Protestors pause their march briefly in Baltimore by Harbor East. Credit: Jerry Jackson with the Baltimore Sun.

We are at a pivotal point in our country. It’s a moment of reckoning. Future generations will carefully examine this moment to see how we responded — to see which path our nation took and what role each and every American played.

While the immediate spark for this moment was the brutal murder of George Floyd, his killing was not an isolated event. It is not the first time a Black man has called out “I can’t breathe” as he was choked or lynched. We can draw a straight line that runs from slavery, to Jim Crow, to legal segregation…


Happy New Year, Maryland! We have lived through a tumultuous 2019, but as we close out the decade, I’d like to end on a positive note with some of the Marylanders with whom I met this past year, or heard about, and their stories — which I found inspiring and hopeful. This year was difficult in so many ways, but I was greatly encouraged by those who are making a difference and inspiring a sense of hope in their communities and beyond.

Lovie Hope Duncan:

Three-year-old Lovie Hope Duncan was visiting the Harriet Tubman Museum with her grandmother when she saw the unfinished…


Dr. Ford’s courage in coming forward to tell us what happened to her has empowered many of my Maryland constituents and many others around the country to come forward with their own stories of abuse. I have received written statements from over 50 Marylanders telling me about the sexual abuse that they had encountered — some of them told me they had shared with me what they had not with their own family members.

They felt it was important that I know why they didn’t report their abuse at the time, why they didn’t tell their parents, and why their…


About two weeks ago, on Father’s Day, I traveled to the US-Mexico border in Texas with my colleague, Senator Merkley, to investigate the reports of children being forcibly separated from their parents. What I witnessed confirmed my worst fears about the Trump Administration’s cruel and inhumane family separation policy. Our first stop was the Ursula Border Patrol Processing Center in McAllen — the center that is locally known as the “dog kennel” for the large pens of chain-link fencing that separately hold men, women, and children. We were not allowed to talk to the children, but we did talk to…


Today’s budget deal represents bipartisan work that has been a long time in the making. Under this legislation, we provide increased stability and significant investments in programs that grow our economy and serve American families. We provide additional resources to protect our national security and support vital national priorities like education, life-saving medical research, and infrastructure modernization. And as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will actively work to make further investments in our state as this process continues. This is a win for our state and the entire country. …


Before I head to over to the House of Representatives to watch the President give his State of the Union Address, I wanted to reflect on Trump’s first year in office — it’s one that has brought with it one of the most significant tests of our democracy in our lifetime.

Past presidents — regardless of their political party or ideology — have understood that our American democracy is strongest when we unite around a sense of common purpose.

Trump has taken the opposite approach. Where others have worked to unite us, he has sought to divide us — deepening…


In 1973, I sat in a small classroom in Kodaikanal — a town in India. At the time, my father was in the Foreign Service and we were stationed overseas.

My ninth grade teacher had asked the entire class to pick any speech in the history books, memorize it, and then recite it to the entire class. I picked “I Have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I was very nervous as I rose to give that speech that day, but Dr. King’s powerful words carried me through — and have stuck with me ever since.

Over 40…


All of us agree that our tax code should be simplified. There’s a lot of junk that has found its way into the tax code because powerful special interests were able to hire high-priced lobbyists to pad their own pocketbooks. We should eliminate the special interest breaks that allow a few to pay less so the rest pay more. But if Congress is serious about simplifying our tax code, we need a transparent process with bipartisan hearings, expert testimony, and rigorous debate. I was really hoping that Congress would heed the advice of Senator John McCain and return to regular…


Last Thursday I met Carol Hardaway, one of my constituents from Salisbury, Maryland. Carol lives with multiple sclerosis and went without the proper medication for over 20 years because of lack of health insurance. All that changed when the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010. She now can easily manage her symptoms and holds down a job as a substitute teacher.

Without the affordable coverage she received from the ACA and Medicaid expansion, Carol would still be living in a country where every insurer she called would laugh at her, simply because she has a pre-existing condition. The Republican…


Senator Van Hollen speaks the Indivisible Baltimore town hall.

While Trump’s made his real priorities clear in his first 100 days in office — giveaways for the wealthy at the expense of working people — I’ve worked with concerned citizens to fight back and make important investments in Maryland and America’s future.

As a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, I worked with my colleagues to push back on President Trump’s harmful budget proposals that would have hurt Maryland and our country. And this week, we passed a budget plan that not only avoids a government shutdown, but also is a big win for Marylanders: It includes funding…

Chris Van Hollen

U.S. Senator, Maryland

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