BALTIMORE – U.S Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today joined employees and leadership at the headquarters of the Social Security Administration (SSA) for a wide-ranging, town hall-style discussion that explored a wide range of issues, including federal agency budgets and the recent data breach that impacted millions of federal workers, international trade agreements and the unrest in nearby neighborhoods. Senator Cardin provided a broad Capitol Hill update to the audience of about 100, then heard from several of those federal employees on specific issues that mattered most to them.
“No more continuing resolutions. No more sequestration. We need long-term federal budgets that treat our federal workers fairly and give their agencies reasonable budgets to do their jobs,” said Senator Cardin. “Visiting the West Baltimore headquarters of Social Security allows me a chance to listen to the dedicated workers who deliver on a critical mission for America. Their input helps those of us on Team Maryland shape legislation in Washington that has maximum benefits for federal employees – and their communities.”
Directly addressing the recent data breach at OPM and elsewhere, Senator Cardin added: “If OPM can be compromised in such a way as it was, we know we have a major problem. We will not sit back and accept this. We will work to protect you [federal workers] from any attacks associated with this data breach. Cybersecurity must be given the highest priority moving ahead. And I will make sure that it is.”
“We are honored to have Senator Cardin visit our headquarters campus based right here in Maryland and appreciate his taking time to speak with our employees,” said SSA Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin. “As we begin our countdown to celebrating our 80th anniversary of being an integral part of our nation’s fabric, I am so proud of our employees’ longstanding commitment to provide world-class customer service, and Senator Cardin’s visit reinforces to our employees that our lawmakers support their efforts.”
“Our diligent federal employees too often are disparaged and targeted with harmful cuts to positions and programs, without thought being given to the real people working on behalf of the American public,” said Senator Cardin. “The knowledge, expertise, skill and commitment of our public sector workforce are some of this country’s greatest assets. No other nation can match our public workforce’s professionalism and level of accomplishment. This open exchange at SSA is the latest in my continuing outreach to our dedicated federal workers across Maryland. It provided me an opportunity to hear directly from federal employees about the effects that budget cuts have on their daily lives and agency missions. It also helped me identify ways to shape federal legislation that addresses these issues and challenges.”