Ben In The News

April 04, 2008

MARYLAND HAS THE RIGHT TO SET AUTO EMISSIONS STANDARDS

The connection between global warming and greenhouse gas emissions is one that scientists clearly understand and they are concerned   Maryland and 19 other states also understand the growing threat to our environment and our health, and have taken steps to reduce the harmful carbon dioxide emissions that spew from millions of vehicles a day.   Maryland and the other states have applied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for what has become known as the "Calif… Continue Reading


March 20, 2008

WE NEED TO DO MORE TO HELP THOSE FACING FORECLOSURE

American families are hurting as our nation faces a growing crisis in the housing and credit markets.   The economic news continues to worsen as we hear reports about the highest foreclosure rate in years, declining housing values, lost property tax revenues and a credit crunch that is making it very difficult for middle-class families to find affordable mortgages.   It is estimated that more than 2.2 million Americans who took out subprime mortgages between 1998 and 2… Continue Reading


March 05, 2008

CELEBRATING THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF WOMEN

We honor the contributions of women in our society throughout March during Women's History Month.  Started in 1978 as a weeklong celebration coinciding with International Women's Day, it has grown over the last 30 years to spotlight the great accomplishments of women past and present, as well as the growing opportunities for young girls. Maryland's history is rich with pioneering, bold women who have made our state and our nation a better place. We are proud of daughters including Harriet… Continue Reading


February 13, 2008

STIMULUS PACKAGE WILL PROVIDE RELIEF

Families across Maryland are hurting and that is why I am extremely pleased that Congress and the White House came together in a bipartisan way to pass an economic stimulus package. It is a measure that is targeted, temporary and timely.  It will help middle and low-income Americans who are the most vulnerable in these uncertain economic times. Bipartisan cooperation in the Senate improved the stimulus package by adding rebate checks for 20 million seniors and 250,000 disabled veterans. I… Continue Reading


February 08, 2008

NEW CIVIL RIGHTS BILL WOULD STRENGTHEN PROTECTIONS OF AMERICANS' CIVIL RIGHTS

February is Black History Month, a time when our nation celebrates and honors the achievements of African Americans.   It also is a time when we rededicate ourselves to the ideals upon which our country was founded: equality and freedom.     In the past, Congress has enacted bipartisan laws to ensure that federal tax dollars are not used to subsidize discrimination, and that Americans have real remedies when their civil rights are violated.  Unfortunately, recent fe… Continue Reading


January 25, 2008

RACIAL PROFILING HAS NO PLACE IN OUR SOCIETY

The use of racial profiling by law enforcement officials has become epidemic in some neighborhoods. While the vast majority of police officers discharge their duties with professionalism and without bias, there are some who use race, nationality or ethnic identity when deciding whom to stop or question.   A 2002 nationwide survey by the Department of Justice is very disturbing because it shows that young, male minorities were more than twice as likely to experience some t… Continue Reading


January 04, 2008

THE U.S. HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEAD THE WORLD IN REDUCING GLOBAL WARMING

Global warming is real and it is affecting the Earth.  Earlier this year, I traveled with my Senate colleagues to Greenland where we saw dramatic evidence of retreating glaciers and rising sea level caused by global warming over the last decade.  This year, a U.N. panel on climate change released a report providing strong scientific evidence that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases from human activity have caused substantial global warming since the 1950s. Local… Continue Reading


December 10, 2007

THE RECORD OF THIS CONGRESS

The 2006 Elections were a clear indication that most Americans wanted a change.   They wanted a change in direction in Iraq, and a change in many of our nation's priorities, particularly in access to health care, funding for education and efforts to protect the environment.     This Congress has passed many bills reflecting many of these changes.   Unfortunately, we have a fundamental difference in values and goals between the Legislative and Executive Branches, … Continue Reading


November 28, 2007

HEAD START BILL GETS STRONG BIPARTISAN SUPPORT

We often hear people say that our "children are our future," but Congress recently acted on that sentiment and passed a five-year reauthorization of the Head Start program that will benefit nearly 1 million children nationwide and approximately 12,000 children in Maryland.   The Head Start program was created in 1965 as part of President Johnson's War on Poverty.   It provides comprehensive child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families … Continue Reading


November 13, 2007

SMALL BUSINESSES NEED GREATER ACCESS TO FEDERAL CONTRACTS

Small business owners in Maryland are in a unique position. Because of our close proximity to the Nation's Capital, many of them should have better opportunities for federal contracts.    Unfortunately, that is not always the case.   Too many barriers exist for small, minority and women-owned businesses to  do business with the federal government.   As a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, I recently chaired a field hearing of the Committee at Bowie S… Continue Reading


October 26, 2007

FAMILIES OF FIRST RESPONDERS OFTEN FACE DIFFICULTY GETTING BENEFITS THEY ARE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE

Four years ago, Congress did the right thing for the families of first responders who die in the line of duty from a stroke or heart attack.   Unfortunately, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has not carried out the wishes of Congress in making sure that these families get the benefits to which they are entitled.   In 2003, Congress passed the Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefit Act to correct a technicality in a 30-year-old law to ensure that the families of… Continue Reading


October 09, 2007

HOW WE CAN ENSURE UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE FOR ALL AMERICANS

We are the richest nation in the world, yet today more than 47 million Americans - 9 million of them children -- have no health care coverage.   The number of uninsured Americans affects all of us through higher medical costs: higher premiums for insurance, higher hospital costs and higher doctors' bills.   During the course of our lives, we will spend tens of thousands of dollars on health care.   This year alone, each American will spend on average $925 in out-of-… Continue Reading


September 20, 2007

ON 50th ANNIVERSARY OF 1957 CIVIL RIGHT BILL TOO MANY BARRIERS TO VOTING STILL EXIST

Fifty years ago this year Congress passed the first major civil rights bill since Reconstruction.   It set an important precedent by establishing the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as a "guarantor" of the right to vote.   Specifically, the law established the Commission on Civil Rights, a six-member bipartisan commission with the power to investigate allegations that certain citizens "are being deprived of their right to vote."   It also empowered the Attorney Gen… Continue Reading


September 07, 2007

WE NEED TO MAKE PREVENTING AND CURING SICKLE CELL DISEASE A NATIONAL PRIORITY

In recent years, a lot of attention has focused on a few debilitating diseases that affect millions of Americans.  Coordinated public and private efforts -- including targeted biomedical research, awareness campaigns, and patient advocacy -- have enabled us to make remarkable progress toward conquering many of these diseases.   But other, less prevalent diseases that are just as serious have received scant attention.    Sickle cell disease -- a devastating  genetic disorder that… Continue Reading


August 14, 2007

The CHIP Program is Critical to Meeting the Health Needs of Low-Income Children

The United States is the richest nation in the world and because of that we have the resources to provide all Americans with access to quality health care, particularly children.   I am pleased that the Senate recently passed an expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), one of the most important programs in this nation to help provide health care to low-income children.   Currently, approximately 6.6 million low-income children receive their health c… Continue Reading


July 25, 2007

HOW WE CAN MAKE COLLEGE MORE AFFORDABLE

For decades, the United States has always been committed to ensuring that qualified students could go to college, regardless of family income.   Student aid programs have made it possible for millions of American students to gain access to college and the American Dream.   Unfortunately, for the last 20 years, Congress has not held up its side of the bargain.   During that time, the cost of college has more than tripled, while buying power of student aid programs ha… Continue Reading


July 11, 2007

SENATE-PASSED ENERGY BILL BRINGS US CLOSER TO ENERGY INDEPENDENCE

The U.S. Senate recently passed an energy package that included my goal of achieving U.S. independence from foreign energy by mandating that we get the vast majority of our energy from domestic sources.      In passing the CLEAN Energy Act , the Senate understood that to achieve energy independence we need an Apollo-like mission similar to the effort that it took to put a man on the moon in the 1960s.   We need to achieve energy independence, which is … Continue Reading


July 02, 2007

WE NEED TO INCREASE MONEY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT - NOT REDUCE IT

One of the most important funding sources for local and state law enforcement is the Edward Bryne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, often referred to as the Byrne/JAG grant program.   This program provides much needed funding for drug task forces, community crime prevention programs, substance abuse treatment programs, prosecution initiatives and many other important programs.   Named after New York Police Office Edward Byrne, who was killed in the line of dut… Continue Reading


June 05, 2007

WE NEED TO GET OUR TOP TEACHERS IN SCHOOLS THAT NEED THEM THE MOST

Good teachers are the key to a successful education system.   That is because teachers who are well trained and highly qualified can help children who are having trouble learning and understanding the material.   Unfortunately, too many of our schools lack the one critical ingredient that children need to learn -- teachers who can reach them and help them succeed.   We have an education problem in America.   The schools that need the most experienced teachers sim… Continue Reading


May 23, 2007

WE NEED TO DO MORE TO STOP HATE CRIMES

We've all read the news accounts about the African-American family who finds a burning cross on their lawn, the gay man who was tortured and killed because of his sexual orientation, the swastika painted on a synagogue or a Muslim family targeted for hostility. These are hate crimes and they affect not only the individual victim, but every other member of the group that that individual represents. In 2004, according to FBI statistics, there were more than 7,600 incidents of hate cr… Continue Reading

Showing page   of 10