After several laps in circles in my head, I decided to give up. I did not know the person who was representing my district. The first step involved jumping on the internet and surfing for a “Congressman finder”, if you will. I type the word congressman in the space provided. The search engine displayed several different topics to choose from and finally I see the site for a general purpose. Voila! I had become one step closer to find my Representative. After clicking in different places, I landed on the Postal Office web site. Why? You might ask yourself. This general site was to find my “guy” by typing in a five-digit zip code. I was thrilled and could hardly contain myself. I enter the code and it gives me an answer of “There are multiple Representatives who share your 5-digit ZIP code ( 21234 ). Please use the Postal Services ZIP+4 Lookup to determine your 9-digit ZIP code.” In other words, I still could not locate this person who is representing my district. I decided to actually do something smart. Look on my mail with the rest of my zip code. I put the code in and finally after thirty minutes of fighting for the truth, “The Honorable Benjamin L. Cardin, Maryland, 3rd” (www.house.gov) appeared. I was beside myself. The truth brought me Ben Cardin, a man with 57 years of age and fourteen consecutive years as the 3rd-District Congressman. How embarrassing is that? He has served seven terms and I found this news several days ago.
The life of Ben Cardin began on “October 5, 1943” (The Sun, Sec B). After searching several books, magazines, and internet sites, I could not find any information about his life until 1964. In other words, twenty-one years of his life are not recorded publicly. In 1964, he “earned his BA degree from the University of Pittsburgh” (www.house.gov/cardin/bio 1), soon after he earns another degree. Only three years later in 1967, he becomes a “graduate of the University of Maryland Law School” (www.house.gov/cardin/bio 1). After the success of earning his BA and his Law Degree he decides he will serve in the Maryland House of Delegates. Mr. Cardin was a Delegate from 1967 until 1986. Following his “father’s and uncle’s footsteps” (The Sun, B) it seemed almost natural. During his time as a Delegate he was the “chairman of the Ways and Means Committee from 1974-1979” (www.house.gov/cardin/bio 1). He also served as the “Speaker of the House from 1979-1986” (www.house.gov/cardin/bio 1). Ben Cardin was now an accredited lawyer, a member of the House of Delegates and now the Speaker of the House. At his young age he has established and entangled himself with the word Politics.
“Those who care about sound federal policymaking in such areas as Social Security, Medicare, taxation and healthcare might rejoice in the determination of Ben Cardin to remain in Congress.”
This is the statement that was made about this ambitious Democrat. This should give you an idea of how important he is to our state. He really is working for the “working” class. He wants the elder and middle class to stop worrying so much about what the government should be doing. He stands for the people—and citizens love that. As reported in the Association of American Medical Colleges Journal, Bill Cardin was admired for his strong integrity. He shows how dedicated he is by announcing a new bill. This bill would allow “stable funding for the training of doctors and the other valued contributions that U.S. teaching hospitals should provide” (AAMC, 34). The President of the Association of American Medical Colleges Journal is a sincere supporter of Bill Cardin, “The framework of the bill is correct; it maintains Medicare’s historic commitment to the support of GME and recognizes the analogous obligations of all payers of health services” (AAMC, 34). Benjamin Cardin is dedicated as well as a respected Democratic politician. As you can see he is a strong advocate of his political party. His beliefs are strong for professionals and the working class.
Ben Cardin’s voting record is as follows from Yahoo! Politics page: Since February of 2000 Ben Cardin has opposed (Nay) twenty times to bills on the boards. Three of the bills failed to make it to the “final cut”. The voting record does show that Mr. Cardin is quite agreeable with other political parties, as well as a “Daydream Believer”. When I say “Daydream Believer”—I mean that sometimes it might not be the right way to delegate authority. You want the public to know that you are in support of what the majority wants, but is it necessarily right what the majority needs? He preached what he calls “the group result”(The Sun, B) an approach that invited all of his colleagues from both parties into a broad band. With this said will “Mr. Cardin always be no guts, less glory”? (The Sun, B). The Sun reports that the Americans for Democratic Action give Cardin a “lifetime rating of 86”(The Sun, B). It also further went to quote that he has an American Conservative Union as a rate of 6. The bills that he decided to vote for are bills that are involved with his platform. The three main issues that Mr. Cardin is concerned with are education, health care, and childcare. It seems as though he is quite an advocate for these issues. The Sun also reports that Cardin votes in a “straight Democratic Line; seldom indulges in the unexpected”(The Sun, B). This statement would then be contradicted sentences later explaining that he once surprised many by voting against the “Republican-shaped budget” (The Sun, B). Cardin “thought the budget bill had been rammed through in secret, without even time to read the bill carefully” (The Sun, B). In this case it would show Cardin as a fair and honest politician.
In the issue of Education, Cardin is urging the parents of the children that primarily live in poverty. Cardin writes on his website, “Our public schools are bursting at the seams. The rapid increase of students in all grade levels has placed an enormous strain on facilities, personnel and other resources”(www.house.gov/cardin 1). This statement means that he understands that schools in poverty with students that are low class as well are in need of help. This also could mean that these schools have weakened internal and external facility structure problems. With these conditions, teachers and other faculty members would not want to work in any school. Within the Education issue he voted for the Classroom Reduction Program which was passed in Congress. This bill also authorizes additional money over a seven-year period to hire 100,000 new teachers. This must remain a priority. Ben Cardin wants to improve public school conditions. He wants to set higher goals for the children, parents, and schools and then measure whether each party is meeting the criteria. This year, Cardin would like for Congress to “reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act because it contains a number of programs aimed at providing equity, quality and accountability”(www.house.gov/cardin 1 ). Even though Cardin is setting these high standards, he wants to create a sincere education program as well as bring back the word Education. This also means involvement of both teachers, students and other members involved in Education.
The second issue that Cardin is a strong supporter of is Healthcare. He believes that the Healthcare statistics for children are not ones that should be publicized, “they are not pretty”(www.house.gov/cardin 1). In 1997, Congress passed the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) to reduce the number of uninsured children. This idea allowed states to make more flexible designs for health insurance programs designated for children. These are children that have parents that make too much money to qualify for insurance. While the S-CHIP program has helped extend health insurance to some 2 million children since 1997, millions of children are still uninsured. I believe that Cardin understands that we need a much greater effort to identify and enroll eligible children. President Clinton recently called for an “expansion of the program over the next five years to help target eligible children” (www.house.gov/cardin 1). This proposal would allow the enrollment of children in both Medicaid and the infamous S-CHIP. The President has also called for “providing coverage to parents of children in S-CHIP as a way to reduce the number of uninsured Americans nationwide” (www.house.gov/cardin 1). As you can see, Cardin also has the support of the President. The man who is running our country is supporting the amazing proposals that Cardin has designed.
The third and final issue that Cardin is a strong advocate of is ChildCare. The theme with Cardin all has to do with the next generation. He is concerned with the generation of young children because they are the future. In this proposal he wants to “ensure success for our children”(www.house.gov/cardin 1) by making the fathers more accountable. I believe that this is extremely risky. Announcing this to single fathers who have been raising their children since they were born is not fair. He wants to introduce the Fathers Count Act. This bill concentrates on the “welfare fathers”(www.house.gov/cardin 1). This bill encourages responsible parenting and employment. It also “expands job counseling opportunities for low-income fathers and encourages responsible parenting and family involvement” (www.house.gov/cardin 1). Cardin has sponsored this legislation and has passed in the House of Representatives and is now pending in the Senate.
The three categories: education, healthcare, and childcare are important factors for almost each citizen. Education is the future for every family and the importance of succeeding and relating everyday skills. Healthcare which is important to every citizen, even those without children. Everyone wants to be covered under insurance to be able to get well. Finally, childcare has slipped within the past years, but this bill could provide some hope. The statistics of incline in childcare has come to all time high.
In conclusion, Ben Cardin has been working hard for the country. He has been working hard for those in Maryland, but these proposals leak into other states. He has a strong moral standard, but also understands that this is the 21st century. I would like to end this paper with the quote from my doctor: I agree with her fully.
“Even though I am not involved in politics. I know the essence of being apart of the community and understanding the changes that incurs. I am not familiar with Mr. Cardin and his work, but being a democrat, I am sure I agree with MOST of what he proposes. You mentioned the three specific topics that he is mainly concerned with…to me, it means nothing. I am a well-off doctor with three children and loving husband. All three of my children attend private school and are completely covered under my care. I do know one thing, that Mr. Cardin is right to be concerned with the lower class. I went through many hours on duty at GBMC to know that they really need serious medical attention. It’s sad you see these children, very dirty, no father or mother or both—just a grandparent, sick as a dog. I hope that Mr. Cardin really deeply cares about those kids and their future because I know that tragedy happens. You never know when it could happen to you.”