Sixth District Perspectives
By Congressman Ben Cline
Following the Independence Day District Work Period, my colleagues and I returned to Washington this week with only 23 days to complete the work of the 117th Congress. The biggest remaining hurdle is the passing of the 12 Appropriations bills that fund the government over the next year. Additionally, a smaller but still inflation-causing “Build Back Better” bill may see new life in the Senate.
But I have listened to story after story of Sixth District residents who have seen their paychecks shrink, gas and grocery bills rise, and expressed a lack of confidence in future economic opportunity because of skyrocketing inflation over the past year. It will be with them in mind that I will fight to restore energy independence and reduce the inflationary spending, higher taxes, and Green New Deal agenda that is causing damage to the American dream.
Dog Days of Summer for Congress: Funding the Federal Government
Congress has much to finish but very few legislative days in which to do it this year. Two remaining priorities are funding the federal government through Fiscal Year 2023 and reauthorizing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Just recently, after completing the Appropriations Committee markup, we learned yet again that House Democrats are committed to continuing their relentless spending spree. House Democrats’ Appropriations spending bills, while encompassing some areas of bipartisanship, reflected much of President Biden’s $5.8 trillion tax-and-spend budget. It will still be an uphill battle for Republicans to add bipartisan amendments on the House Floor that can reverse course from the failed agenda of Speaker Pelosi and President Biden.
The next task for Congress is to pass the NDAA for FY23. The NDAA provides authorization for the training, equipment, and resources of our men and women in uniform and the thousands of civilian DoD employees. While we must have the best-trained and equipped military in the world, we must also make sure it is funded by a policy that meets the needs of 21st century warfare and threats and allows us to respond when America’s interests are threated.
There are likely to be some important provisions in this bill which I support and will continue advocating for, such as a 2.4% pay bonus for enlisted personnel to counteract the impacts of inflation on low-income military families, $500 million for additional housing allowances to counteract the skyrocketing cost of rent on military families, and an additional $750 million to reduce costs of food and other necessities at military commissaries, and much more needed targeted support to our military.
However, if history is any indication, Democrats will try and politicize our military and inject woke indoctrination theories and mandated training into our nation’s defense funding. To be sure, supporting our troops and veterans has remained a top priority. But I will not shy away from fighting against regulations that diminish the cohesiveness and readiness of our troops in an increasingly dangerous world. America’s men and women in uniform need to be properly funded and not bogged down by a radical agenda that distracts them from their core mission of keeping our country safe and advancing our interests abroad.
Bypassing the Supreme Court and Federalizing Abortion Law
As the political debates continue on multiple issues, I will continue to stand for life and against Democrats’ attempt to federalize abortion law across the country following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs. President Biden recently signed an executive order to expand abortion services at the federal level, and Democrats in Congress are attempting to codify expanded abortion rights into law.
Speaker Pelosi is set to bring to the floor a number of radical pro-abortion bills, provisions of which include no restrictions on abortion even nine months into pregnancy. These actions will be met with fierce opposition by myself and other Republicans. Rest assured that I will continue be a leader in the charge to defend the voiceless.