October 8, 2020
Kudos for Rescuing Chesapeake Bay Program
Kaitlyn Leitherer, The Baltimore Sun (LTE)
I want to voice my support and congratulations to Rep. John Sarbanes, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and everyone who worked tirelessly to pass America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (“U.S. House passes up to $92 million in Chesapeake Bay cleanup funding; advocates expect Trump to sign," Oct. 1). The passage of this bipartisan legislation is exciting news for the future of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and is cause for celebration.
Growing up in Federal Hill, my life has been full of waterfront memories — passing runners on scenic morning jogs and watching the sunset from a bench at the park. However, I also have memories of sweltering afternoons where the lack of shade-providing trees (and the occasional smell of dead fish due to algae blooms) made the four-block walk to my best friend’s house almost unbearable.
In the News: Democrats Dressed Down Dumbfounded Pharma Executives at Fiery Congressional Hearing on Drug Prices
October 1, 2020
Democrats Dressed Down Dumbfounded Pharma Executives at Fiery Congressional Hearing on Drug Prices
Blake Montgomery, The Daily Beast
Several Democratic representatives blasted pharmaceutical executives over the prices of their companies’ drugs during a Wednesday House Oversight Committee hearing that caught the chief of Bristol Myers Squibb subsidiary Celgene and Teva flat-footed. Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) drew a stark connection between bonuses the former Celgene CEO, Mark Alles, had received in recent years and price hikes for the cancer therapeutic Revlimid, which has risen in price from $215 in 2005 to $763 today. When Alles could not succinctly answer whether the drug had improved alongside the price hikes, Porter replied, “To recap here: The drug didn’t get any better, the cancer patients didn’t get any better, you just got better at making money, you just refined your skills at price gouging.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) pointed to internal documents from drugmaker Teva that calculated the return on investment from charitable donations when she said, “Your pharmaceutical company makes these so-called charitable donations so you look like you give a shit about sick people.” Teva’s CEO Kåre Schultz failed so badly to win over lawmakers that one told him he “might as well get off the screen” of the virtual hearing. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) told Schultz, “It would have been nice to come, maybe, equipped a little bit better.”
October 1, 2020
Congressional Klieg lights could give way to restructuring of biopharma
Mari Serebrov, BioWorld
Attributing recent reductions in certain U.S. prescription drug prices to intense congressional scrutiny rather than a biopharma industry commitment to affordability, Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) said Congress must put more guardrails in place and restructure how the industry does business.
“I don’t trust the industry to do the right thing when we’re not looking at you with these Klieg lights,” he told executives from Amgen Inc., Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and Novartis AG Oct. 1 during the second day of a House Oversight Committee hearing on drug prices.
September 30, 2020
U.S. House Passes Bill to Bolster School-Based Health Centers
Elizabeth Shwe, Maryland Matters
A bill that would will help deliver primary care, dental screenings and mental health services to students in low-income and underserved communities passed by voice vote in the U.S. House of Representatives late Tuesday.
The School-Based Health Centers Reauthorization Act, sponsored by Rep. John P. Sarbanes (D-Md.), would continue federal support for school-based health centers through 2025. The statutory authorization had expired in 2014.
September 27, 2020
Sarbanes on talks about coronavirus relief
Jason Newton, WBAL-TV (NBC)
It has been six months since Congress passed the coronavirus relief act for the coronavirus pandemic, and talks between the White House and lawmakers are stalled over another round of relief. Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes talks about what's happening in Washington now.
September 24, 2020
Maryland Lawmakers Announce $5.6M To Upgrade MARC, Railways
Maryland lawmakers announced $5.6 million in federal funding to upgrade MARC Commuter trains and improve the overall railroad infrastructure across the state.
The congressional delegation includes – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone (all Md.)
September 23, 2020
Maryland Congressional Delegation Over $240K For Chesapeake Bay Education Initiatives
U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, along with Congressman John Sarbanes (all D-Md.), announced $242,858 in federal funding on Wednesday for the Chesapeake Bay Trust to expand environmental education programs.
The funding, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education and Training grant program, will help local school districts and educators create and maintain environmental education programs for students throughout the area.
September 17, 2020
The Dallas Piggy Bank
Sarah Kleiner, The Center for Public Integrity
In June 2017, a group of 400 conservative donors was wrapping up a conference organized by the Koch Brothers at the five-star Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs.
The 450-acre retreat offers activities such as horseback riding, fly fishing, golfing, $260 deep-tissue massages, all situated among sparkling views of the Rocky Mountains.
In the News: Maryland postal workers, lawmakers urge public to rally behind Postal Service as Frosh considers lawsuit
August 17, 2020
Maryland postal workers, lawmakers urge public to rally behind Postal Service as Frosh considers lawsuit
Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun
Postal workers, union officials and Maryland political leaders urged citizens Monday to rally behind the U.S. Postal Service, saying public pressure can help reverse significant cuts at an agency “under attack.”
“We need everybody,” said Sherry McKnight, president of American Postal Workers Union Local 181, which represents about 1,600 Baltimore-area postal workers.
In the News: Postal Service reviewing staffing following complaints of mail delays in Baltimore area
August 10, 2020
Postal Service reviewing staffing following complaints of mail delays in Baltimore area
Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun
Frustrated lawmakers made surprise visits Monday to post offices in Dundalk and Essex, as the U.S. Postal Service said it was reviewing its staffing following complaints of severe mail delivery delays in the Baltimore area.
Rep. John Sarbanes, a Baltimore County Democrat, recently joined other federal lawmakers in expressing concern that the Postal Service’s new cost-reduction policies will reduce delivery trips, potentially leaving mail on docks or workroom floors.
August 5, 2020
Federal Dollars Awarded for Human Trafficking Survivors in Montgomery County
Suzanne Pollack, Montgomery County Media
The University of Maryland Support, Advocacy, Freedom and Empowerment (SAFE) Center for Human Trafficking Survivors, which aids survivors of human trafficking in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, was awarded $500,000 in federal funding.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the need for stable, supportive housing for survivors,” according to U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and U.S. Representatives Jamie Raskin, John Sarbanes, Steny Hoyer and David Trone.
In the News: Maryland congressional delegation requests $32 billion more relief funding for U.S. transit systems
July 31, 2020
Maryland congressional delegation requests $32 billion more relief funding for U.S. transit systems
Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun
Maryland’s congressional delegation is asking for an additional $32 billion in coronavirus relief funding for U.S. public transit systems — and for a larger share to go to transit systems serving mid-sized cities, such as Baltimore, where people depend heavily on the regional buses and trains.
Public transit is an essential government service, and additional aid “is necessary to sustain operations across the country,” U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and U.S. Reps. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Kweisi Mfume and John Sarbanes said in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Friday.
July 30, 2020
Census Door Knocking Cut A Month Short Amid Pressure To Finish Count
Hansi Lo Wang, NPR
The Census Bureau is cutting short critical door-knocking efforts for the 2020 census amid growing concerns among Democrats in Congress that the White House is pressuring the bureau to wrap up counting soon for political gain, NPR has learned.
Asked by Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., if he was aware that the Trump administration reportedly wants to wrap up counting quickly so that the president can receive the census apportionment numbers by the end of the year, Dillingham replied: "I'm not aware of all the many reasons except to say that the Census Bureau and others really want us to proceed as rapidly as possible."
In the News: Trump’s pitch to delay election is ‘absurd,’ suggests he could try to hold job if he loses, Maryland Dems say
July 30, 2020
Trump’s pitch to delay election is ‘absurd,’ suggests he could try to hold job if he loses, Maryland Dems say
Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun
President Donald Trump’s pitch to delay the Nov. 3 presidential election “reeks of desperation” and is an ill-conceived attempt to smear the sort of mail-in voting that Maryland employed in its June primary, Democratic members of the state’s congressional delegation said Thursday.
Trump should “cease his attempts to delegitimize mailed ballots and stop sowing discord over the integrity of our elections,” said Rep. John Sarbanes, a Baltimore County Democrat.
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July 16, 2020
FIREFIGHTERS RECEIVE $400,000 IN FEDERAL FUNDING
SUZANNE POLLAK, Montgomery Community Media
Maryland’s federal legislators announced July 16 the awarding of almost $400,000 for firefighters in Montgomery County to continue purchasing personal protective equipment.
Montgomery County will receive $357,800 and the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad will receive $45,780 through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters – COVID-19 Supplemental program.
July 10, 2020
Maryland Congressional Democrats Question Gov. Hogan's Election Day Plan
Tyler Waldman, WBAL (Online)
The nine Democrats in Maryland's 10-member congressional delegation sent a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday expressing worry over his latest plans for Election Day.
This week, Hogan said he intends for all polling places to be open and asked the Maryland State Board of Elections that all eligible voters be sent an application for an absentee ballot.
In the News: Baltimore Area Gets More Than $450K To Help Minority, Women-Owned Businesses, Lawmakers Announce
June 28, 2020
Baltimore Area Gets More Than $450K To Help Minority, Women-Owned Businesses, Lawmakers Announce
June 19, 2020
Md. Democrats Back Reconciliation Commission to Address, Heal Racism
Daniel C. Vock, Maryland Matters
June 17, 2020
Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) on the GOP Police Reform and COVID-19 Response
Sirius XM (‘POTUS Press Pool with Julie Mason’)
In the News: Maryland congressional leaders urge Gov. Larry Hogan to make more improvements to unemployment website
June 10, 2020
Maryland congressional leaders urge Gov. Larry Hogan to make more improvements to unemployment website
Mckenna Oxenden, The Baltimore Sun
Maryland congressional leaders are urging Gov. Larry Hogan to make more improvements to the state’s new Beacon One-Stop unemployment benefits website because they say constituents are not receiving their benefits in a timely manner.
U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen wrote a letter to the Republican governor Tuesday, saying they hear from constituents “every day” who continue to encounter problems that are “far from resolved.” U.S. Reps. Steny Hoyer, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Andy Harris, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone also signed the letter, saying that some of the problems include errors processing weekly certifications, performance issues with the state’s new Beacon One-Stop unemployment benefits website and inaccurate denials of benefits.