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Sen. Benjamin Cardin

Senator for Maryland

pronounced BEN-juh-min // KAHR-dun

Cardin is the senior senator from Maryland and is a Democrat. He has served since Jan 4, 2007. Cardin is next up for reelection in 2024 and serves until Jan 3, 2025. He is 79 years old.

He was previously the representative for Maryland’s 3rd congressional district as a Democrat from 1987 to 2006.

Photo of Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]


Legislative Metrics

Read our 2022 Report Card for Cardin.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

Cardin is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the Senate positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Cardin has sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, 2019 to Mar 30, 2023. See full analysis methodology.

Committee Membership

Benjamin Cardin sits on the following committees:

Enacted Legislation

Cardin was the primary sponsor of 44 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 44 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Cardin sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:

International Affairs (25%) Commerce (20%) Health (17%) Taxation (13%) Government Operations and Politics (8%) Crime and Law Enforcement (8%) Public Lands and Natural Resources (5%) Education (4%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Cardin recently introduced the following legislation:

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Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

Voting Record

Key Votes

Cardin voted Yea

Bill Passed 72/26 on Sep 28, 2016.

The Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act (H.R. 5325) is an appropriations …

Cardin voted Yea

Bill Passed 62/37 on May 22, 2015.

This vote turned what was a bill regarding administrative appeals of IRS determinations into the Trade Act of 2015, which included Trade Promotion Authority for …

Cardin voted Yea

Joint Resolution Passed 78/22 on Sep 18, 2014.

Cardin voted Nay

Conference Report Agreed to 86/13 on Dec 15, 2011.

Cardin voted Yea

Motion Agreed to 81/19 on Dec 15, 2010.

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111–312, H.R. 4853, 124 Stat. 3296, enacted December 17, 2010), also known …

Missed Votes

From Jan 2007 to Mar 2023, Cardin missed 42 of 5,342 roll call votes, which is 0.8%. This is better than the median of 2.3% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses, major life events, and running for higher office.

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Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: