Cline claims to back $2,000 relief payments, then votes NO

Let’s review what just happened.

On December 23, Congressman Cline published this on his campaign Facebook page:

To repeat, Cline posted:

There is too much wasteful spending in the massive omnibus spending bill, and the $600 rescue checks in the COVID relief need to be increased to $2000 per person.

Now, five days later, the House of Representatives has voted 275 to 134 for a stand-alone bill to do exactly what Cline said needed to be done: to increase the inadequate $600 per person COVID-19 relief payments to $2,000.

And among the 134 members of Congress voting against the increase was none other than Congressman Cline.

So while Cline told us last week that the $2,000 payment was needed, he couldn’t bring himself to actually, y’know, vote for it.

Perhaps he has a perfectly good explanation which his thousands of constituents in desperate financial straits due to the pandemic may be interested to hear.

Don’t you, Congressman?

UPDATE: Here is Cline’s lame explanation for his NO vote.

Trump said nothing about making the payment increases dependent on spending cuts. Cline is more of a Trumpist than Trump himself.

Let’s do it, Congressman

After voting in Congress for the spending package that President Trump now calls a “disgrace,” and after failing to object to the pitifully-low $600-per-person stimulus payment that Republican Congressional leaders insisted on for months, Congressman Cline has dutifully fallen into line with Trump by supporting a $2,000-per-person payment.

Undoubtedly there is some “wasteful spending” in the bill, but– as always– it would be good to know what Cline considers wasteful spending.

Cline’s utter sycophancy to Trump apparently overrode his pious “we can’t afford it” talk. But in this instance Trump (and Cline) are right. The soaring number of COVID-19 cases and the massive suffering endured by tens of millions of Americans who are unemployed, hungry or facing eviction require immediate and massive relief.

So as monotonously critical as Cline is of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, I hope he will put aside his usual partisan point-scoring and join with her in getting it done.

Cline the amused coward

Almost a week after the Electoral College affirmed the victory of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the 2020 election, Congressman Cline posted this on his campaign Facebook page:

Give us a break, Congressman. Some random objections by a handful of House Democrats in 2017 is not equivalent to the sustained effort by President Donald Trump and you and 125 other House Republicans to overturn the results of the 2020 election. (Compare that to Hillary Clinton’s concession the morning after the 2016 election.)

And you’ll notice that the objections from Democrats were overruled by none other than Vice President Joe Biden.

What’s truly (and grimly) amusing is your suggestion that Trump wants nothing more than to “count every legal vote”– when in fact the lawsuit that Trump and you backed (and which was rejected unanimously by the Supreme Court) aimed to throw out millions of legally-cast ballots in four states.

Meanwhile Cline is avoiding answering questions about his support for the failed lawsuit, or even if he accepts that Biden is the President-elect.

The Daily News-Record reported:

Cline declined to discuss his support for the lawsuit…

The Roanoke Times reported:

Cline, R-Botetourt, and [Rob] Wittman, R-Westmoreland, did not respond to requests for comment. They did not provide responses to a list of questions, including if they recognize Biden as the next president and, if they don’t, when they will.

At least Congressman Morgan Griffith of the neighboring Ninth Congressional District, who also backed the lawsuit, was willing to talk to a Times reporter, however nonsensically.

Cline has been getting a lot of blowback on his support for the lawsuit from Sixth District constituents: on his Facebook pages, his Twitter accounts, in letters to the editor, editorials and op-ed pieces. Instead of responding directly, he seems mostly interested in changing the subject: to Hunter Biden, the Trump impeachment, the unrelated Bush v. Gore, etc.

He’s a coward.

Cline to reality: Drop dead

In an update to my previous post at Cline Watch, I wrote to Congressman Cline about the refusal of the Supreme Court (including the three justices appointed by President Trump) to consider a frivolous lawsuit he endorsed:

Your side lost in your effort to overturn the will of the American people, Congressman. Will you now accept that Joe Biden will become President of the United States on January 20, 2021?

This was Cline’s only response to the latest in a long line of defeats in Trump’s efforts to overturn the result of the Presidential election:

Congressman, there was no evidence of extensive voter fraud. Judges appointed by Trump, and his own attorney general, have determined that. And still you grasp at unrelated events to try to excuse the inexcusable. Still you refuse to acknowledge the plain fact that Joe Biden was fairly elected President of the United States. Surely, at some level, you recognize the truth. Are you so afraid of being “primaried” in a future election that you can’t bring yourself to speak it?

Cline’s bad day on Capitol Hill

Congressman Cline has had a lot of low points in his Congressional career (see: Cline Watch), but on Thursday he struck new depths.

First Cline posted a video on his Congressional Facebook page complaining (once again) about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s supposed refusal to agree to a COVID-19 relief package– while in fact Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is rejecting a bipartisan proposal. Then (as if it was somehow related) Cline went on to complain (once again) about modest restrictions ordered by Governor Northam to combat rising numbers of COVID-19 infections in Virginia as an attack on “the liberties of Virginia citizens.”

At his press conference announcing the restrictions, Northam showed this video (which, astonishingly, some viewers are calling “liberal propaganda”).

I posted a link to the video in the comments on Cline’s Facebook page on the remote chance that he might watch it and take it seriously.

But that wasn’t an end to Cline’s Congressional malpractice on Thursday. He joined more than 100 other Congressional Republicans to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit aimed at overturning the results of the 2020 Presidential election.

Even some of President Trump’s strongest Republican supporters in Congress are baffled and refused to join this frivolous lawsuit.

I’d like to believe Cline can’t sink any lower in his refusal to take seriously the safety of his constituents and in his sycophancy to Trump. But I know that’s not true.

Update: Your side lost in your effort to overturn the will of the American people, Congressman. Will you now accept that Joe Biden will become President of the United States on January 20, 2021?

He lost, Congressman. Get over it.

Last week on his campaign Facebook page, Congressman Cline continued to defend Donald Trump’s delusional and dangerous efforts to overturn the clear result of the November 3 Presidential election.

He linked to an article in the rightwing Washington Examiner about a court hearing in Nevada at which lawyers for Trump were supposed to present evidence of massive fraud and illegalities in the state, which President-elect Joe Biden carried. Note the hopeful headline:

The hearing occurred Thursday. On Friday the judge issued his ruling. The “huge court win” turned into a huge court loss for Trump and Cline.

In a detailed, 35-page decision, Judge James T. Russell of the Nevada District Court in Carson City vetted each claim of fraud and wrongdoing made by the Trump campaign in the state and found that none was supported by convincing proof. The judge dismissed the challenge with prejudice, ruling that the campaign failed to offer any basis for annulling more than 1.3 million votes cast in the state’s presidential race.

The campaign “did not prove under any standard of proof that illegal votes were cast and counted, or legal votes were not counted at all, due to voter fraud, nor in an amount equal to or greater than” Biden’s margin of victory, which was about 33,600 votes, Russell wrote.

Among its allegations, the campaign claimed that more than 61,000 people voted twice or from out-of-state.

In his ruling, Russell concurred with election officials and academic experts that there is no evidence for this, and specifically dismissed witness declarations that had been touted by the campaign, calling them “self-serving statements of little or no evidentiary value.”

Time to move on, Congressman.

Cline versus democracy

Shamelessly doing his part to erode American democracy, Congressman Cline has proclaimed his support for conspiracy theorist extraordinaire Sidney Powell, an attorney for Donald Trump, in her delusional effort to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election.

According to an AP News Fact Check:

Trump attorney Sidney Powell spun fictional tales of election systems flipping votes, German servers storing U.S. voting information and election software created in Venezuela “at the direction of Hugo Chavez” — the late Venezuelan president who died in 2013. She also said Trump beat Democrat Joe Biden “by a landslide,” which he decidedly didn’t — Biden was the clear winner.

Powell’s claims are so absurd that even reliable Trump supporters like Fox News’s Tucker Carlson are calling her out.

Carlson said he repeatedly reached out to Powell for evidence of her claim and invited her on the show. He said her claim “could amount to the single greatest crime in American history” if it were true.

“When we kept pressing, she got angry and told us to stop contacting her,” Carlson said. “When we checked with others around the Trump campaign, people in positions of authority, they told us Powell has never given any evidence either. Nor did she provide any today.”

But Powell insists: “The entire election, frankly, in all the swing states should be overturned and the legislatures should make sure that the electors are selected for Trump”

Cline’s willingness to follow Powell down this particular rabbit hole tells you all you need to know about his dead-end loyalty to Donald Trump– who, for his information, will no longer be President as of 12:01 p.m. on January 20, 2021.

Cline spouts utter nonsense

Speaking at a pro-Trump rally in Staunton with other Republican dead-enders, Congressman Cline groveled to Donald Trump and tried to impugn the results of the 2020 election– a clear victory for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris– by suggesting with no evidence that there were massive numbers of “illegal votes” in the Democrats’ favor. I’d like to believe he knows better, but he makes it hard.

And he’s wrong about a lot of other stuff too.