GAITHERSBURG, Md. – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) Monday joined employees at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for a wide-ranging town hall meeting. The open forum explored topics of particular concern to federal employees and contractors, as well as issues related to Senator Cardin’s membership on the Senate committees on Environment and Public Works, Foreign Relations, Finance, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
“I’m proud to continue working on behalf of the immensely skilled workers at NIST to ensure that we move beyond this short-sighted era of sequestration, continuing resolutions and other short-term budget measures,” said Senator Cardin. “Programs and projects like those underway at our federal agencies in Maryland need a strong federal partner with consistent priorities in order to achieve their maximum potential.”
In addition to the critical nature of a long-term budget, Senator Cardin discussed the importance of fundamental and applied research, the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act in slowing the growth of health care costs, progressive tax reform, and the need for an infrastructure spending package to fuel the long-term growth of jobs and the economy. Senator Cardin also discussed concerns regarding the need to safeguard intellectual capital.
“Too frequently the knowledge developed in America is not kept in America. These technologies are taken overseas, often at the expense of American jobs,” said Senator Cardin. “There are inadequate protections currently for our intellectual capital, the catalyst of a modern innovation economy. We need the technology from applied research to fuel American job growth.”
Senator Cardin also highlighted necessary reforms to our region’s mass transit system, including recent measures he has co-sponsored to enhance safety for its users.
“An impressive collection of highly skilled people combine their efforts at NIST every single day, and the institute’s workers are making advances in an incredible range of fields, from cybersecurity and nanotech to building research and bioscience,” said Senator Cardin. “Congress sometimes has a strange way of showing federal workers how much it appreciates the innumerable contributions they make to our society and economy. I want our federal workers to know that I deeply appreciate everything they do to make this country great, and that I won’t stop fighting on their behalf to ensure that they have what they need to accomplish their agencies’ missions.”