Dear Fellow Marylanders:
Democracy for the win!
For weeks – months – I’ve been talking about how important this midterm election is for the future of our state and our nation. This last Tuesday, Marylanders and voters all across the country cast their ballots and made their voices heard.
Voters concerned about the economy voted to preserve the path we are on that has created 10 million jobs in the last two years, brought us back from the worst of the pandemic, invested in our infrastructure and environment, and is working to bring down every day costs for American families.
Voters in Maryland and elsewhere around the country made clear that extremism and efforts to destabilize our government are unwelcome. A majority of Americans think our democracy is worth preserving.
At this writing, the balance of power in the United States Senate and House of Representatives has yet to be finalized. Making sure every ballot is counted correctly takes time and patience. I am thankful to the poll workers and election officials in Maryland and nationwide who take their charge seriously and are diligent in their continuing duties.
On Thursday, the day after the election, I headed on an important trip to the United Nations climate conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (COP27). As the second-ranking Democrat on both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I am leading a small delegation of senators to deliver a message to the international community that America is a reliable partner and an active participant in the struggle against climate change.
Congress has delivered key investments and solidified our position as a nation committed to reducing carbon and harmful pollution. We acted with a renewed understanding of the urgency for our globe.
I am extremely proud of the progress we made in the United States, since I led a congressional delegation to the COP26 meeting in Glasgow, Scotland. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed by Congress one year ago, is upgrading and modernizing America’s aging infrastructure while addressing equity, climate change and enhancing safety. Communities across Maryland and the country are starting to see new federal investments in action – investments that will expand opportunities and improve lives.
Most recently, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which was signed into law by President Joe Biden in August, marks the single biggest investment in addressing climate issues in our history – $369 billion. As you re-read this number, please keep in mind that the cost of prevention and resiliency efforts are almost always less expensive than recovery and mitigation after a crisis or disaster. If we can reduce the damage, lessen the flooding and keep the lights on, while removing dangerous pollutants from our air and water, we can save lives, property and resources.
The IRA invests in clean energy, energy security and climate change investments that will lower Americans’ electricity bills and prices at the pump and create more than 1 million good-paying jobs here in America in the green energy sector. It also will help cut our emissions by 40 percent or more by 2030 and put us on track to meet 70 percent of our Paris Accord obligations (COP21). This is a win not only for the United States, but for the world.
Finally, any discussion about saving democracy and saving the planet gives me a reason to thank our veterans. The dedication and courage our troops have shown throughout our nation’s history is immeasurable. Veterans personify the values of courage, integrity, and duty, representing a source of inspiration for all Americans.
To our veterans across Maryland and the United States, on this Veterans Day and every day, we thank you for your service to this state and country. We salute you and strive to follow your example.
Until next week.