2017 | Politics

Raskin, Van Hollen Sworn In

Raskin to fight Republican rules; Van Hollen plans to introduce legislation

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The freshman class of the 115th Congress. Rep. Jamie Raskin is in the second row, in green tie. Rep. Anthony Brown is to his right. Credit: U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Jamie Raskin has his voting card.

Hours before he was sworn in Tuesday as a member of the 115th Congress, Raskin described the voting card as a necessary item members need to vote.

“I’ll keep it in my left rear pocket so I’ll never lose it,” said Raskin, who served a decade in the Maryland Senate before being elected in November to represent the 8th Congressional District.

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Sen. Ben Cardin (left), Sen. Chris Van Hollen and retired Sen. Barbara Mikulski.

Raskin was sworn in about noon Tuesday, replacing Chris Van Hollen. Van Hollen was elected to succeed Barbara Mikulski, who represented Maryland for five terms in the U.S. Senate. Van Hollen, also sworn in about noon, was expected to attend a ceremonial swearing-in with Vice President Joe Biden later that afternoon.

Both Raskin of Takoma Park, and Van Hollen, a Kensington resident, were expected to greet supporters during receptions planned for Tuesday. Van Hollen said 2,500 people from across Maryland were expected at his reception at Union Station. Raskin said he was hosting a reception of 700 to 800 people from Frederick, Carroll and Montgomery counties, the counties that make up his district, at the Madison Room of the Library of Congress on Independence Avenue SE.

Van Hollen said that in his first act as a senator, he was likely to introduce legislation, the CEO Employee Paycheck Fairness Act, later Tuesday. The bill would prevent corporations from taking tax deductions for CEO salaries if the companies have not given their employees a raise.

Raskin said he has been tasked by the House Democratic Caucus to fight the constitutionality of new House rules the Republicans are seeking. One rule calls for the House sergeant at arms to issue a $500 fine the first time a House member violates the rules, and $2,500 for subsequent offenses.

Raskin said the rules followed the June sit-in on the House floor by Democrats on gun control. The constitutional scholar said he believed the new rule violated a provision in the Constitution.