In The News
Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes, D-3rd, says the Trump presidency presents "a maximum stress test for the democracy," with numerous conflicts of interest and now a "draconian" federal budget that could be "cataclysmic to the core functions of government." Sarbanes, chair of the House Democrats' newly created Democracy Reform Task Force, says Trump, with his cabinet and other appointments, has "filled the swamp" with former lobbyists and industry lawyers. "There's a fox in charge of every hen house now," he says. "They're locking the doors, pulling down the shades and ransacking the place."
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the so-called soft money ban on state and local parties, prompting opponents of the restriction to turn their pleas for repeal to Congress. … “By rejecting the challenge to political party soft money bans, the Supreme Court has once again affirmed contribution limits as constitutional,” said Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland, chairman of the House’s Democracy Reform Task Force. “Going forward, we must remain vigilant against efforts to further erode reasonable restrictions on big money in politics.” Sarbanes and outside advocates of new restrictions on political money said they were dismayed that Gorsuch, along with conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, went out of his way to say he wanted the court to hear oral arguments on the Louisiana case.
Trump presents a uniquely target-rich environment, Democrats say.... "By the time we get to January of 2019, I expect there'd be just treasure troves of things to investigate," said Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., a member of the Oversight Committee who also chairs his party's Democracy Reform Task Force, which was established to catalog Trump ethical issues until the party has the power to act on them.... "We'll definitely be ready if we can get the gavel," Sarbanes said.
Members of Maryland’s congressional delegation are expressing concerns over the timing and the process that led President Donald Trump to fire now-former FBI director James Comey…. From calling for emergency congressional hearings to forming an independent commission to investigate potential ties between members of the Trump administration to Russia, many of Maryland’s representatives are calling for a more transparent process… Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Baltimore City), chairman of the Democracy Reform Task Force, released the following statement: “President Trump’s sudden decision to fire Director Comey raises the legitimate question of whether the Trump administration intends to interfere with an ongoing FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia…. “This latest development will only further erode the public’s trust in the Trump Justice Department and will test our country’s systems of checks and balances. That’s why it is more important than ever for Congress to establish an independent, bipartisan commission – which many of my Democratic colleagues and I called for back in March -– to investigate allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to undermine the 2016 election.”
On the St. Ambrose Aigburth Vale Senior Community’s rooftop in Towson last week, yet another great partnership was at work. It was there that Maryland Democratic Rep. John Sarbanes, Constellation solar volunteers and GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic solar trainees gathered to outfit the building with a sustainable supply of energy…. Some for about 70 seniors living on limited incomes, the St. Ambrose Aigburth Vale Senior Community is a beautiful building built in 1868. In 1999, it was converted to affordable senior residences by the St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center.
Every year, hundreds of water lines fail in Baltimore’s delivery system.... And it’s happening throughout the nation’s oldest cities with the older underground infrastructure.... “These are things you don’t necessarily see but they obviously affect our quality of life,” says U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Maryland).... Sarbanes and Tonko are both pushing bills to increase federal funds for that kind of work, because right now, 7 billion gallons of treated water are lost every day in the U.S. from broken pipes.
“We are seeing a developing reflex on the part of this administration to be unresponsive and kind of lock people out,” says Congressman John Sarbanes, a Democrat from Maryland, who heads up the Democracy Reform Task Force, which has been tracking unanswered congressional requests to agencies and the White House since the inauguration. “I don’t know whether that reflects a conscious policy where some kind of decree has been issued at some level, but circumstantial evidence is that these agencies are locking the doors and pulling down the shades.”
Democrats are skeptical Trump will ever deliver…. "There's a huge gap between what he's said going back to his campaign days, and what he's done," said Rep. John Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat who has introduced several bills aimed at reducing money in politics. "I don't at this point have any confidence that anything he said about accountability and transparency was anything more than a head fake."
Four Democratic members of the state's congressional delegation told voters gathered at a town hall meeting in Baltimore on Thursday that they will continue to push back on Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare, including a new plan expected in coming days…. "I don't know that we're going to be able to avoid to fight this every single month," said Rep. John Sarbanes of Baltimore County, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "I pledge to you [that] we're going to fight as hard as we can." … The four Democratic lawmakers — Sen. Chris Van Hollen as well as Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and Sarbanes, all of whom represent at least a portion of Baltimore City — met with about 600 voters who turned out at the War Memorial Building…. The town hall, which also touched on immigration, education and criminal justice, came as lawmakers are preparing to head back to Washington next week for an uncertain few days.