In The News
On Thursday, multiple lawmakers challenged Azar about gun violence. "I've got to believe another tragedy would be an all-hands-on-deck moment for you and those around you," Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) said. "I'm talking about a response that says this is a public health crisis ... Our Department is going to have to really ramp up the public health research you do into gun violence ... Is that a commitment the agency and you [new] to the job are prepared to commit to?" ... Azar promised to "look at many public health issues" in response.
It should not be this hard for a large activated mass of citizens to keep up with a small, dedicated group of feudal lords. But it will be for as long as politicians have every incentive to serve the whims of the richest voters, who can decide their fate by the number of zeros they write on a check.... Fixing this doesn’t have to start with reversing Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., has proposed The Government By The People Act , which gives taxpayers a $25 tax credit for campaign donations and then turns a small donation into a meaty one with a 6-to-1 federal match.... This would not only transform the job of members of Congress, forcing them to meet with and answer to as many constituents as possible. It would transform the role of citizens by magnifying their influence. A $78 tax break could become a nearly $500 donation. That would mean a lot to a fledgling campaign.
Democracy Reform Task Force Chair Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) joined "CNN Newsroom" to discuss the misleading and distorted Nunes Memo.
What’s a citizen of our great republic to do? Rep. John Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat, has enlisted 159 members of Congress to sign onto H.R. 20, legislation intended to encourage candidates to raise small donations. Inducements include tax credits for donors and, for candidates, a federal match and access to broadcast time.... Sure, 158 co-sponsors are Democrats. The bill is part of the Democrats’ “By The People Project,” a contract with America for the 2018 election. But one Republican openly supports H.R. 20, Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina. “It is time to return power to the people and get big money out of politics,” he says.... Sarbanes’ idea and other fixes won’t stop big donors and corporations, so long as the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United and other related decisions remain the law. Maybe if Democrats retake Congress and the White House, Sarbanes’ concept will become a reality. It’d be an improvement.... “We can’t stop the Koch brothers, but we can arm good candidates so that they can run an efficient campaign,” Sarbanes said by phone.... And then one day, the progressive state of California will devise a way to increase reliance on small donors, not the rich people and corporate donors who dominate. Such a nice concept.
On Friday, the CASH Campaign of Maryland is set to announce the kickoff of free tax preparation services for tax season on Friday.... CASH is an acronym for Creating Assets, Savings and Hope. Organizers will be joined by elected officials including Comptroller Peter Franchot, City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young and Rep. John Sarbanes.... The nonprofit expects to help Marylanders who made less than $54,000 last year retrieve more than $20 million in refunds and tax credits. Thirteen of the sites will be in Baltimore City, two in Baltimore County, with others across the state.
A Maryland lawmaker is demanding U.S. EPA immediately reinstate funding for a newspaper covering the Chesapeake Bay.... Rep. John Sarbanes (D) sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt today seeking immediate answers about the agency's August 2017 decision to suddenly yank funding for the 26-year-old Bay Journal.... "This decision raises concerns that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inappropriately politicizing taxpayer-funded grants and undermines the critically important efforts to educate the public about the Chesapeake Bay," he wrote. "I urge you to reconsider your decision and restore the full award." ... An EPA spokesman would not comment on the letter, other than to say they "will reply to the congressman through the proper channels."
Van Hollen, followed by U.S. Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes and Anthony Brown, addressed the crowd at La Fontaine Bleue in Glen Burnie. Along with the congratulations to organizers of the award dinner and the 10 people being recognized, all four took repeated aim at the president.... The comments from the congressmen were met with applause an occasional shout of, “He’s not my president.” ... Sarbanes echoed that comment when he qualified his remarks about the president, stopping and calling him the occupant of the office instead.... “I have to admit I’ve been really angry for the last 24 hours,” the Baltimore County Democrat said.... He said urged people in the room who shared his anger to take that into the fall elections.... “All across this country people need to conserve their anger, transmute it into energy and take it to the one place that can make a difference — the ballot box,” Sarbanes said.
A group of 21 House Democrats are asking Speaker Paul Ryan to take immediate steps to protect future elections from foreign interference.... "When a sovereign nation attempts to meddle in our elections, it is an attack on our country," the group said today in a letter to Ryan.... The group — inclding Democracy Reform Task Force Chair John Sarbanes and composed of lawmakers from 18 of the 21 states the Homeland Security Department has disclosed were targeted during the last year's election — request a briefing from DHS and the FBI about the cyberattacks.... They also urge Ryan to direct all relevant House committees to investigate the cyberattacks and back bipartisan legislation to bolster the security of state election systems.