Whether it’s large investments in transportation, resources to protect the Chesapeake Bay, support for schools, students, seniors, affordable housing, COVID relief, or economic development initiatives, Chris has worked tirelessly as our Senator to deliver for Marylanders in every corner of our state.
As a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, the same Committee where Senator Barbara Mikulski once served, Chris has been uniquely positioned to help address key needs of our state and deliver real results for Marylanders. There is not a single County or municipality that hasn’t benefited from his non-stop efforts to lookout for the people of Maryland and secure resources to address unmet priorities.
Provisions in the recently passed Infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act will provide historic investments in the future of our physical and human infrastructure — and have a massive positive impact on the lives of Marylanders.
Modernizing Our Infrastructure and Building Back Better. Chris shares President Biden’s view that simply returning to the pre-pandemic status-quo in our country is not good enough. We must use this moment to address chronic challenges that have gone unaddressed for far too long — and build our country and our economy back better than they were before January 2020. Building back better means modernizing our infrastructure, building an economy with more shared prosperity, reducing the everyday costs overwhelming the weekly budgets of hardworking families, addressing issues of racial equity and social justice, and confronting the mounting harms wrought by climate change. We have much work ahead of us to build an economy where every American has a fair shot. But the good news is that we are making important progress already and Chris is working to deliver for Marylanders.
The Infrastructure Modernization Law. Chris was proud to join President Biden at the White House on November 15th for the signing of the bipartisan Infrastructure modernization bill, which contains many provisions that he championed for our state. Those include over $7 billion over the next five years to modernize Maryland’s roads, bridges, tunnels, and transit systems — and funds that will help modernize AMTRAK and make changes that will cut the rail travel time between Washington D.C. and Baltimore to thirty minutes. The infrastructure bill also provides funds for a national program, that Chris spearheaded, to remove past infrastructure that divided communities, like the infamous Highway to Nowhere in West Baltimore, which decimated and split a once vibrant African American community, leaving an empty wasteland in its place. Chris also led the way on the renewed federal commitment of $150 million a year for the Washington area Metro system and, importantly, the provision that revives the possibility of building a new Red Line metro system in Baltimore — a project that Governor Hogan unilaterally terminated years ago despite a commitment of almost $1 billion in federal funds.
The Infrastructure Bill also includes a large infusion of funds ($267 million on top of the annual appropriations) to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay. Chris also worked to include a large pool of funds that can be used by the Port of Baltimore to dramatically increase its cargo capacity, making room for substantial job growth in the Baltimore area. Finally, for years, Chris has fought to secure the funds, included in this bill, to end the digital divide and expand broadband to every household and business. He also fought successfully for the measures to ensure clean drinking water and start building a national network of electric car charging stations and other infrastructure to accelerate our country’s transition away from fossil-fuels and to a clean energy economy.
The Build Back Better Plan. The infrastructure modernization plan will revitalize America’s physical backbone and help bring it into the 21st Century. But, in order for us to achieve our goal of greater prosperity for all, we must also empower every American to succeed in this century, end the constant financial squeeze faced by too many American workers, families and seniors, and address the mounting harm caused by climate change to communities across our country. The Build Back Better agenda will directly address these challenges and, as a member of the Senate Budget Committee, Chris is proud to have been at the forefront of the effort to design and pass this important bill. It will include a number of measures Chris has championed for years — including universal early education so every child can get a good start; affordable child care (no family will have to pay more than 7% of their income on quality child care); and, over time, significant cuts in the cost of prescription drugs. Chris has also been a leading sponsor of another key element of the plan — tax cuts for middle and lower income families of up to $3,600 per child, which will benefit over 700,000 Maryland households and cut in half the national child poverty rate. He has also been a leading proponent of the provisions to dramatically cut the cost of in-home health care for seniors and to expand Medicare to cover hearing services.
Chris has been a lead advocate of the desperately needed measure to expand the supply of affordable housing in our country, and authored the provision to boost the number of choice housing vouchers that empower families with young children to move to areas of opportunity.
The Build Back Better plan will also, finally, include major investments to prevent catastrophic climate change, and mitigate the rising threats we are already experiencing. Chris has been a champion and lead author of many provisions in in this area, including the deployment of a Clean Energy Accelerator (like a Green Bank), the measures to boost home energy efficiency, and the tax incentives to promote the rapid deployment of clean energy. These clean energy provisions of the bill are essential to our ability to achieve our goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.