Benjamin L. Cardin has represented Maryland’s Third Congressional District in Congress since 1987. Currently, he is a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Ranking Member of the Human Resources Subcommittee and a member of the Social Security Subcommittee. He is also a Commissioner of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the Helsinki Commission).
In 1998, Rep. Cardin was appointed Chairman of the Special Study Commission on Maryland Public Ethics Law by the MD General Assembly. In 1997, he co-chaired the Bipartisan Ethics Task Force in an effort to reform ethics procedures in the House of Representatives. He also holds leadership positions on the Organization, Study and Review Committee and the Steering Committee of the Democratic Caucus and serves as Assistant Democratic Whip.
As a Maryland legislator, Mr. Cardin served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1967-1986. He was Speaker from 1979-1986 and prior to that served as chairman of the Ways & Means Committee from 1974-1979. As Speaker, he was credited with reforming Maryland’s property tax system, the school financing formula, and the ethical standards for elected officials.
A 1967 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law (first in his class), he earned his B.A. degree (cum laude) in 1964 from the University of Pittsburgh. He also holds honorary degrees from the University of Baltimore School of Law (1990), University of Maryland at Baltimore (1993), Baltimore Hebrew University(1994); and Goucher College (1996). From 1988-1995, he chaired the Maryland Legal Services Corporation. In 1999, he was appointed to a three-year term on the Goucher College Board of Trustees. In 1999, he became a member of the Women’s Health Research Coalition’s Congressional Advisory Committee.
Representative Cardin’s numerous awards include:
- The American Medical Association’s Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Public Service (1999);
- The Small Business Council of America’s Congressional Award (1999)&(1993);
- The American Psychiatric Association’s Jacob K. Javits Award (1999);
- Concord Coalition’s “Deficit Hawk” Honor Roll (1999)&(1993);
- The National Association of Police Organizations’ “Representative of the Year” Award (1998);
- The Maryland Bar Foundation’s H. Vernon Eney Award (1996);
- Maryland Save Our Streams’ Living Stream Award (1996);
- Digestive Disease National Coalition Public Policy Leadership Award (1996);
- The Hunting S. Williams Award, The Coalition For A Lead Safe Environment (1995);
- The Alliance To End Childhood Lead Poisoning: H. John Heinz III National Leadership Award (1994);
- The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Representative of the Year Award (1993);
- The Israel Freedom Award (1992);
- The ABA Pro Bono Publico Award (1989).
Representative Cardin is married to Myrna Edelman Cardin.