In The News
A top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee blasted the family of President Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying that the approval in China of patents for Ivanka Trump set a new bar for ethical conflicts…. "Just when you think you've seen it all, Trump offers something else that's even more outrageous and even more troubling," said Rep. John Sarbanes in an interview with CNN. "They set a new standard of ethical blindness." … Sarbanes' comments come as Democrats have kept up the pressure on the Trump family to release more information about their global financial ties. Sarbanes noted Tuesday -- tax filing day this year -- that Trump's tax returns would answer almost all of those questions…. "We don't know what the potential of that is because there is so little transparency ... this thing with Ivanka, you can kind of view it as a tip of the iceberg," he said.
A measure reintroduced in the House last week seeks to reorganize the structure of the Federal Election Commission, such as by reducing the number of members from six to five and strengthening the role of the agency’s chairman…. Backers of the bill (H.R. 2034), which has gained bipartisan support in the House, say it’s needed to restore respect for campaign finance laws that have been poorly enforced by the current FEC…. Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) and Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), the primary sponsors of an FEC revamp bill in the previous Congress, have been joined this year by a bipartisan group of 10 other co-sponsors, including conservatives like Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) and liberals like Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.).
House Democrats have set up what they call the Democracy Reform Task Force, led by Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland. The task force’s chief goals are to expose the president’s conflicts of interest and ethical abuses and also to tie those to specific policy matters, Sarbanes said…. “We’re going to show voters how these conflicts harm them and how not having the full picture of what ties he has with his business is going to affect the policy-making process,” Sarbanes said…. “Voters are going to care more about the conflicts when they start to see how they will impact them and their lives,” he said.
Five members of Maryland's congressional delegation who represent Baltimore are asking the Justice Department to withdraw its request to delay an agreement to overhaul city police practices…. The letter comes a day after the Justice Department requested a judge agree to a three-month delay of the agreement – negotiated by the city and the Obama administration – so that federal officials can assess whether it squares with President Donald Trump's public safety agenda…. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been critical of the consent decrees. In Baltimore's case, the agreement makes recommendations to address a scathing Justice Department report last summer that identified longstanding civil rights violations by city police, and it is supported by both City Hall and police leadership…. The letter was signed by Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen as well as Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes -- all Democrats who represent Baltimore.
Maryland's Democratic congressmen took their message to Annapolis, demanding that Hogan speak out against repealing the Affordable Care Act…. "We thought it was a no-brainer that our governor would step up," said U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-District 3.
Cummings joined House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer and Reps. John Sarbanes and Jamie B. Raskin — all Maryland Democrats — at a news conference in front of the State House and called on Hogan to join a growing chorus of Republican governors who have raised serious concerns about the legislation being debated on Capitol Hill…. Sarbanes said the group had not heard from Hogan since that meeting and came to Annapolis in hopes of getting him to speak before a vote Thursday on the House floor…. “There is still time for the governor to make a difference,” Sarbanes said. “This isn’t grandstanding. This is a part of governing.”
Four of Maryland's U.S. House members took the battle over health care to the governor's residence on Monday, calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to speak out against the GOP health care bill in Washington…. A spokeswoman for the Republican governor said the four Democrats should be in the nation's capital working instead of "grandstanding" in the state capital…. Reps. Steny Hoyer, Elijah Cummings, John Sarbanes and Jamie Raskin gathered in front of the governor's residence next to the Maryland State House to criticize Hogan for not joining four GOP governors who've made their own proposal about how to overhaul Medicaid for low-income people…. Sarbanes noted that a vote is expected Thursday in Washington. He said he believed Hogan could have an impact on persuading Republicans in Washington that the legislation is "a bad idea," if he joined the other four GOP governors.
Led by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), who heads the Democracy Reform Task Force in the House, 110 representatives also yesterday wrote a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to question Gorsuch about his views on money in politics.... Gorsuch has a "troubling record on money in politics," Sarbanes said. The congressman added that, through Hickenlooper, Gorsuch is "signaling that he's going to make it tougher to regulate money in politics."
Also questioning Gorsuch’s views of money and politics issues were a Democratic House lawmaker, Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), and representatives of groups supporting strong campaign finance regulation. Sarbanes led a group of 110 House Democrats signing a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee saying that Goresuch must be asked about whether he agrees with the majority opinion in Citizens United and about his views on other key legal issues related to campaign finance.... “In our view, the Supreme Court has for decades embraced a deeply flawed approach to the laws governing money in our politics,” the House members’ letter said. “The result has been a system that empowers the wealthy and well-connected, while drowning out the voices of everyday Americans.”