Summary

Benjamin Cardin, who is Jewish, was born in 1943 and is currently serving as the senior United States Senator from Maryland. Senator Cardin was reelected in 2018 and his seat will be up for election in 2024.

Cardin was first elected in the Senate in 2006 and is currently the Ranking Senate Democrat. He began his career as an elected official in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served from 1967 to 1987. After that he represented Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987 to 2007.

Senator Cardin is currently the Ranking Member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and the Ranking Senate Member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission). He also serves on the Foreign Relations Committee; the Environment and Public Works Committee; and the Finance Committee.

Below is Senator Cardin’s voting record and public positions on issues important to the Jewish community. 

Senator Cardin responded to the American Jewish Congress 2018 Senate Candidate Questionnaire and his answers are reflected on this page.

Senator Cardin opposed the Iran nuclear deal. He introduced the Israel Anti-Boycott Act and cosponsored the Combating BDS Act of 2017, two bills aimed at fight discriminatory boycotts that target Israel. He cosponsored the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018, a legislation that supported full funding of security assistance to Israel as outlined in the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding.

Senator Cardin has condemned anti-Israel sentiment and resolutions at the United Nations, including the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which claims that Israel’s settlements have no legal validity.

Senator Cardin supported the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem. He also supported the Taylor Force Act, which states that no American governmental funds shall be given to a Palestinian entity that financially rewards terrorists and their families. In 2019, he voted for the Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act which, among other things, strengthened Israel’s security and allowed a state or local government to adopt measures to divest its assets from entities that boycott Israel.

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SOURCES

The American Jewish Congress 2018 Senate Candidate Questionnaire

Opposed the Iran nuclear deal https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-will-vote-against-the-iran-deal/2015/09/04/003842ca-5281-11e5-9812-92d5948a40f8_story.html?utm_term=.bbd1648f6371

Voted For the Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act of 2019 https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=116&session=1&vote=00016

Introduced the Israel Anti-Boycott Act https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/720/cosponsors

Supported the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem https://www.cardin.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/cardin-reacts-to-jerusalem-announcement-by-trump

Opposed UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and supported the two-state solution https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-resolution/6/cosponsors

Cosponsored the Combating BDS Act of 2017 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/170/cosponsors

Cosponsored the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2497/cosponsors

Cosponsored Senate Resolution 120 that opposes the global BDS movement https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-resolution/120