Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – August 24, 2021 – Royal Examiner
Being back home gives me the chance to meet people and hear their perspectives on current issues in Washington. Recent topics have included the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and the linking of a $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure package with an additional $ 3.5 trillion “human infrastructure” proposal. Regarding the budget debate, I have heard constituents ask ‘how can we afford it’, ‘how is it paid’ and ‘is it going for traditional infrastructure such as roads and the bridges ? Rest assured, I share these concerns and ask these questions as Congress returns to Washington, DC to debate and vote on these topics.
Another problem I hear everywhere is rising inflation. Why do we have to pay more for gas, food and almost everything else? In addition, the absence of a comprehensive plan to secure our border continues to have negative effects, and the latest data from Customs and border protection show that the situation is only getting worse, as more than 212 000 illegal aliens crossed the border last month, marking a 21- year high.
Closer to home, my office announced its participation in the Congressional App Challenge, which will allow middle and high school students across the district to develop their computer programming skills. With respect to the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan, my office remains committed to ensuring the safety of American citizens and those who contributed to the war effort, in addition to providing remedies for veterans who have fallen. sacrificed while serving in the country. It is an honor to serve on behalf of the Sixth District, and I look forward to meeting even more constituents as I continue to travel throughout the region.
Tragedy in Afghanistan:
The situation in Afghanistan is tragic. The catastrophic withdrawal of the Biden administration allowed the Taliban to sweep over the country, take control of the capital, and the group is now in the process of setting up a government. My office remains committed to assisting in the evacuation efforts of American citizens still in the country, as well as Afghan interpreters and others who have assisted the United States for the past 20 years. I am working hard to obtain information from the State Department and find solutions to the tragic situation. If you have a loved one who is trapped there, urge them to do the following immediately:
U.S. citizens requiring assistance leaving Afghanistan should register for any option that could be identified to return to the United States by completing this form. Repatriation assistance request for each traveler in their group as quickly as possible to facilitate travel when the situation allows. Spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens in Afghanistan who are awaiting an immigrant visa must also complete this form if they wish to leave. Citizens should complete this form even if they have already submitted their information to the United States Embassy in Kabul.
We are currently working with the state to evacuate people and are awaiting further guidance. The situation is fluid and we are working hard to get better information. If you are a VA-06 resident and have a loved one trying to escape Kabul, please contact my district offices at the bottom of the page. Additional information from the State Department can be found here.
Additionally, the veterans who have answered the call to serve our nation – including over the past two decades in Afghanistan – deserve our thanks and respect. They also need to know that they are not alone. Below are the resources available for veterans, provided by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. For emergency mental health care, you can also go directly to your local VA medical center 24/7 regardless of your discharge status or enrollment in other VA health care.
• Veterinary centers: Discuss how you are feeling with other veterans at these community counseling centers. 70% of the staff of the veterinary center are veterans. Call 1-877-927-8387 or find one near you.
• Make the connection: Veteran-to-veteran information, resources and videos for difficult life events and experiences with mental health issues.
• Checkpoint: Talk to other veterans online.
• Veteran Women’s Center, US Department of Veterans Affairs: Call or text 1-855-829-6636 (Monday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET)
• VA Caregiver Helpline: Call 1-855-260-3274 (Monday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. & SAT 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET)
The out-of-control spending by President Biden and Congressional Democrats caused a key inflation indicator to hit a new high in July. The Producer Price Inflation Index (PPI) has risen 7.8% over the past twelve months, a record high since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began calculating the index in November 2010 Inflation itself has increased every month since Joe Biden became president. and the consumer price index (CPI) has risen 5.4% over the past twelve months, marking a high inflation rate in 13 years. This corresponds to the biggest jump in the CPI since just before the financial crash of August 2008. On top of that, the employment costs index – which measures wages and salaries, as well as health, retirement and other benefits – fell in the last quarter and is 2% below its pre-pandemic trend, allowing for inflation. While Americans earn less, they pay more for just about everything, and President Biden’s out-of-control spending is one of the main reasons for this.
• Car rentals increased by 73.5%
• Gas is up 41.8%
• Hotels are up 24.1%
• Plane tickets increase by 19%
• Steaks increased by 10.7%
• Fish increased by 8.5%
• Sports equipment is up 7.2%
Since taking office, President Biden has halted construction of the border wall, ended the “stay in Mexico” policy, canceled cooperation agreements on asylum and requested amnesty for millions of people.
These actions had disastrous consequences and led to a humanitarian, health and national security crisis on the southern border. Last month alone, US Customs and Border Protection reported more than 212,000 border apprehensions, the highest number in 21 years. In addition, these figures make July the fifth consecutive month in which illegal border crossings have exceeded 170,000, and more than one million illegal crossings have taken place since President Biden took office. The illegal immigration crisis is only getting worse and this administration must take corrective action immediately.
Congress Applications Challenge:
This week my office was pleased to announce its participation in the Congressional App Challenge (CAC) 2021. The App Challenge is a Congressional initiative to encourage student engagement in STEM programs and, more specifically, the ‘computer science. In an ever-changing technological world, the continued growth of computer and STEM skills is essential for economic prosperity and innovation. This application challenge will give middle and high school students in the Sixth arrondissement the opportunity to test their creativity and develop their programming skills. Registrations are open for students, and more detailed rules and guidelines are available on the CCA website. The winning application from each congressional district will be on display on Capitol Hill for one year.
Service Academy Day:
My office will be hosting the multi-day premiere of the Service Academy on Saturday, August 28, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Rockbridge County High School in Lexington, Virginia.
Students and their parents will receive information on the application, nomination, selection and nomination processes. Representatives of the various service academies will be present to provide information and answer questions.
• The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York
• The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland
• The United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York
• The United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado
An academy appointment has an estimated value of over $ 400,000 and admission is competitive. Each academy selects applicants based on their character, academic performance, physical condition, leadership, and college admission test results. The earlier a student begins preparation, the more competitive they will be in the process.
As a representative of the Sixth District, I continue to make myself available to those I serve. During this District shift in August, I had the opportunity to meet individual constituents in my office, visit countless small businesses and manufacturing facilities, and participate in community events.
As of August 22, 2021, Virginia had a total of 731,287 cases of COVID-19, including confirmed laboratory tests and clinical diagnoses, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The current Commonwealth death toll stands at 11,681. In addition, according to the VDH’s COVID-19 Vaccine Data Dashboard, as of August 22, 5,475,640 people had been vaccinated with at least one dose. COVID-19 vaccine, and 4,788,915 people were fully immunized.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as a member of Congress. If my office can be of assistance to you, please contact my Washington office at (202) 225-5431.