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Rep. Cline weighs in on COVID relief, restrictions

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 5:02 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - As the Senate weighs President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package, Congressman Ben Cline (R-VA 06) is defending his vote against that bill in the House.

“It’s a partisan bill funding Democrat priorities, not COVID bipartisan priorities,” Cline said. “If we were to scale it back and make it directly related to COVID, I think that would be something that I would look at supporting.”

The relief bill passed the house 219-209, without any Republican support.

“The COVID bill is currently pending in the Senate, which I’m confident is going to pass by the end of this week,” said US Sen. Tim Kaine, (D-Virginia).

Congressman Cline believes the key to a financial turnaround begins with sending kids back to the classroom.

“Step one, schools need to open up, and that will enable parents to get back in the workplace. That’s step two, and so for the economy to rebound we really need schools to open,” said Cline.

Cline is also calling on Virginia’s Governor to allow more spectators at outdoor sporting events. The Congressman believes 50% capacity, up to 500 people, is a safe starting point.

“If you look at Salem Stadium, if you’re having a concert, you can have a thousand people there under the current rules, but only 250 if Salem High School plays football. It doesn’t make any sense,” Cline said.

Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) relaxed some restrictions this past Monday. One change is allowing more people at entertainment venues.

Other states are going much further. Texas is rolling back all restrictions, including a mask mandate.

“I don’t think that we’ve beaten COVID yet,” Cline responded when asked if those states are going too far.

“We shouldn’t just completely remove all restrictions,” Cline continued. “I do think wearing a mask should be a choice, and I think we should encourage it.”

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