Congressman Cline has said he wants to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its many human rights abuses.
So it was surprising to learn that he was one of only seventeen House Republicans to vote NO on the Uyghur Policy Act (HR 4785) last week. (The bill, sponsored by Republican Young Kim of California, passed 407-17.)
The Chinese government has reportedly arbitrarily detained more than a million Muslims in reeducation camps since 2017. Most of the people who have been detained are Uyghur, a predominantly Turkic-speaking ethnic group primarily in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang. Beyond the detentions, Uyghurs in the region have been subjected to intense surveillance, forced labor, and involuntary sterilizations, among other rights abuses.
The United States and several other foreign governments have described China’s actions in Xinjiang as genocide, while the UN human rights office said that the violations could constitute crimes against humanity.
The bill authorizes the establishment of a Special Coordinator for Uyghur Issues position within the Department of State.
The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs may, subject to appropriations, make certain funds available to human rights advocates working on behalf of Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups persecuted in China. The funds, if made available, shall be used to facilitate the presence of such human rights advocates at public diplomacy forums to speak on issues related to the human rights and religious freedoms of minority groups persecuted in China.
The State Department must ensure that Uyghur language training is available to Foreign Service officers. It must also ensure that a Uyghur-speaking member of the Foreign Service is assigned to U.S. diplomatic and consular missions in China.
Would Cline have voted the same way if the Uyghurs were predominantly Christian? I’m sure he would be pleased to explain his objections to this bill to anyone who asks.
The bill directs the Department of Homeland Security to offer guidance to firefighters about the best ways to reduce exposure to the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS widely used in their tools and equipment.
Firefighters are exposed through their use of firefighting foam containing PFAS, called aqueous film-forming foam, or AFFF. Foam manufacturers knew of the potential health harms for years, yet kept them secret. Firefighters’ protective gear is also made with PFAS textile materials and treated with additional PFAS for water resistance, posing further risks to firefighters who wear it.
Viable alternatives to AFFF are already on the market. Many meet rigorous international standards and are used around the world. As of April 2019, 90 fluorine-free foams were available from 22 manufacturers.
Congressman: From now on, please spare us your pious tributes to first responders. Your vote tells us all we need to know about your lack of concern for them.
Last Thursday Congressman Cline– who claims to care deeply about the “unborn”– had two opportunities to vote in the House of Representatives to help pregnant women.
He chose not to.
Cline was one of 90 Republicans to vote NO on the Pregnant Women in Custody Act (HR 6878) to establish standards for medical care and nutrition for women in custody. The bill passed 324-90.
The Pregnant Women in Custody Act, authored by Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), is designed to address health disparities that impact incarcerated women who are pregnant or in postpartum recovery. It guarantees minimum levels of health care and nutrition for the pregnant inmate and her newborn children, limits the use of restraints and solitary confinement, and offers incentives to states to adopt similar protections.
Then Cline was one of only 44 Republicans to vote NO on the Doula for the VA Act (HR 2521) to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct a study on the feasibility and advisability of furnishing doula services for veterans. (A doula helps women during and after childbirth.). The bill passed 376-44.
You may recall that Cline was a NO voter last year on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, requiring private-sector employers with 15 or more workers to make “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant employees.
It seems the “pro-life” congressman can’t bring himself to act on behalf of pregnant women and help them deliver healthy babies.
Congressman Cline likes to talk about how devoted he is to the United States Constitution. He considers it a point of pride to carry a copy of the Constitution in his pocket wherever he goes.
So surely Cline– who called Trump “our great president” six months after his term ended, who boasted about his endorsement from Trump in his 2022 reelection campaign and included it in his campaign advertising, who accepted a $5,000 campaign donation from Trump’s “Save America” PAC– must be feeling furious and betrayed that Trump has publicly declared that he wants to terminate the Constitution in order to be reinstated as President.
At least he ought to be.
Ever since Cline was elected in 2018, local media have been too willing to let him skate without answering tough questions– about Trump and many other matters.
So let me suggest the following questions for the Congressman: Is it OK with you if someone who takes an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States thinks it can be terminated at his convenience? Do you stand by your statement of November 29 that you will support Trump if he is the Republican candidate for President in 2024?