Congressman Cline’s recent votes

While it’s good that Congressman Cline supported the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in the House of Representatives, two of his other recent votes are disturbing.

–While 160 Republicans joined all Democrats to approve the Ensuring Children and Child Care Workers Are Safe Act, Cline was one of only 32 Republicans to vote no.

This bill provides federal support to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) in child care provider settings during the period of community spread of the virus.

Specifically, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must (1) provide technical assistance to states, Indian tribes, and tribal organizations regarding the acquisition and use of protective equipment and training related to COVID-19 transmission prevention, among other things; and (2) publish specified information and facilitate the sharing of best practices related to the safe operation of child care providers. HHS may also make grants for the designated lead agency in a state to provide assistance and guidance to child care providers.

–Cline joined all but 14 Republicans to vote against a resolution condemning all forms of anti-Asian sentiment as related to COVID-19.

This resolution calls on all public officials to condemn and denounce anti-Asian sentiment, racism, discrimination, and religious intolerance related to COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019), and to call on federal law enforcement officials, working with state and local officials, to take specified steps.

It calls on federal officials to expeditiously investigate and document all credible reports of hate crimes and incidents and threats against the Asian-American community and prosecute perpetrators.

The resolution recommits U.S. leadership to (1) prioritize language access and inclusivity in communication practices, and (2) combat misinformation and discrimination that put Asian Americans at risk.

The resolution notes that “the use of anti-Asian terminology and rhetoric related to COVID-19, such as the ‘Chinese Virus’, ‘Wuhan Virus’, and ‘Kung-flu’ have perpetuated anti-Asian stigma.” President Trump has used all of those terms.

Why did Cline vote this way? Ask him.

Note to media: time for tough questions

It’s nice that local media have covered Congressman Cline’s recent efforts at bipartisanship with a Democratic colleague on some issues of government reform.

But almost every time Cline is covered by local newspapers, radio or TV, he is given an opportunity to says whatever he wants on subjects he prefers.

Almost never is he challenged in ways that might make him uncomfortable. (Why did he vote against the Great American Outdoors Act? What did he mean when he suggested that the former Stonewall Jackson Cemetery in Lexington might be renamed “Future Democrat Voter Quarry”? Etc., etc.)

But as Cline continues to heap praise on the increasingly deranged and dangerous Donald Trump (“He has done great things for this country”) and enthusiastically support his reelection, it’s urgent that the Sixth District media take their basic journalistic responsibilities seriously.

For example, how about asking Cline if he thinks someone who talks like this is fit to serve in any responsible position, let alone President of the United States:

The president offered up the vague and unsupported theory during an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who asked Trump who is “pulling Biden’s strings.”

“People that you’ve never heard of. People that are in the dark shadows,” Trump responded.

“What does that mean? That sounds like a conspiracy theory,” Ingraham interjected.

“They’re people that are on the streets, they’re people that are controlling the streets,” Trump responded.

He then cited a case of an unnamed individual getting on a plane “from a certain city” over the weekend. The plane, Trump claimed, was “loaded with thugs” in dark uniforms who planned to do “big damage.”

Pressed for further details, Trump only said the matter was “under investigation.”

Or perhaps Cline, an attorney, could offer an opinion on the legality of voting twice in the same election– or encouraging others to do so, as Trump has done.

Cline can’t be allowed to have it both ways– proclaiming his support for Trump while avoiding tough questions about the wildly irresponsible and conspiracy-obsessed man he insists is the one to lead our country over the next four years.