In The News
Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD03) joins host Barbara Arnwine to discuss updates on the Freedom to Vote Act and the Electoral Count Act.
Congressman Sarbanes for years has been at the forefront of voting rights legislation. He believes passing legislation that brings back people’s trust in free and fair elections, combined with holding those accountable for January 6 through the work of the select committee, will help restore confidence in our democracy.
“I think that helps frankly over time promote more civil discourse out there in the political environment and that’s good for our country ultimately as well.”
In response, Democrat, U.S. Representative John Sarbanes said, “I’m not sure he’s accurate about that.” Adding, “It’s an investment that’s going to pay us back in spades.” Sarbanes said that in the end this is a bipartisan infrastructure bill that really lifts up America.
“Convenient, reliable public transportation is the key to a more sustainable, accessible and equitable community. I have long supported the Towson Loop, and I am excited about the opportunities it will bring to the residents of Baltimore County as it launches today,” said Congressman John Sarbanes. “My congratulations to County Executive Olszewski and his team on this project.”
What went wrong: Congressman John Sarbanes, who authored the bill creating PSLF, hoped the program would offer graduates the financial freedom they needed to pursue public service careers.
“This program is a critical factor in helping drive the pipeline of qualified people into public service,” Sarbanes told HR Brew. “In many respects, it inspired graduates to pursue careers in public service. And so any impediment to applicants receiving loan forgiveness obviously undercuts the original purpose of the program and defeats the opportunity to match up really qualified graduates with jobs that can benefit from their talents and their skills.”
Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., joins the morning show to discuss yesterday's vote on a spending bill to fund the government through December 3 and ongoing negotiations on the Build Back Better Act.
Public financing of elections has been around for decades in the U.S. Today there are at least 27 programs in states, cities, and counties (most but not all of them Democratic), with models ranging from direct candidate grants to small-dollar matching. Advocates say public financing can stem corruption, empower a public that too often feels marginalized by special interests, and diversify public bodies from school boards to Congress. The idea has been gaining traction: New York City and San Francisco both moved to bolster their existing programs, and new programs in Baltimore and Portland, Ore., as well as the one in Washington, have gotten off the ground. But there are still questions about how much public financing can mobilize new donors at the local level. And it faces a test in Congress this fall as part of a voting rights package...HR 1, the comprehensive voting rights bill the House of Representatives passed in March, has a provision for voluntary 6-to-1 matching for small congressional campaign donations up to $200. To avoid political blowback from using taxpayer funds, it would be financed through a new fee on criminal and civil fines, fees, and settlements with banks and corporations. The Congressional Budget Office estimated the new fees would reduce the federal deficit by almost $1 billion over a decade. HR 1 would also authorize a voucher program to be piloted in three states, where voters would receive $25 to donate to congressional candidates. Democratic Representative John Sarbanes of Maryland, the lead sponsor of HR 1, says there’s “good momentum” for the public-financing provision. While key Senate swing voter Joe Manchin of West Virginia has expressed reservations about the size of HR 1, he co-sponsored a compromise bill that Senate Democrats introduced on Sept. 14 that included 6-to-1 small-donation matching. Even a trimmed-down package may not garner the 10 Republican votes it would need in the Senate. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has attacked the public-financing proposal specifically as “piles of federal dollars going to yard signs, balloons, and TV ads for candidates at least half of Americans disagree with.” Federal public financing may hinge on the fate of the filibuster. “I think whatever represents real reform, sadly, by definition, will be something that the current Republican leadership in the Senate will stand against,” Sarbanes says. “If that’s the reality we face,” he says, “then you have to look at resetting the rules. And I think that conversation is ongoing among Senate Dems.”