability to consumers.”

In fact the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans haven’t come up with a new plan to replace the ACA and won’t even try until after the November 2020 elections– when, Trump believes, he will be reelected and the Republicans will have majorities in both houses of Congress.

Some “priority,” Congressman.

Cline added: “Health care is a priority in my district. It’s rural, the average age is higher. So folks do need health care in my district.” And yet as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Cline was a leading opponent of the legislation that expanded Medicaid under the ACA, making it possible for hundreds of thousands of low-income working Virginians to obtain health insurance.


Cline opposes subpoena for full Mueller Report

Although Congressman Cline (like the rest of us) hasn’t seen more than a few sentences from the nearly 400-page Mueller Report, he seems to know what is and isn’t in it.

Interviewed by CBS News, Cline said, “This was very, very disturbing that so much was investigated, that so much was spent and, you know, they didn’t find a thing.”

(If they didn’t find a thing, it will be especially interesting to see what’s on those 400 pages.)

Nevertheless, Cline joined a unanimous vote by the House of Representatives that “calls for the public release of any report Special Counsel Mueller provides to the attorney general, except to the extent the public disclosure of any portion thereof is expressly prohibited by law.”

On Wednesday Cline joined his fellow Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee to unsuccessfully oppose a subpoena for the full report and the underlying documents.

Committee chair Jerrold Nadler stressed that “some material will have to be redacted before it is released to the public,” but “the committee is entitled and must see all of the material,” as happened in previous special investigations.

Meanwhile The New York Times reports:

Some of Robert S. Mueller III’s investigators have told associates that Attorney General William P. Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated, according to government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations.