Ben Cardin - Senator for Maryland

About Ben

Ben Cardin has been a national leader on health care, retirement security, the environment and fiscal issues as a member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  Senator Cardin was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 and he was re-elected in 2012.  He currently serves as Ranking member of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee. He is a senior member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) and Foreign Relations Committees (SFRC), and also serves on the Finance Committee (SFC). 

The Washington Post has said Ben Cardin has a “command of issues, proven integrity, formidable intellect and an unstinting work ethic,” and that he “is sensible, tough-minded and independent.”  The Baltimore Sun has said, “He has been able to work both sides of the aisle” to help workers save for retirement and to champion the expansion of Medicare benefits.

From 1987-2006, Ben Cardin represented Maryland's Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.  In addition to serving on the on the House Ways & Means Committee, he also served on the Budget Committee, Public Works & Transportation Committee, Judiciary Committee, Ethics Committee, House Administration and the Select Committee on Homeland Security. In the House, he also served as the senior Democrat on the Trade Subcommittee and Human Resources Subcommittee of the Ways & Means Committee.

As a Maryland legislator, Mr. Cardin served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1967-1986.  He was Speaker from 1979-1986 and prior to that served as chairman of the Ways & Means Committee from 1974-1979.  As Speaker, he reformed Maryland's property tax system, the school financing formula and the ethical standards for elected officials.

A 1967 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law (1st in his class), he earned his B.A. degree in 1964 from the University of Pittsburgh (cum laude).  He also holds honorary degrees from the University of Baltimore School of Law (1990); University of Maryland at Baltimore (1993); Baltimore Hebrew University (1994); Goucher College (1996); and Stevenson (formerly Villa Julie College), (2007). 

Committed to ensuring that all Americans have legal representation, Mr. Cardin served as chairman of the Maryland Legal Services Corp. from 1988-1995. He was appointed as a member of the Board of Trustees of The James Madison Fellowship Foundation in 2010.   In 2007, he was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy’s Board of Visitors and in 2003 joined the Johns Hopkins University’s Institute for Policy Studies’ National Advisory Board.  He served on the Goucher College Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2008. In 1998, he was appointed to the University Of Maryland School Of Law Board Of Visitors, and in 1993, he was appointed to the UMBC President’s Board of Visitors.  From 1988-1999, he served on the St. Mary’s College Board of Trustees, and in 2002 he was appointed to St. Mary’s Advisory Board, Center for Study of Democracy. He was a Trustee of the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs from 1999-2007.

Senator Cardin is married to Myrna Edelman Cardin and his daughter Deborah and son-in-law Jonathan Willis have two daughters, Madeline and Julia.

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