In his latest newsletter to constituents, Congressmen Cline wrote about visiting the southern border with other Republican congressmen and touring a detention facility for migrants in McAllen, Texas.
While there, I was pleased to see that conditions at the Customs and Border Patrol detention and processing centers are much different than those portrayed by some of my Democratic colleagues. Families are kept together, and migrants are provided with immediate medical care, evaluated for sickness and disease, provided with hot showers, clothing, shoes, blankets, and meals. I saw children with crackers, granola bars, juice boxes, and amenities like cartoons, books, and soccer balls. The conditions in the holding facilities are not the picture some of my colleagues and the mainstream media want you to believe.
Congressman Cline: Just because you didn’t see or hear what other members of Congress reported doesn’t mean they were wrong.
And did you have a chance to talk to any detainees outside the presence of Customs and Border Protection officials? Did you even try?
In his latest newsletter to his Sixth District constituents, Congressman Cline wrote about the terrible mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. He called the El Paso massacre “terrorism” but seems to have backed down from labeling it #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism, as he did on Facebook in the immediate aftermath. I hope that had nothing to do with the commenters on Facebook who objected to that term.
Cline claimed he has “worked with my colleagues to offer realistic solutions to address the issue of violence in America.” But none of those “solutions” would seriously address the issue of access to firearms.
Even President Trump has spoken vaguely about supporting expanded background checks for purchasing guns and “red flag” laws. But Cline is still unwilling to challenge the NRA’s position on anything.
In February he was pleased to record an ad for the NRA’s position opposing any restrictions on firearms purchase or ownership:
In June, the day after the Virginia Beach massacre, he told a Republican meeting that when he entered Congress this year, he urged Republican leaders to appoint him to the Judiciary Committee and “task me with defeating gun control bills.”
Which they did.
Congressman Cline was the only member of the House of Representatives from Virginia to vote against a bill banning the abusive practice of soring horses.
The [Prevent All Soring Tactics] PAST Act seeks to strengthen the Horse Protection Act and end the torturous, painful practice of soring Tennessee Walking, Racking, and Spotted Saddle Horses. Soring, the intentional infliction of pain to horses’ front limbs by applying caustic chemicals such as mustard oil or kerosene or inserting sharp objects into the horses’ hooves to create an exaggerated gait known as the “Big Lick,” has plagued the equine world for six decades.
“We applaud the Virginia Delegation for their key role in overwhelmingly passing the PAST Act to end this barbaric and indefensible practice that has marred the horse show world for decades,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action and past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association. “We are disappointed that Rep. Ben Cline stood alone, choosing to side with abusers, but the landslide vote in support of the bill is a powerful signal to the Senate that it should saddle up and end this cruelty to horses once and for all.”
“Horses have been a part of our Commonwealth’s history and culture since the settling of Jamestown, and like all animals, they deserve to be treated with care and compassion,” said Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). “Now that the House has voted, on a bipartisan basis, to protect these animals from the cruel practice of inflicting deliberate suffering for show purposes, the Senate must act.”
Thank you, Congressman Cline, for correctly labeling what happened Saturday in El Paso. But if that is ALL you do– if you still lack the courage to call out President Trump’s racist scaremongering for what it is, if you still refuse to support even the most common sense firearms regulations– you haven’t done nearly enough.
And you’re still part of the problem, not part of the solution.