Benjamin L. Cardin

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Benjamin L. Cardin

Benjamin L. Cardin is a Democratic member of the United States Senate, representing Maryland. He was elected to his position in 2006. Prior to his career in the Senate, Cardin was a representative in the House since 1987, representing Maryland's 3rd District.

Cardin served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1967-1986 and he was Speaker from 1979-1986.

He graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1967, the first in his class. He earned his Bachelor's of Arts degree in 1964 from the University of Pittsburgh.

Cardin is married to Myrna Edelman Cardin.

Cardin served as chairman of the Maryland Legal Services Corp. from 1988-1995. From 1988-1999, he served on the St. Mary's College Board of Trustees, and in 2002 he was appointed to St. Mary's Advisory Board, Center for Study of Democracy. He has been a Trustee of the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs since 1999, and in 2003 joined the Johns Hopkins University's Institute for Policy Studies' National Advisory Board. He served on the Goucher College Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2008. In 1991, he was appointed to the University of Maryland School of Law Board of Visitors, and in 1998, he was appointed to the UMBC President's Board of Visitors. In 2007, he was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy's Board of Visitors.[1]


Cardin currently serves on the following Senate Committees in the 114th United States Congress:

Committee on Finance

  • United States Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee on Health Care
  • United States Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee on Taxation & IRS Oversight
  • United States Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions & Family Policy

Committee on Environment and Public Works

  • Subcommittee on Oversight
  • Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
  • Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife (Ranking Member)

Committee on Foreign Relations (Ranking Member)

  • Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection (Ranking Member)
  • Subcommittee on Near East and South and Central Asian Affairs
  • Subcommittee on European Affairs
  • Subcommittee on African Affairs

Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Co-Chairman)

Support for the Council on American Islamic Relations

Benjamin L. Cardin wrote a letter of support to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on the occasion of their 24th anniversary in September 2018.[2]

Voted against Contra aid

Two Baltimore Democratic reps, Barbara Mikulski and Parren Mitchell, consistently voted against Contra aid in 1986. Their replacements, Kweisi Mfume and Ben Cardin, continued the pattern in 1987-88. [3]

FMLN supporter

Sitting lawmakers who publicly endorsed, assisted or lent their names to FMLN causes include Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and Rep. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), according to literature published by FMLN support groups such as the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador.

The FMLN assassinated American military trainers, U.S. Marines who guarded the embassy in San Salvador, American businessmen and CIA assets, and a retired American Jesuit priest, the Rev. Francisco Peccorini. [4]

Working Families Legislative Conference

On Saturday, January 19, 2001, Progressive Maryland and the Campaign for America's Future co-sponsored an event — The Working Families Legislative Conference — designed to link local Maryland issues with a national progressive agenda. The conference will focus on key local and national issues including: Affordable Housing, Health Care, Living Wage, Public Financing of Campaigns, and Afterschool Programs.

The conference took place at Martin’s Crosswinds, 7400 Greenway Center, Greenbelt, MD from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Speakers listed included Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (likely), Congressman Ben Cardin, Congressman Elijah Cummings (likely), Robert Borosage, from the Campaign for America's Future, State Senator Chris Van Hollen, Delegate Mark Shriver, and Delegate John Hurson.

The Working Families Legislative Conference was part of a series of regionally based Next Agenda conferences, "representing a new kind of partnership between CAF and state-level progressive organizations — unity coalitions which are coming together around a progressive action agenda for their state and for the nation".

“We are proud to be helping to co-sponsor this remarkable conference,” said CAF co-director, Roger Hickey. “Through our collaboration with state-level citizen groups, like Progressive Maryland, we are able to rally support for an economic recovery agenda that works for states and for the country. This mission was important before September 11. Now it is essential.”

“We must organize at the grassroots, build power in localities and states, and create in theses ‘laboratories of democracy’ the formula for economic success in Washington, DC.” said Sean Dobson, one of the leaders of Progressive Maryland.[5]

Bowing to communist pressure

Members of Baltimore Pledge of Resistance went to the district office of Rep. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) June 17 2005, to demand that he speak out against the Iraq war. The group met for several hours with Cardin’s chief administrative aide Chris Lynch.

Cindy Farquhar told Lynch she was “disappointed” that Cardin did not sign on to the Woolsey Amendment, named for Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) requiring President George W. Bush to announce an “exit strategy” to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq.

“We’re long past the idea that providing a better helmet is ‘supporting the troops,’” she said. “We are also asking him to join in pursuing the investigation of the Downing Street Memo. There are 120 House members who have signed Conyers’ letter to Bush on that memo.”

Lynch asked, “What does the Conyers’ letter do?”

Maria Allwine, a Green Party candidate for the U.S. Senate replied, “It asks Bush to answer the Downing Street Memo’s allegation that he ‘fixed’ intelligence on Iraq. Mr. Bush doesn’t feel he needs to answer it.” Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) is the leading Democrat on the House Judiciary committee.

If Cardin “can’t even put his signature on a letter demanding that Bush answer those questions, I can see that Cardin doesn’t represent me,” Allwine said.

As the meeting proceeded, other POR members began reading aloud and attaching to a mock “memorial wall” the names of the 1,700 U.S. soldiers and thousands of coalition troops and Iraqis who have died. “Presente,” they said after each name.

When 5:30 p.m. arrived, another Cardin aide announced that the office was closing. Those who refused to leave would face arrest, she warned. Many departed but Farquhar, Allwine, Baltimore Veterans for Peace leader Ellen Barfield, and peace activist, Max Obuszewski made clear they would not leave until they heard from Cardin.

Finally, Lynch telephoned Cardin. The aide returned about 7 p.m. to tell the POR delegation that the Congressman had agreed to three of the four proposals: He would sign on to Conyers letter, endorse Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) “timetable” for withdrawal from Iraq; and would call for the closing of the U.S. Detention Center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Cardin conveyed that he wants to meet with the delegation on the fourth proposal: voting against future funding of the war.

“Everyone believes it was a clear victory,” Obuszewski told the People's World. “One reason we went to Cardin’s office is that he is running for the U.S. Senate. We want to get the dialogue going right now.”

Their success, he added, dramatizes the importance of individual and organized group visits to lawmakers during the upcoming July 4 congressional recess. With public support of the war plummeting, he said, many lawmakers, even those who supported the war, can be convinced to support peace initiatives. [6]

European Socialist ties

The Party of European Socialists dialogue with the US Democrats and the Transatlantic partnership "was a priority over the last years" (written in 2009).

Delegations, meetings and exchanges of information were held on a regular basis. After the victory in the Congress, where the Democrats won the double majority, a Party of European Socialists Delegation, led by PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, discovered the new mood in Washington D.C., on 15-18 April 2007. It had meetings with Governor Howard Dean, Chair of the DLC; Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the Committee on Financial Services; Senator Bernie Sanders and with Senator Ben Cardin; John Podesta, CEO of the Center for American Progress, Former Chief of staff of President Clinton; John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO and Andy Stern, Chair of Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The underlying motive of the delegation was reiterated with the need for US and EU progressive forces to actively prepare for the post-Bush EU-US relations. [7]

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Benjamin L. Cardin in his successful Senate run as candidate for Maryland.[8]

Council for a Livable World, 50th Anniversary

On June 6, 2012, Council for a Livable World, along with its sister organizations Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and Council for a Livable World’s PeacePAC, celebrated the 50th Anniversary of their founding by Leo Szilard in 1962.

An evening celebration was held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Congressman Barney Frank acted as the Master of Ceremonies and, in the process, received a lifetime achievement award from former Rep. Tom Downey, a member of the Council’s Board of Directors. The Robert F. Drinan Peace and Human Award was presented to former Representative and PeacePAC Chairman David Bonior and the late Edith Wilkie, a longtime advocate and leader for peace and justice.

Six sitting Senators joined CLW in an afternoon national security forum in the U.S. Capitol to speak on the issues Council has been working on for 50 years. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) all spoke eloquently on these pressing issues.[9]

Council for a Livable World has a long and close relationship with each of the Senators. They have all been leading advocates in the Senate for sensible national security policies, such as reducing the dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction, reigning in the bloated defense budget, and bringing an end to the War in Afghanistan.
Senator Cardin discussed what he termed “big picture” concerns. He stated we need to conceive of national security spending as including much more than the military budget, such as investments in international development and diplomacy. However the budgets for development and diplomacy don’t reflect their essential importance to national security. He argued that the US must exhibit stronger leadership in these areas. Senator Cardin also lamented the situation in Syria and Russia’s role in aiding Assad. He noted that while he believes Assad must resign, there is no guarantee that his replacement will be better.[10]

Credit for New START treaty

According to the Council for a Livable World, in December 2010, After a battle that lasted many months, the Senate voted 71-26 to give its advice and consent to the New START Resolution of Ratification.

The effort to win the Senate’s two-thirds majority was like riding a roller coaster, with optimism followed by pessimism followed by optimism and back and forth.
Ultimately, the vote was a remarkably bipartisan victory in an intensely hyper-partisan atmosphere. It is a victory for the consensus of former national security officials of both parties and both active duty and retired military.
Ratification of the treaty is only the beginning. The U.S. and Russia should take advantage of the momentum created by the approval of New START to pursue negotiations on reductions in all types of nuclear warheads, including non-deployed and non-strategic warheads, in a timely manner.

Lots of credit goes to Senators Kerry and Lugar (R-IN), who managed the treaty, other Senators who have been active for the treaty such as Casey (D-PA), Shaheen (D-NH), Cardin (D-MD), Franken (D-MN) and others, the Obama Administration who put together a terrific campaign (and I will not name everyone because there are too many to name) and a terrific effort by the arms control community.[11]

Netroots Nation

At the 2011 Netroots Nation conference the LIUNA sponsored a Fight Back for Good Jobs rally featuring LIUNA President Terry O’Sullivan, Van Jones, Sen. Ben Cardin, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Tim Walz, Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and other political, business and community leaders.[12]

ARA connection

Gloria Lawlah & Senator Cardin

Maryland seniors hear from MD Secretary on Aging Gloria Lawlah & U.S. Senator Cardin (D-MD), August, 2011.

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) addressed the Maryland/DC Alliance for Retired Americans, August 4, 2011 about the recently enacted budget compromise that raised the debt ceiling and saved the nation from default. The Senator assured the group that the budget agreement has protections for Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid and federal retiree benefits.

“The budget provides for nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction during the next 10 years. But importantly, it protects domestic priorities by allowing more than $40 billion in discretionary domestic spending next year than was contained in the Republican budget that passed the House,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Budget and Finance committees. [13]

ARA endorsement

Alliance for Retired Americans endorsed Ben Cardin in 2012.[14]

Anti "speculator" bill

in April 2012 Ben Cardin joined a group of his Senate colleagues in sponsoring a bill, S. 2222, which "will give federal regulators immediate authority to invoke emergency powers to rein in speculators who are responsible for rapidly rising gasoline prices".

There is broad agreement among energy experts and economists that speculators are one of the causes for the rapidly rising price of gas. Domestic oil production has risen to its highest level in a decade, oil supplies are greater today than they were three years ago and demand for oil in the United States is lower today than it was in 1997. Yet gas prices continue to soar.

There is something wrong with this equation. There is no logical reason why gas prices should continue to rise if oil supplies are up and demand is down.
The American Trucking Association, Delta Airlines, the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and other experts all say excessive oil speculation in the futures markets significantly increases crude oil and gasoline prices. A Feb. 27, 2012 article in Forbes Magazine cited a recent report by the investment bank Goldman Sachs pointing out that excessive oil speculation adds 56 cents to the price of a gallon of gas.

This "speculators" bill would set a 14-day deadline for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to take emergency steps to stop excessive speculation by Wall Street traders in the crude oil, gasoline and other energy futures markets. Also co-sponsoring the measure were: U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-MN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Bill Nelson (D-FL).[15]

Progressive Maryland endorsement

In 2012 Progressive Maryland endorsed U.S. Senator Ben Cardin for re-election, and also urges members to support four out of eight Democratic candidates for Congress:

Honduras letter

On Thursday, May 23, 2013, U.S. Senator Cardin (D-MD) circulated a Senate sign-on "Dear Colleague" letter to Secretary of State John Kerry addressing deepening concerns about Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Honduras.

The letter states that violence and impunity for state security forces in Honduras has reached intolerable levels and cites concerns related to extrajudicial killings, linkages to death squads, and increasing militarization of civilian law enforcement. The letter also raises the concern that State Department certifications intended to ensure that U.S. foreign aid supports the rule of law in Honduras may contradict the reality on the ground.

The letter asks State Department to:

  • provide Congress with a detailed assessment of the efficacy of current Honduran government efforts to address this issue as mandated by FY12 Appropriations language;
  • conduct a detailed review of specific State Department actions to help ensure that no U.S. funds are being used to support police implicated in human rights violations; and
  • make every reasonable effort to help ensure that Honduras' upcoming November 2013 elections are free, fair and peaceful.[17]

In addition to Cardin, the letter was cosigned by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Mark Udall (D-CO), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).[18]

CASA connection

Ribbon cutters

June 2010, U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin (Md.) were among the special guests who helped cut the ribbon on CASA de Maryland's newly expanded and renovated multicultural center in Langly Park, Md. Through an investment partnership with Bank of America, Enterprise helped finance the green property with $7.9 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation. [19]

CASA de Maryland, the state's largest immigrant advocate organization celebrated its 25th birthday by opening a new headquarters in the 21, 000 square foot McCormick-Goodhart mansion.

The facility will now be known as the CASA de Maryland MultiCultural Center. The renovation took almost three years and cost nearly $14 million dollars , "Some donations from the community were as small as a quarter and the largest was $2 million dollars" says CASA's Executive Director Gustavo Torres.

Over a thousand Langley Park residents attended the celebration as well as Maryalnd Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, US Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Steny Hoyer and the President of the NAACP Benjamin Jealous.[20]

Immigration forum

Cardin and Gustavo Torres, right

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) met May 20, 2013 with community leaders from across Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland for a roundtable on immigration reform. Hosted by CASA de Maryland, the roundtable discussion provided an opportunity for Senator Cardin to hear from key stakeholders in the immigration debate and to share the latest proposals coming from Washington. The event follows the first week of deliberation by the Senate Judiciary Committee of comprehensive immigration reform legislation (S. 744). It also comes just days after a group in the House of Representatives announced that they had reached a bipartisan agreement on immigration reform.

“We need to seize this unprecedented opportunity to pass real, bipartisan immigration reform. We cannot do this in pieces; it must be a comprehensive effort that allows for a fair pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants now living in the United States.

“Now that the Senate is moving forward on a bipartisan plan and Members of the House of Representatives have developed a bipartisan plan, there is real hope that we can achieve reforms that would strengthen border security, create a fair legalization program, and create a workable system to ensure that employers only hire legal workers in the future. We also should not forget that immigration reform also is about keeping families together and ensuring that immigration laws are respected.”[21]

Local union activist Jaime Contreras agrees. "Comprehensive immigration reform is possible this year. The political landscape has changed, and I think our friends on the right have now figured out that this is a good time for them to change their face with the immigrant community."[22]

Federal grant

U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski November 25, 2013 congratulated CASA de Maryland for being awarded a $3 million through the Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation Fund (i3). The grant will be used to fund the Learning Together Project, a multi-tier, multigenerational program designed to give immigrant families the tools they need in order to navigate themselves and their children through the American educational system.

“I am proud that the Department of Education is partnering with CASA de Maryland to develop best practices for strengthening families and communities that will be used nationwide. CASA de Maryland is on the forefront of developing innovative ways to provide immigrant families with critical services,” said Senator Cardin. “The federal dollars going into Langley Park will go far in strengthening our entire county by promoting education as the great equalizer.”

“Education is the opportunity ladder of this nation,” said Senator Mikulski, a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “CASA de Maryland is an important part of that ladder for the Latino community in Maryland, providing job training and classes in English, computers and financial literacy. Immigrants have and always will be a part of our nation’s fabric. These federal dollars will help CASA de Maryland provide families with the tools they need to obtain a quality education.”[23]

Roundtable with Latino Small Business Owners

Cardin hosted a Roundtable with Latino Small Business Owners in Prince George’s County, Monday, September 22, 2014.

Speakers were;

Ivey connection

Jolene Ivey held the position of Press Secretary for U.S. Representative Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, 1988-89. Del. Ivey is currently in the Board of Directors of CASA de Maryland.

Vietnam visit

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Senator Benjamin Cardin

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh welcomed US Senator Ben Cardin to Viet Nam May 2014, calling it an opportunity to frankly and openly discuss issues of common concern.

Minh said this is a time to strengthen bilateral ties and urging the US Congress to support the exchange of delegations at all levels, continue opening the US market for Vietnamese goods while reducing trade barriers. He also voiced his hope for a decrease of cases of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy, as well as flexibility in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks as pledged by the US. Mr. Cardin, who is also the chair of the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, voiced his support for the two countries in implementing the comprehensive partnership and for early conclusion of TPP talks. The two sides exchanged views on regional and international issues, including the current situation in the East Sea.[25]

Cuba's removal from terrorism list

Ben Cardin: Cuba’s Removal Gives The US “The Space Needed To More Vigorously Promote Our National Interests And The Values That We As A Nation Hold Dear.” “Following the Cuban government’s release of Marylander Alan Gross late last year, the United States has a unique opportunity to begin a fresh chapter with Cuba. This announcement clears the way for the United States and Cuba to re-establish diplomatic relations and strengthen people-to-people ties between our two countries. The Obama Administration now has the space needed to more vigorously promote our national interests and the values that we as a nation hold dear. A healthy and prosperous Cuba will promote a more open society and that is good for the United States.” Cardin Press Release, “Cardin Statement on the President’s Decision to Remove Cuba from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism,” 4/14/15.

Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015

S 299, the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015, principal sponsors are Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.[26]

By May 20, it had accumulated 33 co-sponsors, including 26 Democrats - Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Udall, Dick Durbin, Thomas Carper, Amy Klobuchar, Barbara Boxer, Jack Reed, Debbie Stabenow, Jeff Merkley, Chris Murphy, Benjamin Cardin, Chris Coons, Dianne Feinstein, Jeanne Shaheen, Sherrod Brown, Mazie Hirono, Brian Schatz, Tammy Baldwin, Ed Markey, Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester, Claire McCaskill, Ron Wyden, Tim Kaine, Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet, Martin Heinrich . [27]

Cuba visit

(L to R) U.S Senator Dean Heller (R-Nevada), U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and U.S Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) attend a news conference at a hotel in Havana June 27, 2015

Three visiting U.S. senators said on June 27, 2015, they hoped Congress would support President Barack Obama's opening toward Cuba, including lifting a ban on U.S. citizens traveling to the Communist-run island.

Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Ben Cardin of Maryland joined Republican Dean Heller of Nevada on a trip to Cuba where they met First Vice-President Miguel Diaz-Canel, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and ordinary Cubans.

"We think that can be achieved this year and we can make additional progress next year," Cardin told a news conference. "We're optimistic this path that President Obama and President (Raul) Castro started will be continued."

Heller, one of a few Republican senators to side with Obama on Cuba, encouraged members of Congress to visit Cuba and engage with ordinary Cubans. "I think the Senate can move the House, but the Senate's going to have to act first," Heller told Reuters after the news conference.[28]


“I particularly want to commend CAIR for working to educate others about Islam, a religion of more than one billion people in the world. CAIR also has provided members of the Muslim community in the United States with an important voice in promoting social justice and mutual understanding. CAIR has 31 offices nationwide and in Canada and through your work you have helped promote a dialogue among employers, law enforcement officials, and government agencies. CAIR understands the importance of developing mutual understanding and trust.”- Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) (November 2007).[29]

SAALT Congressional Briefing on Hate Violence

March 23, 2017, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national South Asian civil rights organization, held a Congressional briefing to address the uptick in hate violence nationwide and highlight recommendations for change, as outlined in our recent report, “Power, Pain, Potential.” SAALT was joined by eight members of Congressional leadership and community partners in an urgent discussion on combatting the surge in hate violence aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Arab, and Middle Eastern Americans across the country.

“As President Trump continues to test fire Muslim bans, this administration appears intent on intensifying efforts to ignore and provoke hate violence,” stated Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of SAALT. “The President has a sworn duty to protect the rights and safety of all Americans. Today’s briefing with Congressional leaders is an important step in making sure President Trump doesn’t escape his responsibilities.”

Our communities have experienced devastating violence in recent months, including deadly shootings in Kansas and Washington State, numerous arson attacks and vandalism of mosques, businesses, and homes nationwide, and mounting fear by our communities across the country.

“SAALT stands ready to work with Congressional leaders to fight hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric impacting our communities across the country,” stated Ms. Raghunathan. “South Asian Americans are the most rapidly growing demographic group, and we are committed to policies at all levels that reinforce the place our communities have in our nation now and as we continue to grow.”

Honorary Co-Chairs of the briefing included: Senator Mazie Hirono (HI); Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT); Senator Ben Cardin (MD)

Member Co-Sponsors of the briefing included: Congressmembers Keith Ellison, Andre Carson; Raul Grijalva; Ami Bera; Grace Meng; Mark Takano; Pramila Jayapal; Raja Krishnamoorthi; Ro Khanna. Judy Chu also attended.

Philippine Human Rights Accountability and Counternarcotics Act

The US Congress through the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission will hold a public hearing on “Philippine Extrajudicial Killings” on July 20 2017.

Leaders from iDefend, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and a public health institution will testify before the commission’s members.

Key speaker will be Ellecer Carlos, spokesperson of I Defend Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDefend) who completed a speaking tour in Europe and the US, on issues of extrajudicial killings, martial law, China’s illegal incursion in the West Philippine Sea and alleged creeping authoritarianism in the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte.

On July 19, Wednesday, members of the Filipino American Human Rights Alliance (FAHRA) will convene with the offices of Rep. Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) in DC and San Mateo, California, to push for the introduction of complementary Senate bills co-introduced by Senators Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida): S1055 – The Philippine Human Rights Accountability and Counternarcotics Act of 2017; S659 – Impose Sanctions With Respect to People’s Republic of China’s activities in South China Sea and East China Sea.[30]

Partner organizations include: Sikh Coalition, Washington Peace Center/D.C. Justice for Muslims Coalition, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Arab American Institute.[31]

"Be HEARD" Act

April 9 2019, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, was joined by Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA-5), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-7), to introduce the Bringing an End to Harassment by Enhancing Accountability and Rejecting Discrimination (Be HEARD) in the Workplace Act, legislation which takes critical steps to ensure businesses have more resources to prevent harassment and workers have more support when they seek accountability and justice, and sends a clear message to those who think they can get away with assault or harassment on the job: time is up.

Senator Murray announced the introduction at a news conference with survivors and advocates who shared their personal stories about workplace assault and harassment, including Adriana Cazorla, a Washington state domestic worker and advocate with National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Maria del Carmen Ruelas, farm worker with Justice for Migrant Women Advocates who also resides in Washington state. Additionally, leaders from the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) participated and highlighted the urgent need to pass the legislation.

“No matter who you are or where you work—whether you are the only woman on the board, or a janitor, or farm worker, you should be treated fairly, respectfully, and with dignity. This should be true no matter your gender or race, your religion or sexual orientation or age—and regardless of whether you have a disability or are a veteran.” said Senator Murray. “For far too long and for far too many people in our country this hasn’t been true. So today, I’m proud to be standing up to fight for change and make clear that time is up.”

In addition to Senator Murray, the Senate bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). The House bill is being introduced by Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA-5), Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-7), Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-MI-8), and Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL-26).[32]

Former Committees

  • Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
  • Chairman of Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife
  • Subcommittee Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Subcommittee Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
  • Senate Committee on the Judiciary
  • Subcommittee of Terrorism and Homeland Security (Chairman)
  • Subcommittee of Administration Oversight and the Courts
  • Subcommittee on The Constitution
  • Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs
  • Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
  • Subcommittee on African Affairs
  • Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assitance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection
  • Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs
  • Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Global Narcotic Affairs
  • Senate Committee on the Budget
  • Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission)[33]

External links


  1. About Cardin
  2. Letters of Support for CAIR accessed January 26 2020
  3. A Call to Conscience: The Anti-Contra War Campaign By Roger Craft Peace, Univ of Massachusetts Press page 130]
  4. [FOR THE RECORD * - When Congressmen Support Terrorism -* The Enemies Within * Insight On The News ^ | 22 Jan, 2003 | J. Michael Waller]
  5. CAF press release, Press Release: Md Working Families Legislative Conference Pushes New Progressive Agenda
  6. PW Lawmaker yields as antiwar group turns up heat june 23 2005
  7. The PES in action 2007-2009, Activity Report of the Party of European Socialists Adopted by the 8th PES Congress 8th PES Congress, Prague, December 2009
  8. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  9. Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation website. Council for a Livable World 50th Anniversary Celebration
  10. CLW blog, The Chain Reaction, Summary of the Council’s 50th Anniversary Senators Forum JUN 21, 2012
  11. CLW, The Chain Reaction, New START Debate (Day 8, the final day – December 22) DEC 22, 2010 | POSTED BY JOHN ISAACS
  12. Talking Union, Lots More Union Events at Netroots Nation, Posted on June 13, 2011 by dsalaborblogmoderator
  14. ARA endorsements 2012
  15. Stop Wall Street speculation that drives up gas prices for families, Peoples World, by: U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, April 16 2012
  16. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012, Progressive Maryland Issues 2012 Voter Guide // Maryland Juice, INTERESTING: No Endorsement for Democrat John Delaney in District 6
  17. SOAWatch, Ask your Senator to sign onto the Cardin Letter about Honduras
  18. Cardin Press release, Cardin Leads Senate Call For Accountability In Honduras For Human Rights Violations Tuesday, June 18, 2013
  19. Youtube, CASA de Maryland Opens with Enterprise Support, Uploaded on Jul 26, 2010]
  20. 9 CASA Celebrates 25th Anniversary At New HQ 11:35 PM, Jun 19, 2010
  21. Ben Cardin press release, Cardin Says Bipartisan Comprehensive Immigration Reform Is Possible Monday, May 20, 2013
  22. CSA de M Sen. Ben Cardin Discusses Immigration Reform With Community Leaders By: Elliott Francis // May 20, 2013]
  23. BC Cardin, Mikulski Announce $3 Million Federal Grant to Support Effective Life Skills through CASA de Maryland Monday, November 25, 2013
  24. de M, Cardin to Host Roundtable with Latino Small Business Owners in Prince George’s County Posted September 19, 2014]
  25. [ Talk Vietnam, Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh: Vietnam, US will soon finalize TPP negotiations MAY 28, 2014 BY VOVWORLD]
  26. [, Cuba travel bill advances in the Senate by: Emile Schepers May 20 2015]
  27. [%22S+299%22}, Congress.Gov. S.299 - Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015114th Congress (2015-2016) | G]
  28. [ Reuters, Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:21pm EDT Related: POLITICS, CUBA U.S. senators visit Cuba, hope Congress will ease restrictions HAVANA | BY DANIEL TROTTA]
  29. [ What They Say About CAIR (October 2014)
  30. [1]
  31. , Posted on March 23, 2017 by SAALTSAALT Organizes Congressional Briefing on Hate Violence
  32. [ Patty Murray press release VIDEO: Senator Murray Introduces Sweeping Legislation to Address Harassment in the Workplace Apr 09 2019]
  33. Committees