In The News
Last week, tech companies joined in a day of action that encouraged letter-writing to Congress, our sister site Technical.ly Philly reported. The FCC received 9 million comments in response to the proposed changes. That’s a record, USA Today reports…. In Baltimore, the effort to spread the word is continuing with a public forum this week. Congressman John Sarbanes and former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler will be at Betamore in City Garage on Wednesday, July 26, discussing the issue in a public forum…. The 11 a.m. forum, titled “The Fight to Preserve a Free & Open Internet,” will also feature remarks from the former FCC General Counsel Jonathan Sallet and Demand Progress Campaign Director Kurt Walters. It’s open to the public, and will include a chance to ask questions.
Amid the collapse of a signature piece of GOP health legislation and continued revelations about the Trump team’s ties to Russia, House Democrats have turned their spotlight on proposals to revamp ethics, campaign finance and voting rights laws…. “We’re fighting back against the lack of accountability that we see in the Trump administration and from special interests,” said Rep. John Sarbanes, the Maryland Democrat who chairs his party’s Democracy Reform Task Force…. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Sarbanes told reporters during a Tuesday news conference that their party was developing a series of legislative proposals they dubbed the "By the People Project" that would include updates to the nation’s ethics and elections systems…. Some of the measures, such as one (HR 20) to encourage small-dollar campaign donations and another (HR 1134) to require additional public disclosures of political spending, have already been introduced.
Federal employees victimized by discrimination would receive stronger protections under a bill agreed to unanimously by the House on Tuesday, while those found to have discriminated would face stronger repercussions…. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., said the bill was one of many he would support to give federal employees the “workplace protections they deserve.” … “This bill is a tremendous win for our nation’s civil servants, and an important step forward in providing federal employees with equal protections under the law,” Sarbanes said after the House approved the legislation by voice vote on Tuesday.
Big plays an increasingly corrosive role at many levels of politics in the United States. One response that has shown some success is public financing of campaigns. We hope the D.C. Council decides to join the ranks of local and state governments that have pioneered this useful tool…. Now before the council is a bill that would offer limited public matching funds to candidates who meet certain qualifications, including forgoing corporate or political action committee contributions. The measure, the Fair Elections Act, is modeled on public-financing systems that have been successfully implemented in other cities and states, including New York City, Connecticut and Maine, and that recently were adopted in neighboring Montgomery and Howard counties. Legislation championed in Congress by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) would apply the idea to national politics.
One of the unintended effects of the Senate’s Obamacare repeal bill would be to slash money that pays for a project popular among Republicans — using long-distance video hookups called telemedicine to connect sick kids in rural schools to big-city medical experts…. In poor and rural areas, the school nurse is not just handing out bandages anymore; she’s become a de facto medical guide, marshaling medical care for poor kids with obesity, asthma and diabetes, while on the lookout for issues like child abuse and teen pregnancy…. Public schools in Howard County, Maryland, introduced telemedicine in 2014 and have since expanded its use to six elementary schools. The program’s success caught the eye of Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) who has sponsored the Hallways to Health Act (H.R. 1027), which would create a demonstration program for school-based telemedicine programs nationally.
Democratic lawmakers asked Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt on Wednesday to disclose procedures to prevent billionaire Carl Icahn from influencing U.S. biofuels policy for personal gain…. The letter is the latest in a string of missives from Democrats concerned about Icahn's dual role as a special adviser to President Donald Trump on regulation and as a major investor in heavily regulated industries…. Signing the letter were Reps. Frank Pallone, the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee; Bobby Rush; Diana DeGette; Paul Tonko; and John Sarbanes.
The Trump administration has ignored hundreds of congressional letters of inquiry…. It is also brandishing a legal opinion, crafted by the Justice Department, holding that most of Congress lacks the constitutional power to conduct oversight of the executive branch…. It isn't just an attack on Democrats, currently the minority party in both chambers on Capitol Hill…. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., contrasts the administration's position with Trump's "drain the swamp" rhetoric last fall. He told NPR, "They certainly put an emphasis, with this idea of draining the swamp, on accountability and transparency. But so far, they seem to have moved in the complete opposite direction."
The Trump administration has found an issue that infuriates both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, a move that would limit Congress's ability to monitor the executive branch. NPR's Peter Overby reports…. OVERBY: Still, Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes said House Democrats have seen almost all of their letters get ignored by the Trump administration, a contrast to last year's campaign rhetoric…. JOHN SARBANES: They certainly put an emphasis, with this idea of draining the swamp, on accountability and transparency. But so far, they seem to have moved in the complete opposite direction.
Maryland’s Democratic members of the House of Representatives have joined the chorus of environmental advocates urging Gov. Larry Hogan (R) to denounce President Trump’s climate policies, including his decision this month to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement…. The seven lawmakers sent a letter to Hogan on Thursday, two days before he is scheduled to begin a week-long trade mission to London and Paris, asking him to “vocally and forcefully reject” Trump’s actions…. The letter to Hogan was signed by Reps. Anthony G. Brown, Elijah E. Cummings, John Delaney, Steny H. Hoyer, Jamie B. Raskin, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes. Rep. Andy Harris, the only Republican in the state’s congressional delegation, did not add his name to the list.
Democratic members of Maryland’s congressional delegation called on Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday to “forcefully reject” President Donald J. Trump’s decision this month to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement…. In a letter sent days before Hogan, a Republican, is set to embark on a trade mission to London and Paris, the federal lawmakers wrote that Maryland should play a “consequential role” in upholding the goals of the international climate pact…. The letter Thursday was signed by Reps. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Anthony G. Brown, Steny H. Hoyer, John K. Delaney, Elijah E. Cummings and Jamie Raskin.