Alison Cutler of the Staunton News Leader reports:
Representative Ben Cline, along with three other Virginian representatives, voted no on a House resolution that had to do with establishing Juneteenth as a national holiday.
Hours later, he voted in support of the bill that made Juneteenth a federal holiday, and posted online that he was proud to participate in the creation of the holiday.
The two votes, one in support of Juneteenth’s national recognition and one in opposition of considering it, seem to directly contradict each other — and Cline, along with the three Virginian congressman, weren’t the only ones to vote that way.
The first was House Resolution 479, which provided for the consideration of Bill 475, which proposed Juneteenth National Independence Day as a legal public holiday.
The News Leader contacted Cline’s office for comment several times and has not yet received a response on why he voted no to consider Juneteenth as a national holiday last week, but voted yes when the resolution went through anyway. The News Leader’s first inquiry for Cline was submitted on June 17.
Cline did recognize Juneteenth on his public facebook page. “I was proud to support the creation of Juneteenth as a federal holiday to celebrate this important date in African-American history,” he said.
So as I understand it (and Cline should feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), he voted AGAINST bringing the bill up for a vote but then voted FOR the bill after he and other Republicans failed to block it. And then he said he was proud to support it.
And now, as he often does, he refuses to explain to his constituents why he voted the way he did.