Ben Cardin

Don Rush

WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland's U.S. senators are sponsoring legislation to bring a statue of Harriet Tubman to the U.S. Capitol Building.

The Maryland General Assembly passed legislation in 2012 creating the Harriet Tubman Statue Commission to raise money and commission a statue for display in the U.S. Capitol Building. But Congress must pass legislation to accept the donation.

The bill Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin announced Monday will direct the Joint Committee on the Libraries to enter into an agreement to accept the statue.

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Maryland’s two Senators were among the 50 votes against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin told Capital News Service that he believes even his Republican colleagues would have wanted a more traditional nominee with experience in education.

Cardin and Senator Chris Van Hollen said they were concerned about DeVos’s lack of support for public schools as she pushed for private and charter schools.

DeVos was confirmed when Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie breaking vote.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Sen. Ben Cardin is voicing his fierce opposition to an executive order barring people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States and halting the refugee program, calling it "against America."
 
The Maryland Democrat spoke at a news conference at Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore on Monday.
 

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Senator Ben Cardin says he will oppose the nomination of former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Maryland Democrat says that he is concerned about whether Pruitt truly believes in the EPA’s mission to protect the public health and environment.

Cardin said he does not understand why Pruitt would want to head the agency after repeatedly suing and criticizing it.

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Attorney General Brian Frosh says he is looking at whether to join a legal action to halt the President’s travel ban by those from seven Muslim countries as well the suspension of the refugee program.

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Senator Ben Cardin says will not support the nomination of Betsy DeVos to head the Department of Education.

The Maryland Democrat said he was deeply troubled by – what he called her lack of support for the nation’s public schools.

Cardin said that the charter school programs supported by DeVos would drain revenue and resources from the public schools.

In addition, he said that he was concerned about her lack of ability to discuss the long-standing issues being debated in education community.

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Senator Ben Cardin says he will vote no on the nomination of Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State.

The Maryland Democrat said he believed Tillerson’s business orientation could compromise his ability to represent the United States.

He said that during the confirmation hearings the nominee prioritized narrow business interests over national security interests.

Cardin noted that Tillerson declined to characterize Russian and Syrian atrocities as war crimes or the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines as human rights violations.

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Senator Barbara Mikulski told her colleagues that it was time to stop the incivility and partisanship as she gave her farewell address to her colleagues.

Mikulski is leaving Capitol Hill after decades in office including in the House of Representatives and becoming the longest serving woman in congress.

But while she may be leaving her beloved seat in the Senate the Maryland Democrat said she would only be leaving elective office but not public service.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin wants Secretary of State John Kerry to formally apologize to hundreds of federal workers who were fired decades ago because of their perceived sexual orientation.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Democratic senator said in a letter to Kerry on Tuesday that it's time for the country to apologize for the so-called "lavender scare."

Cardin cited a book by historian David Johnson that said that at least 1,000 people were forced out of the state department in the 1950s and 1960s because they were believed to be gay.

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Senator Ben Cardin blasted the choice of Steve Bannon as the chief White House strategist calling it deeply troubling.

The Maryland Democrat said that Bannon has become “a proud poster-child for white nationalism, anti-Semitism and misogynistic views.”

Cardin said that Bannon should not be allowed anywhere near the White House.

Meanwhile, Southern Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer denounced Bannon and his leadership of Breitbart news which Bannon saw as a platform for the racist movement known as the alt-right.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Sen.-elect Chris Van Hollen says President-elect Donald Trump has "a great burden" to reach out to Democrats after running an "incredibly divisive campaign."

Van Hollen spoke Wednesday with Maryland Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin in Baltimore. Van Hollen won the seat that is opening with Mikulski's retirement after 30 years in the office.

Don Rush

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) - Maryland officials are holding a news conference to discuss voting rights.

Attorney General Brian Frosh will join Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks and Sen. Ben Cardin at an early voting site in Landover on Monday to highlight the need to protect the integrity of elections.

Representatives from the League of Women Voters, Casa de Maryland, the Prince George's County Muslim Council and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference also are scheduled to attend.

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BETHESDA, Md. (AP) - Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin is holding a news conference at the National Institutes of Health to discuss the need for federal funding to continue research on Zika virus treatment and vaccine development.

Cardin has scheduled the news conference for Friday after he takes a laboratory tour and gets and update from NIH officials on the status of their work.

Cardin notes that more than 16,800 Zika cases already have been documented in the United States.

The Maryland Democrat says dealing with the epidemic is a national emergency.

Don Rush

WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded $800,000 to Maryland to help restore the Chesapeake Bay's oyster population.

Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin announced the award in a news release Tuesday.

The award to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will go to producing and planting 1.5 billion hatchery seeds in three years.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Sen. Ben Cardin is scheduled to host a town hall meeting at the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference.

The forum is set for Thursday afternoon in Ocean City.

The Democrat is scheduled to talk to county officials about priority legislation in Washington and hear directly from them about challenges of local concern.

He's also expected to talk about infrastructure investment, the opioid addiction crisis and international affairs.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A federal grant is bringing long-distance care to children with social, emotional and behavioral problems in three rural Maryland counties.

U.S. senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski announced $300,000 in funding Monday from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Baltimore-based Kennedy Krieger Institute.

The Maryland senators say in a statement that the institute will partner with hospitals in Garrett and Worcester counties, and with school-based health centers in Dorchester County, to screen patients and deliver specialized care.

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EDGEWOOD, Md. (AP) - Sen. Ben Cardin is joining local medical and behavioral health practitioners to talk about Maryland's epidemic of opioid addiction.

They will be joined by law enforcement officials on Monday for the discussion in Edgewood.

Participants will talk about how people get addicted and discuss approaches to treatment during the roundtable discussion.

Cardin says some parts of Maryland have the highest per capita rates of heroin and opioid drug use in the country.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Ben Cardin is scheduled to meet with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

The senator is set to meet Garland on Monday in Washington and meet with reporters.

The Maryland Democrat says it's necessary for the Senate to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to consider the nomination through a fair hearing and thoughtful floor debate.

Cardin says Garland is an "eminently qualified pick."

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Ben Cardin and Rep. John Delaney are scheduled to discuss clean energy goals.

The Maryland Democrats will be meeting with reporters on Thursday to talk about the benefits of the country getting half of its energy from clean and non-carbon sources by 2030.

This week, lawmakers in Congress will introduce resolutions affirming the goal.

It is supported by 25 senators and 70 members of the House.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has nominated the longtime head of Baltimore's library system as the next Librarian of Congress.

would be the 14th Librarian of Congress in the institution's 214-year history and the first woman and the first African-American to hold the position. Obama announced her appointment on Wednesday.

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Senator Chris Coons called for a bipartisan discussion about taking in Syrian refugees.

During an interview with MSNBC the Delaware Democrat said that the discussion should include the refugee screening policy, an exploration of its weakness and the terrorist threats.

In addition, he said, there must be adequate funding and support for vetting them.

Fellow Democrat Congressman John Carney says he wants to suspend taking in Syrian refugees who are of military age.

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Maryland cities will be getting nearly $3 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The money comes through the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants program and will be used by local municipalities for support public safety and reduce violent crimes.

In addition, some funds will be aimed at dealing with crimes against children.

Over $1 million will go the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention to help defray the costs of the overtime by police during the riots in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray.

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ACCOKEEK, Md. (AP) - A new environmental education center is opening in Accokeek.

Sen. Ben Cardin is scheduled to join students for the opening on Friday.

The center will enable the Alice Ferguson Foundation to expand hands-on learning initiatives offered on the 330-acre Hard Bargain Farm.

The foundation works to promote environmental sustainability of the Potomac River watershed.

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Maryland Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin say the Cambridge-Dorchester County Regional Airport will be getting $2.1 million from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation the money will go toward extending the main runway at the regional facility.

Senator Mikulski, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee said that the runway would ensure the vitality of the Eastern Shore economy.

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Senator Chris Coons is a yes vote for the nuclear agreement with Iran.

The Delaware Democrat said that he was convinced the deal puts the world on a path that would limit Iran’s nuclear program for the next 15 years.

He added that despite flaws this was a better strategy for containing the spread of nuclear weapons.

His decision comes despite a barrage of television ads from opponents of the deal in which they quoted the senator’s doubts about the agreement.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's administration is still reviewing the impact of President Barack Obama's plan to dramatically cut emissions from U.S. power plants, but Maryland Democrats already are praising the plan.

Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles, of Hogan's administration, says it takes time to review the fine print of 3,000 pages. He says the good news is Maryland is well-positioned to be a leader among states on its own terms and through regional collaboration.

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Senator Ben Cardin reacted to the new nuclear agreement with Iran by reminding his congressional colleagues they must do a judicious review of the deal.

The Maryland Democrat said congress must ensure that the agreement if variable, comprehensive and long lasting.

He added if Iran breaks the agreement it must also provide for the sanctions to snap back.

Congressman Andy Harris noted that Israeli Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denounced the deal which could make for difficulties in congress.

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Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md) has introduced legislation that would eliminate the exemptions for the oil and gas industry under the Clean Water  Act. Maryland News Connection reporter Deborah Smith prepared this report.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland's Sen. Ben Cardin is holding a forum to discuss federal workforce concerns.

The Democrat has scheduled the forum in Baltimore on Friday with employees of the Social Security Administration.

The senator says the nation's federal employees are too often targeted with harmful cuts to positions and programs without thought for the people working on behalf of the public.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The governor's office is inviting Baltimore businesses hurt by rioting and looting to meet with federal, state and local agencies offering recovery assistance.

The event Friday at Morgan State University brings features representatives from seven agencies offering loans, grants and other aid.

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