In recent days Congressman Cline has taken deserved heat for his anti-NATO votes in 2019 and again last week. The latest vote was particularly ill-timed at a moment when NATO is largely united in standing up to brutal Russian aggression against Ukraine.
That may explain why Cline is so anxious to point out in his latest campaign fundraising letter that he was one of “several” members of the House of Representatives who have been officially sanctioned by Russia.
What Cline didn’t mention is that the “several” were in fact 398— ranging from Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Republicans like Marjorie Talyor Greene.
Even North Carolina Republican Madison Cawthorn— who has called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug” and the Ukrainian government “incredibly evil”– is on the sanctions list.
In fact the only reason some House members (such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi) are missing from the list is that Russia had previously sanctioned them.
The sanctions are in apparent retaliation for the US government sanctioning more than 300 members of the Russian Duma in March.
So, much as Cline might want us to believe that Vladimir Putin regards him as a particular threat to Russian interests, that appears not to be the case.
UPDATE: More on why all this rings a little hollow.
On April 4 the House of Representatives approved the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act.
According to the American Dental Association:
The legislation requires that all private group and individual health plans to cover medically necessary services resulting from a congenital anomaly or birth defect.
…[T]he ADA noted that one out of every 33 children in the U.S. is born with a congenital anomaly — including severe oral and facial defects — that can interfere with the ability to breathe, speak and/or eat in a normal manner.
“For many children, specialized surgery is needed, and the procedures are reconstructive, since they are performed to correct abnormal structures,” the [ADA] said. “However, despite the reconstructive nature and necessity of such procedures, many insurance companies consider these services to be merely cosmetic. While they may provide coverage for the preliminary surgeries, insurers will delay or deny follow-up or corrective procedures, including necessary dental treatment, which can have a negative impact on a child’s developmental milestones.”
The Association hopes that the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act will make sure that “all children have coverage for treatment of these anomalies,” the [ADA] concluded.
Did Congressman Cline side with the insurance companies or the children?
Do you need to ask?
Cline and 109 other House Republicans voted NO.
One of Ben Cline’s first votes in Congress was against a bill to block then-president Trump from withdrawing the United States from the NATO alliance, as Trump had suggested doing. Cline was one of only 22 members of the House– all Republicans– to vote NO.
Perhaps Cline’s vote was a pathetic effort to prove his loyalty to Trump; he offered no explanation. But what are we to make of his vote on Tuesday against a resolution expressing “unequivocal support” for the NATO as an alliance founded on democratic principles? (The resolution was approved by all of the Democrats and 143 of the 206 Republicans who voted.)
At a moment when NATO is largely united in opposing Russia’s brutal and murderous invasion of democratic Ukraine, why would Cline vote NO on a resolution affirming that stand?
The House of Representatives voted Thursday to cap monthly insulin costs at $35 for millions of diabetic Americans.
Lawmakers approved the measure in a 232-193 vote, with just a dozen Republicans joining Democrats in support. It now heads to the Senate.
The Affordable Insulin Now Act, which would take effect in 2023, would limit cost-sharing under private health insurance for a month’s supply of certain insulin products at $35, or 25 percent of a plan’s negotiated price, whichever is less.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 37.3 million people in the U.S. have diabetes.
Needless to say, Congressman Cline was not one of the 12 Republicans supporting the legislation.
For all of Cline’s professed concern about the “ever-increasing cost of prescription drugs” and rising prices in general, he was unwilling to help millions of the people who bear the brunt of those high costs.