Ben Cline (R-Va.) was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, representing Virginia’s 6th Congressional District. After winning the GOP primary for the seat with Trump’s endorsement, he ran for his third term in 2022 and won.
Prior to being elected to Congress, Cline was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 2002–18. Outside of his career in politics, he worked as an attorney in private practice and an assistant Commonwealth’s attorney for Rockingham County and the City of Harrisonburg in Virginia.
As a congressman, Cline has consistently upheld far-right positions. He is staunchly anti-abortion and a strong proponent of guns who again voted against gun control legislation after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. “I will never allow the Left to… attempt to disarm American citizens,” he vows on his campaign site. Cline also voted against HR 1112, a bill that would have required universal background checks on all firearm purchases; against the 2019 Equality Act, which would have prevented discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation; and against the 2019 Dreamers Act in support of immigration reform, among many other bills he considers.
Cline has shown strong loyalty to Trump by helping to spread the Big Lie and voting against certification of the Electoral College results, impeachment, and the establishment of a House committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, among other measures. In speaking against the voter protection bill H.R. 1 (the For the People Act) on the House floor, he said, “the only people who benefit from HR 1 are politicians hoping to line their campaign coffers with taxpayer funds.” A supporter of voter ID laws, he questioned Attorney General Merrick Garland at a House Appropriations Committee hearing, asking how it’s fair to require an ID card to buy a gun but not to vote.
January 6, 2021
- Just hours after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, Cline joined 146 other congressional Republicans in refusing to certify Biden’s win of the 2020 presidential election. He claimed that election regulations set by state legislatures during the pandemic “were deliberately changed by a number of individuals, including governors, secretaries of state, elections officials, judges, and private parties.”
- In voting against Trump’s impeachment for his role in inciting the insurrection, Cline said that the legal standards for impeachment had not been met and accused Democrats of “rushing through an impeachment without all of the facts and evidence, and without due process.”
- Cline voted against establishing a House committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack.
The Big Lie
- When Cline spoke at a Nov. 14, 2020 rally in Jolivue, Virginia, one attendee called him one of the most “inflammatory” speakers there after he made calls to overturn the election results and resist an outcome that would put Biden in the White House.
- In July 2021, Cline was a featured speaker at an “election integrity rally” in Richmond, Virginia, an event that spread further mistrust in the electoral process and reinforced conspiracy theories about voter fraud.
- On Nov. 6, 2020, Cline and 38 other House Republicans signed a letter to then-Attorney General Bill Barr asking that the Justice Department investigate the presidential election process based on “widespread reports of irregularities” during ballot counts.
- In a Facebook post explaining his decision to sign the letter, Cline wrote, “the confidence of the voters in the integrity of our electoral system is paramount, and in a close race such as this, we all should be insisting that every legal vote is counted before a winner is declared.”
- On Dec. 10, 2020, Cline signed an amicus brief in a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the results of the presidential election in four swing states: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
- In defense of his position, he said, “I will vigorously defend the right of every American, including the President, to have their day in court. Just as Al Gore and George W. Bush sought redress from the Supreme Court in December of 2000, President Trump should be able to do so today.”