Rep. Ben Cline chats with Len Stevens about his legislative priorities and reaction to VEXIT

Digital Originals

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) has represented the Sixth Congressional District for just over a year. He sat down with Len Stevens to discuss his bill to provide danger pay for U.S. Marshals. He also gave his thoughts on VEXIT, gun legislation in the General Assembly, the “spat” between Attorney General Bill Barr and President Trump, and his reaction to the latest Democratic presidential debate.

Cline introduced the Danger Pay for U.S. Marshals Act.

Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) – “When it comes to Federal law enforcement, often you have very dangerous circumstances involving drug trafficking, even human trafficking at times. And so, when those law enforcement agents are in danger, they are eligible for what they call danger pay, or a pay bonus for putting themselves in harm’s way for Americans. And so whether it’s FBI Agents, Customs Enforcement, Border Agents, people who are eligible in the Department of Justice for that danger pay, Marshals, U.S. Marshals who serve warrants and often accompany those law enforcement agents are not eligible for danger pay. We think it might have been an oversight, but we’re looking forward to getting them bumped up to where they, as they put their lives on the line just like every other Federal law enforcement agent, they are eligible for the same danger pay.”

As to VEXIT, the move among some to have their localities no longer be considered part of Virginia, but rather become part of West Virginia, Cline said the movement is a check on the General Assembly, but he does not support the idea of cities and counties leaving Virginia.

Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) – “I understand people who say ‘Well, let’s look at West Virginia, but when you look at our standings, when you look at our rankings, Virginia is far and above, in terms of performance, economic performance, in schools and things like that. So, I don’t think it’s time for us to consider that kind of move to have counties join West Virginia, but I do think it’s a check on Richmond, just as these people speaking up for the 2nd Amendment has been a check on Richmond. The people are speaking out. They want to see a little bit more responsible action out of Richmond, instead of just northern Virginia, inside the beltway thinking, more bureaucracy, more regulations. That’s not what’s best for Virginia.”

Cline said he is pleased that the bill to ban assault weapons in Virginia failed, saying he wasn’t surprised to see it fail, due to the number of Democrats who are in office and who support 2nd Amendment rights.

As to reports that Attorney General William Barr has threatened to step down if President Trump doesn’t stop “interfering” over certain legal matters involving the Department of Justice, Cline referenced his time as a prosecutor.

Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) – “I understand that there are times when it’s appropriate to speak on pending cases and times when it’s not. And so, I think the more that the Attorney General and his team in the Department of Justice can do their jobs and pursue cases, that’s the best situation to be in. So, I think that the Attorney General is doing a good job. I think that we want him to stay on the job because he’s got a wide-ranging department that’s pursuing not only activities relating to criminal activities, white collar crimes, but also drug crimes, human trafficking. We want to make sure that they can do their jobs effectively.”

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