Maryland’s newest U.S. Senator spoke to a packed house at Ellicott City’s First Evangelical Lutheran Church on Frederick road Tuesday evening, telling the crowd to keep calling their senators and representatives because it is making a difference.
The Republicans, he said, still didn’t have the votes to trash the Affordable Care Act when he left congress Tuesday afternoon, and that is partly thanks to the pressure they’re feeling from vociferous constituents many of them “didn’t know were there,” before.
Several weeks ago he spoke to a crowd of over 1,000 people in Baltimore brought by the new Indivisible group. “We really need to fight hard,” he said, to block the destruction of health care, and President Trump’s proposals for huge tax cuts for the wealthy, while cutting services for struggling people in economically hard pressed areas.
“We need all of you to be part of the discussion.” he said, noting that on Wednesday, Republicans in the senate were to vote on a bill prompted by big dollar financial services companies to kill a federal regulation that allows states to administer 401K style savings plans for the 50% of Americans who work for small firms that have no vehicle to save for retirement. the private firms don’t want competition, even though they won’t offer these plans to small firms because of the expense.
He cited that as an example of what the Trump administration is doing to harm middle class people, while claiming to have their interests at heart.
“It’s outrageous,” he said. “People who voted for Trump did not bargain for this.”
Meanwhile, Van Hollen said Marylanders can help elect a Democratic governor in Virginia later this year, and re-elect a Democratic senator in Pennsylvania next year. The Virginia race will be seen as a possible sign of political trends, he said, which makes it politically very important.
He answered a series of written questions read out by Dan Medinger, president of the Ellicott City-Western Howard Democratic club that hosted the meeting. Representatives from all the other county Democratic clubs joined in organizing the event.
Medinger said that one thing everyone can do right now is call or contact the leaders of the Maryland General Assembly to demand that they make enacting a bill to shield rape victims who get pregnant from custody battles with their rapist. the bill has failed for nine straight years, and almost passed in this recently concluded session.