Though he is no longer officially involved in the company, Delaney remains a major shareholder and is poised to collect tens of millions of dollars under a pending sale of CapitalSource.
Delaney's background in finance also plays a role in his signature legislative effort, introduced in May, to pay for infrastructure improvements. The proposal would allow multinational companies to bring overseas cash back to the United States without paying corporate income tax. In exchange, the companies would buy bonds that would be used to fund highway, energy and other infrastructure projects.
Nineteen Democrats and 19 Republicans have co-sponsored the bill — an even split by design.
The complex bill has landed Delaney attention from national media, including The Wall Street Journal and MSNBC. But the proposal is opposed by several left-leaning groups, including labor unions such as the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees as well as the Center for American Progress.
"There are better ways to fund [it] than allowing a nice tax break for these companies," said Thomas Hungerford, a senior economist at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. "We all use the infrastructure; we [all] ought to be paying."
Supporters counter that the arrangement has to be attractive for companies or they wouldn't take part. And, they say, allocating taxpayer money to fix the nation's infrastructure woes at a time when Republicans are heavily focused on deficit reduction is not politically practical.
"What he's doing — and he's doing it as a freshman — is he's trying to find a solution," said Patrick Natale, executive director of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a group that supports Delaney's bill and would benefit from it. "He's trying to be a leader."
The legislation has not yet received a hearing. A spokesman for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, one of two committees that might consider the bill, did not respond to a request for comment.
The House has taken 28 votes on final passage of legislation this year in which the Democratic caucus has split. Delaney has voted opposite the majority of his party on five of those votes.
The substance of the GOP health care proposal, which received a vote July 17, was not controversial. The Obama administration had already said it intended to delay the employer-coverage requirement until 2015. But most Democrats said the bill was unnecessary. Obama threatened to veto it.
Delaney also supported Republican proposals to loosen banking regulations on foreign transactions and lift a drilling moratorium along the maritime border with Mexico. He backed the GOP agreement in February to raise the nation's debt ceiling, a once-perfunctory vote that has become controversial amid concerns about the nation's debt.
Additionally, he was one of 83 Democrats to oppose an amendment Wednesday that would have curbed the National Security Agency's ability to collect telephone data from Americans. He was joined by three other Maryland Democrats: Hoyer, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Montgomery County and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
In an interview, Delaney said his work on the infrastructure bill has reinforced the idea that the two parties can find common ground.
"If you approach economic policy with the spirit of compromise, you can actually get good support," he said. "Economic policy is like business — it's all about compromise."