In The News
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.”
President Donald Trump prepares to release a budget this week that will propose heavy limits on spending, Maryland's congressional delegation wants the administration to maintain a $4.5 billion transportation program that may have a significant impact on the state…. In a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao made public on Monday, the bipartisan group of lawmakers requested the department move quickly to award a second round of grants approved by Congress in 2015 that are geared toward freight and highway projects…. Maryland applied for three of those grants. One proposal is for the expansion of the 121-year-old Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore…. The other projects involve accommodating increased port traffic on I-95 and a widening of I-81…. The letter was signed by Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen as well as Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, Steny Hoyer, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, John Delaney, Anthony G. Brown and Jamie Raskin -- all Democrats. It was also signed by Rep. Andy Harris of Baltimore County, the state's sole Republican representative in Congress.
Democrats hope to weaken Trump with his base by highlighting his business holdings and his personal wealth. Democrats on the House Oversight Committee have vowed to investigate the many potential conflicts arising from Trump's domestic and international dealings. "He's the king of conflicts," says Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.). Other Democrats say they should withhold votes for any major legislation needing bipartisan support – say, a major infrastructure package – until Trump releases his tax returns and use every policy debate as an excuse to highlight Trump's many conflicts of interest via amendments and floor speeches. "It's not rule of the people," Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) says of Trump's agenda. "It's rule of the plutocrats and insiders and billionaires and the Wall Street crowd."
As the battle over Republican legislation to dismantle the Affordable Car Act rages this week on Capitol Hill, only one member of the Maryland congressional delegation is involved in the minute-by-minute machinations: Rep. John Sarbanes (D), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, one of two House panels working on the GOP’s American Health Care Act…. Sarbanes is not happy…. He’s disgusted by the legislation itself and by the process that produced it…. “They’re coming with a product that’s certainly a nonstarter for the Democrats on our committee and I think would be a nonstarter for most Americans when they learn what’s in the bill,” Sarbanes told Maryland Matters Wednesday during a break in the committee’s round-the-clock markup of the bill.
Some of those Republicans, such as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who is seeking reelection next year, have not come out in opposition to the new bill. In letters similar to those penned by Kasich, he’s touted the success of Medicaid expansion in his state, where 260,000 Marylanders have healthcare coverage as a result of the current healthcare law…. He said his office is assessing the new measure…. Still, some Maryland Democrats, such as Rep. John Sarbanes, whose district spans Annapolis, called on the governor to speak up…. “The residents of Maryland are looking to you for support in preserving the important ACA reforms that have allowed so many of them to access affordable, accessible and high quality health care,” he wrote in an open letter to Hogan this week.
Maryland Democrats called on Hogan to more forcefully defend coverage for Marylanders.... Rep. John Sarbanes, a Baltimore County Democrat, sent a letter Tuesday to Hogan asking him to make more of a public push against repeal of the health law, as other Republican governors have done in seeking to prevent a rollback of the Medicaid expansion. He also sought an analysis from the governor's office of possible effects of the bill.... Sarbanes sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which will begin debating the proposal Wednesday.... "As the only member of Maryland's House delegation to sit on this committee, it is critical for me to have as much information as possible about how this plan may impact our constituents and our state," he wrote. "I am requesting that you and your staff provide an analysis of how the GOP repeal effort will affect Maryland and the more than 400,000 individuals who are at risk of losing their insurance...." Sarbanes said about 290,000 Marylanders have gained insurance coverage under the health law through the expansion of Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor, and another 150,000 have bought health insurance through the state's exchange. Most have gotten subsidies to afford the coverage.