Rep. Cline Statement on H.R. 748 - the CARES Act

March 27, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Ben Cline (VA-06) released the below statement following the House passage of H.R. 748 – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“Our Nation is facing a historic crisis. In the last month, COVID-19 has infected over 85,000 Americans, more than any other Nation on Earth.  Over 1200 of our fellow Americans have perished, and we are making every effort to stop the virus from taking from us thousands more of our neighbors, our friends, and our family members.  The first Virginian was infected only three weeks ago, and since then we have seen life as we know it across our Commonwealth come to a screeching halt.”

“The crisis created by this virus is twofold. It is first and foremost a health crisis, made worse by the stealth with which the virus spreads.  Often those infected feel no symptoms and unsuspectingly pass the virus on to weaker and more vulnerable targets.  And it takes advantage of the very characteristics that make us a great Nation, preying on our love of freedom, our love of social interaction, and our love of community.  As government has sought to eliminate the virus, it has urged practices that contradict many of these characteristics that make America great.  Who would've thought that in America we would be advised not to gather in groups, eat out at a restaurant, or attend a graduation program, music concert, or church service?”

“The second crisis created by COVID-19 is economic, and the combination of the virus itself and the actions taken to fight the virus have brought our economy to its knees.  As lock-downs are announced and bans on gatherings of more than 10 people enforced, the impact of our economy has been pronounced.  The stock market has lost a third of its value, main streets across America are empty, and sporting events and other celebrations have been cancelled.  Just this week, it was announced that over 3 million people filed for unemployment last week, shattering the old record of 665,000 in March 2009.  We cannot lose sight of the need to beat the virus on both the health front and the economic front.”

“With the passage of the CARES Act, Congress has acted to address both the health crisis and the economic crisis surrounding COVID-19, providing resources to hospitals and health care workers while supporting American workers and small businesses through this challenging time. While I did not agree with all of the provisions, I was pleased the Senate rejected Speaker Pelosi’s progressive wish list and proud to vote in favor of this legislation. It provides much-needed assistance to Sixth District residents and businesses and gives our hospitals and health care providers the best fighting chance to contain COVID-19 and rid it from our Nation.”

To read a more detailed summary of the bill, please click here.

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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.