A third-generation Marylander, Ben Cardin has been a national leader on health care, retirement security, the environment and fiscal issues while representing the people of Maryland in the U.S. Senate, and before that in the House of Representatives. He has worked across party lines to further U.S. national security and to ensure that good governance, transparency and respect for human rights are integrated into American foreign policy. First elected to the Senate in 2006, Senator Cardin currently serves as Chair of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, which is at the forefront of rebuilding our economy. He is a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations, Finance, and Environment & Public Works committees. Senator Cardin is a leading advocate for the Chesapeake Bay, which is the economic, historical and cultural heart of Maryland.