Member of the U.S. Senate
Benjamin L. Cardin has been a national leader on health care, retirement security, the environment and fiscal issues since coming to Congress in 1987. In 2006, he was elected to succeed Paul Sarbanes in the U.S. Senate. As a Senator, he serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, Judiciary Committee, Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, Budget Committee and Small Business Committee. On the Judiciary Committee, Senator Cardin chairs the Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee, and on the EPW Committee he chairs the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee for the 111th Congress. The Washington Post has said that Senator Cardin is "a legislator's legislator" and he "is sensible, tough-minded and independent." The Baltimore Sun has said, "He has been able to work both sides of the aisle" to help workers save for retirement and to champion the expansion of Medicare benefits.
Senator Cardin also has a long-standing interest in foreign affairs and human rights. He has been a Commissioner on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the U.S. Helsinki Commission) since 1993, serving as Ranking Member in the 109th Congress and co-chairman in the 110th Congress. In the 111th Congress, Senator Cardin was appointed chairman of the Commission, and he also serves as Vice President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly. In the 111th Congress, he also is a member of the National Security Working Group monitoring arms control
A 1967 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law (1st in his class), he earned his B.A. degree in 1964 from the University of Pittsburgh (cum laude). He also holds honorary degrees from the University of Baltimore School of Law (1990); University of Maryland at Baltimore (1993); Baltimore Hebrew University (1994); Goucher College (1996); and Villa Julie College (2007). Senator Cardin is married to Myrna Edelman Cardin.