September 19, 2019
Lawmakers Demand Answers about Nevada Telemarketer and His Clients
Sarah Kleiner and Chris Zubak-Skees, The Center for Public Integrity
A Nevada congresswoman called on federal authorities to investigate political action committees that raise funds for a cause — but plow most of what they raise back into their own paychecks and committee fundraising efforts.
The Justice Department should hold those who run such PACs “accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” and the Federal Election Commission should have increased authority to “punish bad actors,” said Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev.
September 17, 2019
Democrats press for action on election security
Maggie Miller, The Hill
Congressional Democrats renewed their call for election security legislation during a national day of action on Tuesday, as a Senate Appropriations subcommittee left out funding for it in its annual spending bill.
Democrats including Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.) argued on Tuesday that time is running out to implement election security upgrades such as replacing outdated voting machines with just over a year left prior to the 2020 elections.
September 12, 2019
FDA readying ban on flavored e-cigarettes amidst health scare
Dan Novak, Capital News Service
The Trump administration has announced plans to ban flavored electronic cigarettes, the culmination of a nationwide crackdown on vaping following a spike in respiratory illnesses connected to e-cigarette use.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said banning flavored vaping products like menthol and mint was essential in slowing the surge of youth nicotine addiction.
September 11, 2019
Md. Members Divide Along Party Lines as House Votes to Ban Offshore Drilling
Allison Winter, Maryland Matters
U.S. House lawmakers approved bipartisan legislation Wednesday that would block new offshore drilling off the majority of the U.S. coast – despite pushback from many Republicans.
The legislation would put in place far-reaching new protections, blocking drilling off most of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Lawmakers are scheduled to vote Thursday on a similar ban for drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
September 10, 2019
Md. Officials Press DeVos to Fix Flawed Loan Forgiveness Program
Danielle Gaines, Maryland Matters
More than three dozen Maryland lawmakers are calling on U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to answer questions about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which has attracted attention in recent months for nearly universally denying applications from federal workers.
Del. Lesley Lopez (D-Montgomery) spearheaded the leader to DeVos, noting the heavy presence of eligible government and nonprofit workers in Maryland.
September 9, 2019
In my interview with The Montgomery County Sentinel's Paul Schwartz, we discuss the progress that House Democrats have made #ForThePeople and how we will continue to hold President Trump and his Administration accountable — because no one is above the law.
September 6, 2019
$3.7 Million Of HUD Funding To Help Baltimore Combat Youth Homelessness
Pat Warren, WJZ-TV (CBS)
Millions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was allotted to Baltimore to help meet the needs of Baltimore City’s homeless youth.
Mayor Jack Young, Senators Ben Cardin, and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman John Sarbanes announced $3.7 million in federal funding from HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program.
September 5, 2019
Connect to Congress: Congressman Sarbanes
Brandi Procto, WBFF-TV (FOX)
September 5, 2019
Maryland communities and DC receive youth homelessness grants
Gabrielle Wanneh, WTOP-FM (Online)
Baltimore, Prince George’s County and the D.C. are among 23 communities receiving a total of $75 million in federal funds to combat youth homelessness.
The $75 million was awarded as part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, which started in 2016.
July 3, 2019
Ensuring elections 'free from foreign intrusion'
John Sarbanes and Brian Frosh, THE BALTIMORE SUN (OP-ED)
On July 4, Americans of all political stripes join together to celebrate our nation’s independence from overseas monarchs, from foreign influence, from interference in our democracy.
This is the moment to apply the lessons of 2016, when our election infrastructure — the core of American democracy — was attacked by a foreign adversary in a choreographed and coordinated effort. State and local election systems across the country were probed and, in some cases, breached. Outsiders exploited digital platforms to wage a full-scale disinformation campaign. And secret foreign money was deployed to influence the electoral outcome.
June 18, 2019
Senator McConnell: Protect U.S. elections
The Editorial Board, THE BALTIMORE SUN
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not shame easily. Ask anyone — including Jon Stewart, the former Comedy Network star who has found a second life as an impassioned advocate for the victims of the 9/11 attacks. His wilting denunciation of Congress and Senator McConnell, in particular, became must-watch viewing on a wide array of social media platforms last week. But has it softened the Republican leader’s heart? Hard to say. Mr. McConnell recently expressed support for fully funding the Victims Compensation Fund as Mr. Stewart has sought, but legislation to do so remains stalled in the Senate.
Still, if the embarrassment Mr. Stewart heaped on the majority leader actually did the job, perhaps the former “Daily Show” host can be recruited to express similar outrage that Congress has so far done so little to protect the upcoming 2020 election from foreign interference. Maryland’s own Rep. John Sarbanes is looking to rectify that situation shortly. He’s at the vanguard of the effort by House Democrats to strengthen election security — and address many of the criticisms contained in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report that have been echoed by U.S. intelligence agencies. There’s simply no question that Russian agents attempted to interfere in the 2016 election and are expected to be at it again next year.”
May 14, 2019
Sarbanes: Need to ‘prepare against the Russians coming again in 2020’
MSNBC (Meet the Press with Chuck Todd)
May 2, 2019
Leader McConnell, let us vote
John Sarbanes and Vanita Gupta, THE HILL(OP-ED)
The day after our nation commemorated the 54th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Ala., the House of Representatives passed H.R.1, the For the People Act, to strengthen voting rights, take big money out of politics, and clean up corruption on Capitol Hill.
Before the vote on March 8, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a foot soldier for civil rights who marched in Selma, implored lawmakers to recognize their moral responsibility to restore access to democracy. He asked his colleagues, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”
April 24, 2019
Trump obstruction is ‘disrespecting American public’ – Dem Congressman
MSNBC (The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell)
April 12, 2019
It's been a busy 100 days for House Democrats
Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, CNN (OP-ED)
In November, the American people elected Democrats to take back the reins of power in the House of Representatives and put it back to work on their behalf. In our first 100 days in the majority, we have begun to deliver on that promise. With a dynamic, diverse and energized freshman class of 63 new members, Democrats are moving ahead with our agenda for the people: Lower health care costs and the price of prescription drugs, increase paychecks by rebuilding the infrastructure of America in a green, modern and job-creating way, and clean up corruption in Washington so that the government works for the public interest, not the special interests.
One of the first acts of our new majority was to enable the House to defend the Affordable Care Act in court against efforts by Republican-led states and the Trump administration to dismantle it. This was soon followed by the introduction of a comprehensive bill to stabilize our health care system and lower health care costs for consumers. Already, committees are holding hearings and marking up legislation to keep Democrats' promises to take action to make health care and prescription drugs cheaper.
March 14, 2019
To Clean Up the Planet, Clean Up Washington
John Sarbanes and Michael Brune, COMMON DREAMS(OP-ED)
For decades, majorities of Americans have favored swift, meaningful action on climate change. They understand that we must transition away from dirty fuels and toward clean, renewable energy. Yet despite this overwhelming support, Congress has repeatedly failed to act.
This jarring disconnect between what the public wants to see and what Washington is prepared to deliver doesn’t just threaten the health and safety of everyone in our country—it undermines the very principle of representative democracy.
March 8, 2019
House Democrats pass H.R. 1, their answer to draining the swamp
Mike DeBonis and John Wagner, The Washington Post
The House approved a far-reaching elections and ethics bill Friday — one that would change the way congressional elections are funded, impose new voter-access mandates on states and, in one of several provisions targeting President Trump, force disclosure of presidential candidates’ tax returns.
Democrats dubbed the bill H.R. 1, a designation meant to signal its place as a centerpiece of their congressional agenda. The measure, which has more than 500 pages, contains dozens of provisions favored by liberal advocacy groups, labor unions and other Democratic allies.
March 8, 2019
House Democrats Pass Landmark Campaign Finance And Voting Rights Reform Bill
Paul Blumenthal, The Huffington Post
Democrats’ landmark campaign finance, voting rights and ethics reform bill passed the House of Representatives on Friday.
The For The People Act, which passed 234-193, was Democrats’ top priority upon winning control of the House in the 2018 elections. It would dramatically expand voting access, create publicly funded House elections, enhance the transparency of money in politics, restore voting rights to millions of ex-felons, strengthen executive branch ethics law and end partisan gerrymandering.
March 8, 2019
House Passes Extensive Election And Campaign Finance Overhaul Bill
Miles Park, NPR
The House passed an extensive bill Friday that would overhaul the way Americans vote and take aim at the money currently flowing through the U.S. political system.
The bill was dubbed the "For The People Act" by House Democrats who want election accessibility and weeding out corruption to be core tenets of their majority agenda the next two years. The bill passed along straight party lines, 234-193.
In the News: 'Restores the people's faith': House passes a broad anti-corruption and voting rights bill
March 8, 2019
'Restores the people's faith': House passes a broad anti-corruption and voting rights bill
Ledyard King, USA TODAY
Create automatic voter registration. Force presidents to make their tax returns public. Turn over congressional redistricting to independent commissions. Bar federal lawmakers from settling discrimination cases with public money.
The House passed a sweeping anti-corruption and government ethics package Friday that would fundamentally reshape how campaigns are run, how elections are conducted and how officeholders conduct themselves.