The White House, Washington, D.C.
A Record of Accomplishments
Throughout his career, Ben Cardin has brought people together for common goals and purposes, creating opportunities and facing challenges on behalf of Maryland and the nation. Time and again, he has led through consensus, engaging all partners to make real progress on valuable legislation or agreements. A sought-after voice of reason and civility, he has regularly proven to be the right person at the right time and right place to get things done.
Created a mechanism for US to sanction human rights violators and corrupt individuals in Russia, through the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act – aggressively opposed by Vladimir Putin – and worldwide, through the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. Solidified historic connection between human rights and trade/economic agreements.
Saved small businesses during the pandemic by creating the EIDL Advance Grant program, Paycheck Protection Program, Restaurant Revitalization Fund and Shuttered Venue Operators Grants, Prioritized small business programs for entrepreneurs in and of underserved communities before, during and after the pandemic.
Fought for record federal investment in Maryland and across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, including working with Republicans to fend off Trump plans to zero out key programs, and record funding for water infrastructure projects. Secured federal funding to begin construction on the Mid-Chesapeake Bay Island Ecosystem Restoration project and projects to expand capacity at the Port of Baltimore, supporting wildlife habitat and ecosystem health while ensuring safe, efficient navigation and Baltimore’s status as a critical hub for national supply chains.
Decades-long action resulting in making it easier for Americans to save more for retirement, encourage small businesses to offer retirement plans, expand access for low-income Americans. Authored a provision in Dodd-Frank to permanently increase FDIC insurance for deposits up to $250,000.
Consistent focus on preventive health and disparities, including leading the creation of the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities. Enabled and improved coverage for Medicare preventive health screenings and clinical trials. Guaranteed dental coverage for children. Led the fight for a Patients’ Bill of Rights. Helped to lead the creation of, and protected the Maryland All-Payer System, stabilizing the operations of hospitals across the state and assuring equal access for all.
Created and later expanded resources for the Transportation Alternatives Program, which supports local priorities such as bike trails and sidewalks. Enacted critical federal support for Maryland’s transportation infrastructure, including the first-ever dedicated federal funding stream for WMATA, modernization of MARC rail, and renewed federal commitments for Maryland transit statewide.
Negotiated congressional review of the Iran nuclear agreement, setting a new precedent for future actions. Congress and the president had been on course for a veto prior to Cardin’s involvement in the negotiations.
Following his mantra that “how a country treats its women is a barometer of economic and social success,” Cardin has raised awareness of gender equity in both domestic and foreign policy. He leads the Senate effort to remove the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Responsible for expanding the number of Women’s Small Business Centers in Maryland from one to four. Fought to expand the scope of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and create the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Park within the refuge boundaries.
Ethics and Leadership
Expanded and diversified leadership in the Maryland House of Delegates, improved ethical standards for legislators and set guidelines for legislative-executive working relationship.