Ben In The News

March 26, 2010

WHAT HEALTH CARE REFORM MEANS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

After more than a year of public debate, Congress has taken an historic step by enacting the Patients Protection Affordable Health Care Act -- legislation that will benefit every American.   My goal has always been to pass a health care reform bill that would reduce the escalating costs of health care and provide American families with affordable, quality health coverage without adding to our federal deficit.   This bill achieves all of those goals. … Continue Reading


March 10, 2010

FOCUSING ON THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF MARYLAND WOMEN DURING WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH

March is officially Women's History Month and it gives us an opportunity to remember and pay special tribute to the many contributions that women have made to our state and to our nation.   From civil rights leaders to medical pioneers, from American patriots to religious leaders and environmentalists, Maryland women have made enormous contributions to our nation's history, progress and knowledge.   As we approach the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812, it… Continue Reading


March 04, 2010

CENSUS 2010: ALL AMERICANS NEED TO BE COUNTED

Census Day comes only once every 10 years and it's one of the most important days of the decade. That's because it's when everyone in our nation is counted.  In addition to telling us about ourselves, the results ensure fair representation in Congress and the amount of funding that states will receive for a multitude of critical services, including money for schools, roads, and hospitals.    The 2010 Census will have a profound impact on Maryland.  The federal government distributes more than … Continue Reading


February 25, 2010

RECOGNIZING LEADING AFRICAN AMERICAN MARYLANDERS IN AMERICAN MEDICINE

I rise today on the occasion of Black History Month to recognize the accomplishments of three leading Marylanders in American medicine.  Established by Howard University historian Carter G. Woodson in 1927 as Black History Week, this now month-long celebration is an opportunity to elevate awareness of Black Americans' contributions to our nation's  history.     It is customary for American families to spend time in February learning more about famous Black Americans who h… Continue Reading


February 24, 2010

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN HAS BECOME A GLOBAL EPIDEMIC

Violence against women is an epidemic of global proportions.  It ranges from domestic violence to rape, from acid burnings to so-called honor killings, and it threatens one out of every three women worldwide, with rates reaching up to 70 percent in some countries.    As Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I recently joined efforts to tackle this egregious problem by co-sponsoring the International Violence Aga… Continue Reading


February 09, 2010

THE KEY TO JOB CREATION IS TO HELP SMALL BUSINESS

      As we look at a national unemployment rate that has at times has topped 10 percent in the last year, and hear the latest news reports that approximately 44,000 Marylanders lost their job in 2009, there is no doubt that additional actions are needed to get our economy moving.   A priority must be to include significant help for our small business community.    As a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, I have long supported provisions that help provide sma… Continue Reading


January 29, 2010

BLACK HISTORY MONTH REMINDS AMERICANS OF THE IMPORTANT ACHIEVEMENTS OF AFRICAN AMERCIANS

For too long, African American contributions to U.S. history were minimized or ignored. Dr. Carter G. Woodson - the second African American to earn a doctorate degree -- recognized this failure, and in 1926 he established Black History Month as a way to recognize and honor the many accomplishments and vibrant history of African Americans throughout our country's history. From Rosa Parks to The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Marylanders Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, these… Continue Reading


January 21, 2010

MARYLAND IS POISED TO LEAD OUR NATION'S CYBERSECURITY DEFENSE AGAINST TERRORISTS

America is under constant attack from cyber criminals, terrorists and unfriendly nations that seek to do us harm.   But cybersecurity involves more than identity theft and stealing money, it is about our national defense and homeland security.    As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee, I am committed to strengthening our nation's defenses against an attack via the Internet - an attack that could wreak havoc with our economy… Continue Reading


January 11, 2010

HONORING THE MEMORY OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

The birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., became a national holiday more than 25 years ago so that our nation -- and future generations -- would understand and appreciate the legacy of Dr. King's many accomplishments.   He was one of our nation's most admired leaders because he had the courage to stand up against racism and hatred with non-violent activism that inspired a movement and brought about historic changes in our country.      … Continue Reading


November 23, 2009

WE HAVE A HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY TO ENACT HEALTH CARE REFORM

Access to affordable, quality health care should be a right of all Americans.   Yet today, millions of middle-class Americans are at risk as they face skyrocketing health care premiums, pre-existing condition exclusions, and limits on their future coverage.      In the coming weeks, the Senate will be debating and voting on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , legislation that addresses the problems of affordability and access in a fiscally… Continue Reading


October 27, 2009

NOW IS THE TIME TO CLEAN UP THE BAY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

For decades people have talked about cleaning up one of America's most cherished and celebrated bodies of water - the Chesapeake Bay.   On October 21, I introduced the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act , S. 1816, landmark legislation that will back up that talk with tough, new requirements and a major new federal investment in a clean bay.   Today, 17 million people live in its watershed, which encompasses seven jurisdictions - Maryl… Continue Reading


October 13, 2009

WE NEED TO EXTEND THE $8,000 FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS TAX CREDIT

There are signs that the housing market is stabilizing, but we are not out of the woods yet.   That's why I recently introduced legislation -- which has strong bipartisan support -- to extend the $8,000 first-time homebuyers tax credit for another six months, past its current expiration date of December 1, 2009 to June 1, 2010. This credit is fully refundable, which means if you do not owe taxes you will still get the full tax credit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).   … Continue Reading


September 25, 2009

HEALTH CARE REFORM MUST FOCUS ON PREVENTION AND WELLNESS

Congress has returned from its August recess and is now focused on health care reform.   During the recess, I held four town hall meetings across Maryland and many people urged me to ensure that health care reform includes a strong emphasis on prevention and wellness.      Our nation has done a remarkable job of treating illness, but we have not done enough to prevent disease and promote wellness.  Today, more than half of all Americans live with at least one c… Continue Reading


August 03, 2009

WE NEED TO STUDY THE USE OF ANTI-DEPRESSANTS AMONG COMBAT TROOPS

There has been an alarming increase in suicides and attempted suicides among our combat troops in recent years.    There is no denying that soldiers in the field are under great stress, and one of the ways the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has dealt with that stress is to dispense strong anti-depressant medications to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.   I want a close examination of how these anti-depressants are prescribed and manage… Continue Reading


July 09, 2009

HATE CRIMES STILL PLAGUE OUR NATION

The recent killing of a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. was a stark reminder that hate crimes are still a part of our society. In 2007, the FBI reported more than 7,600 hate crimes throughout the nation, with 153 occurring in Maryland.   Unfortunately, this number could be much higher because many hate crimes are never reported by the victims.     Too many Americans have been a target of hate crim… Continue Reading


July 01, 2009

AUTO DEALERS GOT A RAW DEAL FROM CHRYSLER AND GM

In May, Chrysler and General Motors (GM) announced they were closing more than 3,100 auto dealerships nationwide, including 30 in Maryland.   Since then, I have met with a number of Maryland auto dealers who have talked to me about the arbitrary and capricious nature of the decision by the automakers to close their dealerships.     I agree with them.   I see no reason for Chrysler and GM to have taken this step, particularly since these dealers are mostly small b… Continue Reading


June 18, 2009

CONGRESS TAKES IMPORTANT STEP TO REGULATE TOBACCO PRODUCTS

After more than a decade, Congress has taken the important step of empowering the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate tobacco products, including the power to remove harmful ingredients from tobacco products and to stop false claims made by the tobacco industry regarding the addictive nature of nicotine.   As a co-sponsor of the Family, Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, H.R. 1256, I believe that this is one of the most important … Continue Reading


June 08, 2009

MY MEETING WITH JUDGE SONIA SOTOMAYOR

This is an exciting time to be a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee as we move forward in vetting President Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to become a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.     Last week I met with Judge Sotomayor.   She is a remarkable individual and I was very impressed by the breadth of her legal experience. During our meeting, w e talked about a wide range of issues including the prot… Continue Reading


May 05, 2009

IT IS TIME TO STRENGTHEN EFFORTS TO CLEAN UP AND RESTORE THE CHESAPEAKE BAY

The Chesapeake Bay is our nation's largest estuary, and Maryland's greatest natural resource.   As Chairman of the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, one of my top priorities this year will be to reauthorize the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program.   To that end, I recently held a field hearing in Annapolis to closely examine the effectiveness of the Chesapeake Bay Program and what steps are needed to make it more ef… Continue Reading


April 22, 2009

AMERICANS ARE COMMITTED TO MAKING OUR NATION BETTER

The recently enacted Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act is in keeping with the spirit of our nation by making it easier for Americans to volunteer for national service, a hallmark of our country.   This legislation was named in honor of Senator Kennedy and had strong bipartisan support in Congress because it helps foster our sense of community and shared responsibility for one another.   The Serve America Act dramatically increases funding for … Continue Reading

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