Sixth District residents will have a chance to ask Congressman Cline about his vote against the coronavirus response bill and other matters at a town hall on Wednesday March 18 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at VFW Post 1499, 105 Memorial Lane, Lexington (between Lexington and Buena Vista).
You may register here.
Citizens of Rockbridge County will be given priority regarding comments during the town hall.
The Washington Post reports:
The House overwhelmingly passed an economic relief bill early Saturday for the coronavirus, dedicating tens of billions of dollars for paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, free testing and other measures to help Americans impacted by the crisis.
The 363-40 vote — gaveled down just before 1 a.m. — capped two days of volatile negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that threatened to fall apart entirely for hours Friday amid GOP misgivings. But even after President Trump criticized House Democrats at an afternoon news conference Pelosi and Mnuchin kept at it, speaking by phone 13 times in the course of the day Friday and finally clinching a deal.
Not long thereafter Trump endorsed the legislation over Twitter, ensuring widespread GOP support.
“This Bill will follow my direction for free CoronaVirus tests, and paid sick leave for our impacted American workers,” Trump wrote, adding that he was directing Cabinet secretaries to issue regulations ensuring small businesses would not be hurt by mandates in the bill.
“I encourage all Republicans and Democrats to come together and VOTE YES! I will always put the health and well-being of American families FIRST,” the president wrote. “Look forward to signing the final Bill, ASAP!”
The agreement reached Friday is primarily aimed at expanding the safety net to cope with the potentially catastrophic economic impact of the coronavirus. In addition to ensuring free coronavirus testing, the plan would dramatically increase several benefits, particularly family medical leave and paid sick leave, while also bolstering unemployment insurance; spending on health insurance for the poor; and food programs for children and the elderly.
Congressman Cline joined 39 other Republicans to vote NO– the only member of Congress from Virginia to do so. It’s unfortunate that in a rare instance when he defied Trump’s wishes, it was to oppose a vital measure to protect the health and well-being of all Americans in a national emergency– especially low-income workers and those with few resources.
Cline likes to remind us: “In one of my first speeches after being sworn in, I reintroduced four words to Congress that Washington needs to hear again and again: we can’t afford it.” However he is very selective about what he thinks we can and can’t afford.
In case you were unaware, Congressman: Sometimes there are moments when we can’t afford not to act.
Update: Cline tries to justify his vote. Surely he must understand the gravity and urgency of the situation. I’m not sure why he’s smiling.
Congressman Cline will hold town hall meetings on Monday March 16 in Amherst County and Buena Vista.
The Amherst County town hall will take place from 8:30 AM – 10 AM at the Amherst-Monroe Ruritan Club, 115 Bruner Road, Monroe, VA. (Register here.)
The Buena Vista town hall will take place from 5 PM – 6:30 PM at American Legion Post 126, 1953 Magnolia Ave., Buena Vista, VA. (Register here.)
Among the questions participants may want to ask is whether– given current circumstances– Cline will support legislation requiring employers to provide paid sick leave so low-wage workers (of whom there are many in the Sixth District) can afford to stay home when they are ill rather than going to work and possibly infecting others.
During the first nine months of 2019, Congressman Cline’s campaign committee reported raising $302,528.31.
Now the reporting is in for the all of 2019. Cline’s receipts for that year total $390,860.81, which means he collected more than $88,300 between October and December.
Some noteworthy donations to Cline’s 2020 campaign during the fourth quarter:
–Dell Technologies: $2,500
The Lexington News-Gazette reports on Congressman Cline’s town hall meeting in Lexington on Tuesday:
Congressman Ben Cline began by chronicling his efforts to “reach across the aisle” in Washington, but many residents called into question his sincerity, city divisive rhetoric on past occasions.
When he speaks to largely Democratic audiences, as he did in Lexington, Cline likes to talk about his supposed unhappiness with the partisan divisiveness in Washington and his alleged efforts to achieve bipartisanship in Congress. But Lexingtonians and others in the Sixth District have good reason to question his earnestness.
He proved it once again when he spoke to a reporter after the town hall.
The majority of the audience shared concerns about how much power President Trump has.
The reporter asked: “Is that a question you get asked often of how much power is the president allotted?”
He replied: “No, I think that question was born of frustration at what Democrats see as a lack of balance between the branches of government. This president is winning and it is frustrating for some people on the other side.”
So Cline dismissed the genuine alarm of many people– not just Democrats– about Trump’s increasingly authoritarian style of governing: his willingness to defy and bypass Congress and ignore the courts whenever it suits him, his absurd assertion that Article 2 of the Constitution give him the right to do whatever he wants as president, his politically- and personally-motivated use of his powers of pardon and clemency, his proclamation that he is the law of the land.
Instead, Cline said, the only reason Democrats and others are upset is that Trump is winning and they are losing.
Congressman Cline: If you believe that, your willingness to shrug off Trump’s appalling abuse of power makes you and your fellow sycophants as dangerous to our Republic as he is.
Congressman Cline has announced plans to hold a town hall meeting on Tuesday February 18 in Lexington from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Lexington Community Center, 300 Diamond Street.
According to the announcement:
Citizens of Lexington will be given priority regarding comments during the town hall.
Constituents may register for the town hall here.
Perhaps some of our Lexington readers can take the opportunity to ask Cline about some of the things he has said and done, as chronicled here and elsewhere, since he was sworn in as our representative in Washington.