Democratic Md. lawmakers ‘playing defense’ with Trump presidency

WASHINGTON — Democratic Maryland lawmakers in Annapolis are presenting a package of legislation they say could blunt the effects of President Donald Trump’s administration.

Maryland Senate President Thomas “Mike” Miller suggested Trump’s agenda was out of step with that of the people of Maryland at a news conference Tuesday.

Making a reference to the state’s history and geography, Miller said, “We’re not southern, we’re not northern, we’re not eastern, we’re not western — we’re a little state right in the middle.”

Miller said of the bills being proposed: “We’re playing defense.”

Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch echoed the sentiment that the early actions of the Trump administration run counter to the interests of the state’s residents. He told reporters, “It’s been 11 days since the new president, Donald Trump, took office. And since that time, there’s been an assault — an assault! — on civil rights and equal rights throughout this country, particularly in the state of Maryland.”

“We are going to stand up to Donald Trump. I can promise you that,” Busch said.

Among the measures proposed by the Democratic lawmakers: legislation that gives Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh added resources in case the state wanted to sue over actions the Trump administration takes.

Another piece of legislation, the Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Task Force would create a panel to monitor the effects of a possible repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act, the bill that created a federal consumer protection agency and was intended to curb the explosion of exotic mortgage and loan packages that were blamed for contributing to the nation’s 2008 financial crisis.

Maryland House Majority Leader Del. Bill Frick talked up a bill that would withdraw a call to have Maryland take part in a constitutional convention. “We cannot afford to have Donald Trump rewrite the Bill of Rights. We are not going to let that happen,” he said to applause from the lawmakers taking part in the announcement.

Busch referenced the fact that Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan would be offering his State of the State address Wednesday, and said he’d be hoping to hear how the governor would respond to Trump’s agenda.

Hogan has objected in the past to attempts to tie his policies to Trump. At one news conference, Hogan called questions about his response to Trump administration actions as “stupid.”

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