Cline voted NO on bill to provide service dogs to vets

It’s nice that Congressman Cline welcomed veterans and their service dogs to the Capitol last week.

It’s not so nice that he voted NO on the PAWS Act— one of several bills in a package supported by all House Democrats and most House Republicans– which helps make service dogs available to veterans suffering from PTSD. I hope he didn’t have the nerve to take credit for it.

This is one of the votes that earned Cline a 0% score on animal-related issues from the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Let’s spare Cline further embarrassment

I’ve posted before about how Congressman Cline’s membership in the far-right House Freedom Caucus puts him in some unsavory company.

I was rather surprised to find at least one of Cline’s fellow House Republicans agreeing with me.

Writing about the prospect of a Republican majority in Congress next year, CNN’s Melanie Zanona observes:

[M]embers of the Trump-loving House Freedom Caucus are preparing to flex their muscles in the next era. Under the new leadership of Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, the group is hoping to use its hardline tactics, connections to Trump and friendlier relationship with GOP leadership to bend their party to their will and put their MAGA-like stamp on the conference.


But the prospect of a bigger and more emboldened House Freedom Caucus means some of the group’s loudest MAGA firebrands, such as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Paul Gosar of Arizona, will also be elevated. And that could pose a potential governing challenge for Republican leaders, who have so far struggled to rein in the GOP’s fringe elements.

The party’s most prominent provocateurs have even earned a private new nickname from some of their colleagues: “the trending caucus.” That’s because on any given day, it seems this extremist crew is making headlines — and creating headaches for GOP leadership — with their behavior. Last week alone, they drew unwanted attention to their party for heckling President Joe Biden during his State of the Union address, attending a conference organized by a known White nationalist and being the lone “no” votes on measures to make lynching a federal hate crime and to express support for Ukraine amid its war with Russia.

If Cline is embarrassed by any of this, he hasn’t let on.

Zanona quoted an unfortunately anonymous House Republican:

“If you’re Mark Green or Jeff Duncan or Ben Cline, do you really want to be associated with either Marjorie Taylor Greene or Gosar? I wouldn’t think so,” said the House GOP lawmaker, name-checking some of the more mild-mannered members of the Freedom Caucus.

Mild-mannered though Cline may often be, that doesn’t make his devotion to Trump and the MAGA cult any more palatable. And as far as I can tell, he has no problem being associated with the most outspokenly extreme and dangerous members of his party.

We can help Cline avoid any possible dilemmas by working to keep a Democratic majority in the House– which means, among other things, defeating him in the 2022 election.

Cline votes NO on expanding rights for sexual assault victims

Many thanks to Catherine Giovannoni of Frederick County (soon to be part of the Sixth Congressional District) for her excellent piece in The Winchester Star calling out Republican Congressman Ben Cline for voting NO on a new law banning employers from forcing people to settle claims of sexual assault or harassment through private arbitration proceedings instead of in a court of law.

As Ms. Giovannoni notes:

The bill received bipartisan support, with 113 Republicans joining 222 Democratic members of Congress to pass the law.

But not Republican Congressman Ben Cline.

Why not, Congressman? Aren’t victims of sexual misconduct entitled to a day in court?

Cline versus mandates (continued)

It appears Congressman Cline has decided to make opposition to vaccine mandates a key issue of his reelection campaign.

In November he made the ridiculous claim that mandates were responsible for the labor shortage.

Now he has posted this campaign ad on Facebook:

What stands out here is the shameful scaremongering.

There is no COVID-19 vaccine mandate for children in Virginia or anywhere else. But there are vaccine mandates to protect children from other diseases. Until recently these were almost entirely uncontroversial. I presume Cline’s own children had to get them. There’s no doubt these vaccines have saved many thousands of children from serious illness or death.

The image this ad presents– of a child cowering in terror while some heartless medical professional prepares to painfully inject God-knows-what into him– is insidious.

Like most children, I hated getting shots. Although it was a long time ago, I seem to remember screaming at the prospect and crying for some time afterwards. But you know what? I’m damn glad I got them.

In January Cline posted this on his Congressional Facebook page:

At the time I replied:

So Congressman, are you saying that public schools should not be allowed to require ANY of the vaccinations that have been mandated for decades with no serious opposition?

Yes or no?

I did not get a response then. But I’d still like to know the answer. I’m sure many others in the Sixth District would too.

I hope they and the local media will ask him.