Benjamin Cardin

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U.S. Senator

Benjamin Cardin




Leadership: No leadership position
Committees: Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Senate Committee on the Budget, Senate Committee on the Judiciary
(subcommittees and past assignments)

Candidates for the MD-Senate Class I Seat:
(Next election: 6 November 2012)

Confirmed: None so far
Considering: None so far
Rumored: None so far
Potential: None so far
Dropped-out: None so far
(more info and editing for the MD-Senate Class I Seat)
On the Web
Official website

Benjamin Louis Cardin, a Democrat, has been the junior Senator from Maryland since 2007. (map)


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

Click through the score to see the records of other members of Congress and full descriptions of the individual votes.

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union not avail. not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action not avail. not avail.
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce not avail. not avail.

Iraq War

Cardin voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal


In May 2007, Sen. Cardin voted AGAINST an amendment to the 2007 comprehensive immigration reform bill that would have stripped it of any paths to citizenship or permanent residency for undocumented immigrants, leaving it largely an immigration-enforcement bill. The amendment was defeated, 29-66. The amendment was opposed by the groups like the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the AFL-CIO and the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy.

Main article: Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007

In October 2007, Sen. Cardin voted FOR the DREAM Act, which would have created a path to citizenship and permanent residency for young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and are of "good moral character" and attend college or serve in the U.S. military for at least two years. The Senate was blocked from taking up the bill when supporters could only garner 52 of the 60 votes they needed. The bill was supported by groups like the Drum Major Institute, the U.S. Episcopal Conference and the National Parent-Teacher Association. It was opposed by groups like NumbersUSA and VDare.

Main article: DREAM Act of 2007
Voting Record on Immigration
Bill or Amendment Date Vote Description
S.AMDT.4231 to S.CON.RES.70 March 13, 2008 No To increase spending on specific border security and immigration enforcement programs. See more here
S.AMDT.4259 to S.CON.RES.70 March 13, 2008 Yes To establish a reserve fund for immigration refom and enforcement. See more here
S.AMDT.4309 to S.CON.RES.70 March 13, 2008 Yes To create a reserve fund to ensure that Federal assistance does not go to sanctuary cities that ignore the immigration laws of the United States and create safe havens for illegal aliens and potential terrorists. See more here
DREAM Act of 2007 (S. 2205) October 24, 2007 Yes To allow the Department of Homeland Security to adjust the status of certain undocumented immigrants to permanent resident status. See more here
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1348) June 7, 2007 Yes To give work authorization and legalization of undocumented aliens, to increase border security, and to declare English as the national language. See more here
Secure Fence Act of 2006 (H.R. 6061) September 14, 2006 No To authorize the construction of an additional 700 miles of double-layered fencing between the U.S and Mexico and to grant the Secretary of Homeland Security authority to take necessary measures to stop illegal entry of immigrants into the U.S. See more here
REAL ID Act of 2005 (H.R. 418) February 10, 2005 No To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act and to grant the Secretary of Homeland Security the power to set minimal security standards for state driver licenses and identification cards. See more here



Born October 1943, Cardin was raised in a political family, with his father and uncle active in Maryland politics.

In 1967 Cardin graduated first in his class from the University of Maryland School of Law, and he earned his B.A. degree cum laude in 1964 from University of Pittsburgh.

In 1966,a the age of 22, Cardin won the Baltimore District 5 Delegate seat formerly occupied by his uncle Maurice. Ben graduated from law school later that year. Cardin served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1967-1986. He was Speaker from 1979-1986. As Speaker, he was credited with reforming Maryland's property tax system, the school financing formula and the ethical standards for elected officials.

Congressional career

In 1986 Cardin ran for U.S. Congress, winning the the general election with 79% of the vote against a perennial candidate, Republican Ross Z. Pierpont.

Cardin lists the Environment, Federal Employees, Fiscal Responsibility, Health Care, Human Rights, International Trade, Pension Reform, and Social Security as "key issues." [1]

According to his house biography, "In the House, Cardin has been a leader on fiscal issues, pension reform, and health care. His legislation to increase the amount Americans can put into their 401k plans and Individual Retirement Accounts was enacted into law in 2001. His proposal to expand Medicare to include preventive benefits such as colorectal, prostate, mammogram, and osteoporosis screening was also enacted into law. He also has authored legislation to provide a Medicare prescription drug benefit for chronic illnesses; fund graduate medical education; and guarantee coverage for emergency services. [2]

"As the leading Democrat on the Human Resources Subcommittee, Cardin has introduced legislation to improve welfare reform by helping those who leave public assistance get the skills they need so they can work their way out of poverty. His bill to increase education and support services for foster care children between ages 18 and 21 was signed into law in 1999. He has authored bills to expand child support, hold fathers more accountable, improve the welfare-to-work program and increase the child care tax credit."[3]

Redistricting has caused Cardin received the lowest vote totals of any incumbent Maryland Congressman in the 2002 and 2004 elections. Redistricting in 2002 added significant portions of more conservative Anne Arundel County, including the state capitol of Annapolis, to his Baltimore city and county-based district.

2006 elections

On April 26, 2005, Cardin announced that he would seek the U.S. Senate seat of long-standing senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), following the announcement by Sarbanes that he will not be running for re-election in 2006. [4] Cardin defeated Republican Michael Steele 54%-44% in the November 2006 election to win the seat. [5]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Top Contributors to during the 2006 Election Cycle
DonorAmount (US Dollars)
Exelon Corp$ 39,250
Blue Cross/Blue Shield$ 36,600
21st Century Fox$ 35,375
Johns Hopkins University$ 30,150
Ernst & Young$ 30,000
Comcast Corp$ 27,123
Northwestern Mutual$ 26,800
DaVita HealthCare Partners$ 26,000
Venable LLP$ 25,250
Carlyle Group$ 25,000
Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Links to more campaign contribution information for Benjamin Cardin
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • co-chaired the Bipartisan Ethics Task Force in an effort to reform ethics procedures in the House of Representatives.(1997)
  • Steering Committee of the Democratic Caucus
  • Senior Democratic Whip.

Boards and other Affiliations

  • St. Mary's College of Maryland Board of Trustees (1988-1999)
  • St. Mary's Advisory Board for the Study of Democracy (2002)
  • Goucher College Board of Trustees (1999-)
  • Chairman of the Special Study Commission on Maryland Public Ethics Law by the Maryland General Assembly (1998).
  • Advisory Board, The Israel Project [2]

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Benjamin Cardin. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


509 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-4524
Fax: 202-224-1651
Web Email

Tower I, Suite 1710
100 South Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Phone: 410-962-4436
Fax: 410-962-4156



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