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Ben Cline calls for transparency, end of secret settlement fund

ben clineBen Cline, candidate for the Republican nomination in the Sixth District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, called on congressional leaders to release more information about the taxpayer-funded account reserved for settling claims filed pursuant to the Congressional Accountability Act.

Many of these claims involve allegations of sexual harassment by Members of Congress, some of whom may still be serving in office.

“This is a clear abuse of power and only in Washington would this be acceptable. It’s stunning that taxpayer dollars are being used to sweep sexual harassment claims against Members of Congress under the rug. This needs to be investigated, not hidden from the public,” said Cline. “As a fighter for greater transparency in government and a watchdog against the misuse of taxpayer dollars, I urge the House and Senate to shine more sunlight on these taxpayer-funded settlements and bring an end to the taxpayer-financed cover-up of these abuses of power.”

Last week, the Congressional Office of Compliance released an annual breakdown of harassment settlements since 1997. The breakdown shows that more than $17 million was spent on settling claims during the past two decades.

Cline is an attorney working in private practice and represents the 24th District in the Virginia House of Delegates, where he serves as House Chairman of the Conservative Caucus. Cline has championed legislation to increase transparency in government, including placing the budget online and requiring that all votes in the House are recorded.

 

Prior to opening his law firm in 2013, Cline was a prosecutor of domestic violence cases and sponsored several laws in Richmond to protect victims of domestic violence. He lives in Lexington with his wife, Elizabeth, and twin daughters.

 
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