Unfortunately, as we move solidly into the new year, the same problems are plaguing our Nation. Inflation still remains high, the border saw another record-high in illegal crossings and the amount of fentanyl seized, all while our posture has been weakened in the world, as we allowed a Chinese spy balloon to fly across the homeland. Worse, the Secretary of Transportation took ten days to even comment on the toxic train derailment in Ohio, much less rapidly deploy FEMA resources to the impacted areas. There is a lack of leadership coming out of the Oval Office and Americans are suffering because of it. However, I am continuing to fight for women who have been victims of brutal and unthinkable crimes, as I reintroduced the Debbie Smith Act. Finally, it was great visiting businesses throughout the District and meeting with constituents to kick off my “Coffee With Your Congressman” circuit for the 118th Congress, from Alleghany and Salem up to Winchester. Stay tuned for more events near you, and rest assured I’ll continue fighting for western Virginians.
Inflation is Persistent, Biden in Denial
Inflation is a tax on all Americans, and we’ve been suffering from it for far too long. Sadly this month the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a key inflation index, came in “hotter” than economists had projected, increasing at an annual rate of 0.5 percent in January to 6.4 percent before seasonal adjustment, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This report shows that inflation is not cooling like the Biden administration would like Americans to believe.
The truth hurts:
- Food at elementary and secondary schools is UP 301.9%
- Eggs are UP 70.1%
- Fuel oil is UP 27.7%
- Airline fares are UP 25.6%
- Motor vehicle repairs are UP 23.1%
- Fats and oils are UP 20.9%
- Flour and prepared flour mixes are UP 20.4%
Further, year-over-year real wages have been negative for 22 months, and real average hourly earnings decreased 1.8%, seasonally adjusted, from January 2022 to January 2023. House Republicans are committed to reining in Joe Biden’s out-of-control government spending that has caused inflation to skyrocket, and we’re working to build an economy that’s strong for every American.
Fighting Sex Crime Injustice: The Debbie Smith Act
Last week, I joined my colleagues, Reps. Ann Wagner (R-MO), Wesley Hunt (R-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), in introducing H.R. 1105, a reauthorization of the Debbie Smith Act for 2023. To combat the rise of unsolved criminal sex crimes, this bipartisan legislation will provide law enforcement agencies and crime labs across the country with the resources they need to help improve DNA collection and analysis, eliminate the rape kit backlog, and enhance state and local prosecutors’ capacity to bring these cases to court. As a former prosecutor, I know all too well how critical DNA evidence is to achieving justice for the victims of sexual assault and homicide. I hope our fellow colleagues will join us in support of this critical legislation to ensure that our law enforcement agencies will once again have the support and resources they need to reduce unacceptable DNA backlogs and hold violent predators accountable for their heinous crimes.
“Coffee With Your Congressman”
Since being elected I’ve regularly held meetings in which I can hear directly from you in a two-way dialogue. These exchanges help me better represent you in Washington. In keeping with this promise, I have kicked off my “Coffee With Your Congressman” tour for the 118th Congress. While I’m working to get to every locality in the Sixth Congressional District, I enjoyed my recent meetings in Winchester, Alleghany County, and Salem. Be sure to check for an upcoming event in your area.
My office is currently accepting applications for an internship in the District and D.C. offices for the Summer of 2023. Qualified applicants should possess strong communication skills, be interested in learning about the legislative process, and have a willingness to work in a fast-paced office. Responsibilities would include answering phones, leading tours of the Capitol, attending policy briefings and meetings, and conducting research and writing, and additional tasks to assist the Congressman’s staff.
Interested applicants should fill out the internship form found here (https://cline.house.gov/services/internships) and send the completed application, along with their resume, to VA06Interns@mail.house.gov by March 15th.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Congressman. If my office can ever be of assistance, please contact my Washington office at (202) 225-5431.
-Rep. Ben Cline