Business people assured Arundel won't be ignored

November 12, 1992|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Staff Writer

Pledging that Anne Arundel countians will not be left as "orphans," two of four Congress members-elect talked tax reform, health care and the deficit Tuesday with county business people.

Since redistricting parceled the county out to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th congressional districts, county residents have worried they'd be forgotten on Capitol Hill.

Arundel, which has elected its own member of Congress for two decades, has no majority advantage in any of those districts.

"For the first time, Anne Arundel County is part of four different congressional districts and without a resident member of Congress," said Bertrand A. Mason, president of the Anne Arundel Trade Council. "We want to underscore that the Anne Arundel County business community is strong and active . . . and looking for effective representation."

Incumbent winners Helen Delich Bentley, R-2nd, and Benjamin L. Cardin, D-3rd, tried to put the uncertainties to rest Tuesday, addressing some 80 members of the business group at the BWI Sheraton International Hotel in Linthicum.

"You're not going to be left out as an orphan," said Mrs. Bentley, who will add residents of Pasadena, Severna Park and Gibson Island to a constituency that includes parts of Baltimore and Harford counties. "You're lucky you have four of us."

She joked that Anne Arundel "connects to Baltimore County by water. I learned to swim so I could do that when I can't make it across the Francis Scott Key Bridge."

Mr. Cardin echoed her comments, adding that members of the Maryland delegation are known for working closely together.

The two spent about an hour answering questions, including queries about tax deductions for mortgage interest and a presidential line item veto, which both support, and congressional term limitations, which both oppose.

Members voiced concerns about a high office vacancy rate -- about 500,000 square feet of space -- near Baltimore Washington International Airport and what they saw as overzealous federal bank regulators who deter banks from making loans and shrink availability of capital.

Mr. Cardin said that he hopes the Congress will get an early start controlling the deficit, creating jobs and reforming the health care system.

"We call upon you as business people to work with us, work with us on dealing with the deficit, work with us on dealing with the health care crisis," Mr. Cardin said.

A quick poll of trade council members showed that about half favored focusing on reducing the deficit and half on stimulating the economy.

Republican Wayne T. Gilchrest from the newly drawn 1st District was unable to attend.

Also absent was Democrat Steny H. Hoyer, of the 5th District, who was traveling with the Democratic congressional leadership to meet new members.

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