In The News
Rep. John Sarbanes, a Democrat whose district includes Annapolis near the Chesapeake Bay, voiced strong support for the plan. He said the political consensus must catch up with the scientific consensus.
“The city of Annapolis expects nearly 50 flooding events every year, up from an average of four flooding events just 50 years prior,” Sarbanes said. “And according to a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the city should expect flooding events to occur every single day of the year by 2045.”
House Democrats on Friday hosted a climate-change forum at the campus to encourage greater urgency from Congress in addressing the issue.
“One way of lighting the fire under our colleagues in Washington is to point out to them that the Defense Department and the military are concerned about this at the most fundamental level,” Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) said after the event.
"Unfortunately, sometimes in Washington, politics take over this conversation," said Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Baltimore County.
"It is good to be able to get out into the community ... where you do find a consensus that is a priority that needs to be addressed."
The forum featured four ranking Democrats of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Maryland Congressional Delegation. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J.; Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., and Sarbanes represented the energy committee.
The Pentagon views climate change as a global threat to national security. Carter, now the superintendent at the Naval Academy, told a group of congressmen Friday not only about the challenges he faced on that deployment with the Enterprise strike group, but also how he is dealing with the prospect of rising sea levels and floods as the leader of the elite school for future Navy and Marine Corps officers.
"Annapolis is really on the front lines," said Rep. John Sarbanes, a Democrat whose district includes the city. "There's no question this is the challenge of our generation."
Carter joined Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantiledes, a Republican, and two environmentalists to talk about the local impact of rising sea levels. The state capital, perched on the Chesapeake Bay, is especially vulnerable to flooding, recent studies show.
Whenever’s there’s any discussion of public financing of elections, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell likes to call it “welfare for politicians.” How much thought have you put into marketing this?
SARBANES: A lot.
I say to the public: “Somebody’s going to own your government. It’s not going to just sit there unattended. It’s either going to be owned by special interests and big money, in which case when it comes to making policy that’s who we’ll work for. Or it’s going to be owned by you. And in America, if you want to own something, you’ve got to pay for it.”
So why do we need your idea for campaign finance reform?
SARBANES: Most people are sitting there in their kitchens, and they’re watching cable television, and it seems like every day there’s more news about big money, Super PACs, multi-billion dollar presidential campaigns. And the average person is looking at that and saying, “This is crazy, where do I fit into this? How do I possibly have any kind of role to play or any voice that could match what those other players have?”
And that’s where we come along and say: “Well, actually here’s a system that can give you some power, that can make you a player.” And I think if you offer that to people, they’ll say, “Okay, I don’t have to just be a spectator in my own democracy anymore. I can actually go on the field and play the game.” I think this is a very hopeful message.
If our only hope is to amend the Constitution — which requires first a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate and then approval from three-fourths of the 50 state legislatures — then it feels like we’re doomed.
But what if there were a way to approach this hellish problem from the opposite direction? If we’re forbidden by the Supreme Court from limiting money coming from the 0.01 percent, what about amplifying money from the bottom 99.99 percent?
That’s the basis for the Government by the People Act, introduced last year by Rep. John Sarbanes, a Democrat from Maryland’s 3rd District.
U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes said calling the Red Line a boondoggle was "extremely unfortunate" considering the $288 million already spent on planning, design, engineering and land acquisition. He added the governor's decision did not match previous pronouncements that Baltimore is the state's economic engine.
"It doesn't make any sense if we're gonna try to connect all parts of Baltimore with each other so that Baltimore is truly rising as one community," said Sarbanes.
Congressman John Sarbanes also cheered the court’s decision: “Despite more than 60 attempts by Republicans to repeal the ACA and two Supreme Court challenges, it’s been proven over and over again that this law is constitutional and that it’s working. After today’s decision, all Americans – regardless of where they live – will continue to have access to premium tax credits so that they can get the high-quality, affordable health care they deserve.”
"The decision from the court means that the coverage debate is now over," said Rep. John P. Sarbanes, a Baltimore County Democrat and member of the health subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "We're now on to looking at delivery of care, better health outcomes, better cost savings."