In The News
"Get your act together or else ..." was the message Republican and Democrat alike delivered Wednesday to drug companies, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) during a House subcommittee hearing on the prescription drug supply chain and its impact on drug prices.... "I hope the message is getting through that, on a bipartisan basis, we're kind of reaching the end of our tether" on drug pricing, Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) said as he warned witnesses from the various industries involved in the supply chain that if they don't address the problem, Congress may go in a direction they won't like. One possibility would be to treat drugs like a utility, he said.
Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., said Congress should look into ways to crack down on organizations that spend most of their money on fundraising. At the very least, it should be easier for donors to research how charities are using their money, he said.... Sarbanes, a vocal opponent of super PACs, condemned their use as fundraising mechanisms.... “The bottom line is this,” Sarbanes said. “The more money that sloshes around in our political system, the more opportunity there’s going to be … to take advantage of that and try to make a fast buck.”
Reps. Raskin, Cummings and John Sarbanes, D-Towson, responded with other Democratic colleagues in a June letter to the General Services Administration, condemning the withholding of information.... "Although you may wish to limit oversight from Democratic members of Congress through a misguided policy that responds only to Republican chairmen, compliance with federal law is not an optional exercise that may be overridden by a new Trump administration policy," the congressmen insisted.
Third District Representative John Sarbanes (D-Md.) has signed on as co-sponsor of a bill to expand funding for cleanup efforts on the Chesapeake Bay.... “This bill is mostly about securing additional funding,” Sarbanes said. “It would refocus the way dollars are directed on to regional and local programs, not so much national programs.” ... Known as the Chesapeake Bay Farm Bill Enhancements Act of 2017 (H.R.4420), the legislation aims to minimize agricultural runoff within the bay’s watershed. As an extension of the Farm Bill which Congress must re-authorize every five years, Sarbanes seeks to triple the funding to $300 million for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), a multi-state partnership including Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.
Five Democratic members of Maryland’s congressional delegation who represent Baltimore — Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Reps. Elijah Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes — also issued a joint statement Friday backing Davis’ request that the FBI take the lead in the investigation.... Davis said he discussed his decision with Suiter’s widow, Nicole, and his family, and that they seemed to understand it.
The third signing of the Fort George G. Meade Community Covenant recognized the installation’s status as the nation’s platform for information, intelligence and cyber operations…. Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard, Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and Rep. John Sarbanes, along with other state and local political leaders and business, education and community representatives, signed the covenant in a 30-minute ceremony Monday afternoon at the Odenton Regional Library…. Established in 2011 by the Fort Meade Community Covenant Council, the covenant “formalizes the ongoing commitment between Fort Meade and the surrounding communities,” said Chad Jones, the Fort Meade public affairs officer who served as emcee…. Sarbanes said the signators have agreed to renew their commitment to Fort Meade over the years because “it means so much to us.” … “We stand by this partnership because it’s that important to the base and surrounding community,” he said…. Sarbanes said that the political divisions in the country make it critical for people of diverse political and social backgrounds to come together to achieve common goals…. “We need to find the spaces that bring us together and this is that space,” he said. “We have to protect these spaces and we have to develop them. … This covenant is an example of how people can come together.”
Baltimore’s congressional representatives vowed Monday to fight a Republican tax bill they said would damage the city and state, and encouraged residents to speak out as well.... “I think we can stop it,” U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes said, “but we’ve got to make sure we stick together.” Sarbanes and U.S. Reps. Elijah Cummings and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, all Democrats, spoke at a town hall meeting Monday at the War Memorial Building in Baltimore. Billed as an opportunity to address their representatives, the event drew more than 100 people. Mayor Catherine Pugh also attended the event, which was organized by Indivisible Baltimore, a liberal grassroots advocacy group.... The tax plan currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate would make deep cuts to corporate and business tax rates, while also reducing tax rates for many individuals.... To cheers from the audience, Cummings, Ruppersberger and Sarbanes promised to push back against such cuts.
For weeks, Facebook has been under intense scrutiny in Washington after revelations about Russian attempts to use the platform to influence the 2016 elections. Now, some lawmakers are talking about turning that scrutiny into action.... There are new calls on Capitol Hill for stronger federal regulation of Facebook, possibly requiring greater transparency and disclosures for digital political ads. But lawmakers have yet to take up more sweeping reforms that some internet policy experts and advocates believe are necessary to protect users of the social-media platform, given Facebook’s outsize influence and vast stores of personal data.... Two Democratic senators, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Mark Warner of Virginia, together with Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, introduced a bill last month that would require large online platforms to maintain public files of political ads, including who purchased the ads, the targeted audience and the number of views they generated. The legislation would also require these platforms to “make all reasonable efforts” to guarantee that foreign entities and individuals aren’t buying political ads to influence American elections.... The bill has also attracted bipartisan support in the House, where it was introduced by Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., and Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo.... “This is a very good start in terms of setting up expectations of transparency and disclosure,” said Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., House chairman of his party’s Democracy Reform Task Force. “Online platforms have a great deal of political power.”
If the Senate does not restore a deep, House-passed cut in federal funding to the Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program, the ripple effect on Maryland conservation efforts could be far larger than what the state would lose in actual dollars, according to program supporters.... Van Hollen recently introduced legislation to increase funding by $200 million for a program that supports agriculture-related conservation efforts to protect the bay. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Towson, was a co-sponsor of the companion bill in the House.
Three Democratic members of Maryland’s congressional delegation will appear at a town hall meeting in Baltimore on Monday to discuss the Republican effort in Washington to overhaul the nation’s tax code.... Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes, all of whom represent a portion of Baltimore, will speak at the forum, organized by BMore Indivisible. All three lawmakers voted against a GOP tax overhaul approved by the House on Nov. 16. The Senate is now considering a similar bill and Congress is working to finish the legislation — a top priority for President Donald Trump — by the end of the year.