Rep. Cline Introduces H.R. 6685 – The Protect Our Women and Waive Emergency Requirements (POWER) Act

May 4, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Ben Cline (VA-06) and Congresswoman Lucy McBath (GA-06) introduced H.R. 6685 – the bipartisan Protect Our Women and Waive Emergency Requirements (POWER) Act.

For the past three decades, the Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA) has been a critical piece of legislation supporting services such as emergency shelter and related assistance programs for victims of domestic violence and their children through federal grants.

These funds, allocated by the Federal Government, require many subgrantees to provide a non-federal match of $1 for every $5 of funding received. This match can be met through cash or “in-kind” contributions, such as facilities or equipment usage, volunteer hours, and more. H.R. 6685 temporarily waives the non-federal match requirement on FVPSA grant funds during the coronavirus pandemic.

Congressman Cline said, “Throughout my career as a prosecutor, Delegate, and now as Congressman, I have always fought for the victims of domestic violence. By temporarily suspending the non-federal match requirement in the Family Violence Prevention Services Act, Congress can ensure that support services remain available to victims during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders have made it nearly impossible for entities to utilize the ‘in-kind’ contribution option specified in the FVPSA and is why the POWER Act is necessary to safeguard programs for domestic violence victims across the country.”

Congresswoman McBath said, “Since this public health crisis began, the nation has seen a tragic increase in the frequency and severity of domestic violence claims. Organizations that provide resources for survivors and those experiencing violence need our support to continue to serve their communities. I’m glad to take this step with my colleague across the aisle to adapt funding programs to continue to support these organizations as they protect families and work tirelessly to prevent violence.”

Congressman Cline has been a champion for victims of domestic violence since his time as an assistant prosecutor of domestic violence cases in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. For several years, Ben served on the board of Project Horizon, a domestic violence shelter located in his hometown of Lexington. During his career in the Virginia House of Delegates, Cline patroned and had signed into law several bills addressing domestic violence, including a law to make strangulation a felony in Virginia.

Congressman Ben Cline represents the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia. He previously was an attorney in private practice and served both as an assistant prosecutor and Member of the Virginia House of Delegates. Cline and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Botetourt County with their two children.