November 20, 2018


As we head into Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of all the reasons we have to be thankful. At a time when our country faces challenges on many fronts, it is important to also remember the progress we’ve made and all the good that can be done. For example, I recently visited Baltimore Corps – a local nonprofit that seeks to connect talented young individuals trying to make a difference with great organizations around Baltimore. I had the opportunity to listen to some of the participants and hear their passion and ideas for improving our community. Also, just last week, I attended Montgomery County’s Adoption Day Ceremony and joined eight families in celebrating the joy of providing a child with a loving and stable home. I was also honored to meet with a young woman that my team was able to help during her adoption process. In our office, we advocate non-stop for Maryland families – whether that’s helping them navigate federal agencies or fighting for access to affordable health care and important patient protections. I am grateful for all of you who have stood with us in this important work, and I hope you’ll continue to speak out and fight to make our nation a more perfect union.

This week is also a chance to take some time with family and friends. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to spend my Thanksgiving at home with my family, and I hope you’re able to spend this time with your loved ones as well. From our family to yours – Happy Thanksgiving!

Chris Van Hollen

What’s Next

Every two years, Americans head to the polls to exercise their right to vote. I salute everyone who made their voice heard and participated in our great democratic process – it’s something we should never take for granted. As elections come and go, my commitment to you and to Maryland remains the same. Together, we will continue to fight for a better future for our children, an economy that works for everyone, a system that truly produces liberty and justice for all, and a healthy environment and planet. 

The main order of business for Congress before the end of the year is to ensure that federal agencies have the resources they need to continue providing vital services to the American people. While the President has threatened to trigger a government shutdown, I believe there is bipartisan opposition to allowing that to happen. The good news is that we’ve already secured important Maryland and national priorities, including investments to continue major water infrastructure projects, address the maintenance backlog at Veterans hospitals and clinics, further life-saving medical research, and provide more resources to fight the opioid epidemic. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will keep fighting for programs that are crucial to our state and our country – whether that’s to protect the Chesapeake Bay, strengthen our transportation systems, or invest in law enforcement and implement criminal justice reforms. I’m also committed to protecting the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Any efforts to undermine these vital programs – especially under the guise of deficit reduction after Washington Republicans passed $2 trillion in tax breaks that disproportionately help the very wealthy – will be met with fierce opposition.

Protecting the Integrity of the Department of Justice

The Attorney General must be a champion for the people – but it's clear the President wants someone who pledges loyalty to him, not the Constitution. That’s why President Trump fired Jeff Sessions and tapped Matthew Whitaker, who has repeatedly demonstrated his bias against the independent Mueller investigation, to temporarily fill the spot. To date, despite his obvious conflicts, Whitaker has refused to recuse himself from overseeing that investigation. 

While the legal challenges to the constitutionality of Whitaker’s appointment proceed, it is essential that the Senate pass bipartisan legislation to protect the integrity of the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference and obstruction of justice. But last week, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor and blocked a vote on this bill – a shameful decision. We must come together as patriots, not partisans, to protect our democracy – and I’ll keep fighting for this legislation.

Advanced Manufacturing in Maryland

Recently, I participated in the launch of an exciting new program that has huge potential for Maryland and the country. The Advanced Manufacturing, Materials, and Processes (AMMP) project – based in Harford County –  is a new program to advance and build breakthrough, innovative manufacturing technologies. From upgrading 3-D printing to creating entirely new technologies, this program will work with the Army Research Laboratory, local businesses, and Maryland’s universities to revolutionize our manufacturing industry. AMMP will create jobs here in Maryland and drive new economic growth. What’s more, the research and technology developed here will have limitless possibilities – from modernizing American manufacturing to better preparing our troops on the frontlines. I was proud to help secure significant funding for this crucial project through my role on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and I will continue working to bring good-paying jobs and new opportunities to Maryland.