US Senator Ben Cardin Holds “Town Hall” With Summer MACo Attendees

United States Senator Cardin holding a Town Hall Meeting with attendees of the MACo Summer Conference, moderated by Commissioner Jack Russell, President of the St. Mary’s County Commissioners, and MACo Treasurer

United States Senator Cardin held a Town Hall Meeting with attendees of the MACo Summer Conference, responding to questions from the audience on a variety of topics and speaking about transportation funding and economic revitalization in Maryland.

The Senator said he will work this year for reauthorization of federal surface transportation funding, supplemental transportation funding, and an infrastructure bank to allow Maryland to start its projects and help address future transportation needs.

Responding to questions on mental health care, the Senator shared recent progress on the issue in Congress including how the Affordable Care Act eliminates distinctions between mental health treatment and other care, and improvements in mental healthcare in the military, including pre- and post-deployment evaluations.

On energy policy, the Senator noted America’s advances towards energy independence.  He outlined the importance of the reauthorization of the export-import bank, tax exemptions for energy saving retrofits, investment in nuclear energy, and continued research into nuclear fusion.  The Senator also discussed the need for a federal policy on hydraulic-fracturing and development of a cap and trade system for market-based pollution reduction.

Commissioner Jack Russell, President of the St. Mary’s County Commissioners  introduced the Senator and facilitated the discussion.  Commissioner Russell is MACo’s Treasurer.  Several MACo Board Members and county and state officials attended the discussion.

Senator Cardin has been a national leader on health care, retirement security, the environment, and fiscal issues as a member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 and he currently serves on the Environment and Public Works (EPW), Finance, Foreign Relations, and Small Business & Entrepreneurship committees. In the 113th Congress, he chairs the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee of EPW and he chairs the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee.