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Edward John Markey (born July 11, 1946) is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Massachusetts since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the U.S. Representative for Massachusetts's 7th congressional district from 1976 to 2013. Between the House and Senate, Markey has served in Congress for more than four decades. He was also a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1973 to 1976.

Ed Markey
Edward Markey, official portrait, 114th Congress.jpg
United States Senator
from Massachusetts
Assumed office
July 16, 2013
Serving with Elizabeth Warren
Preceded byMo Cowan
Chair of the
House Energy Independence Committee
In office
March 8, 2007 – January 3, 2011
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts
In office
November 2, 1976 – July 15, 2013
Preceded byTorbert Macdonald (7th)
Niki Tsongas (5th)
Succeeded byMike Capuano (7th)
Katherine Clark (5th)
Constituency7th district (1976–2013)
5th district (2013)
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
from the 26th Middlesex district
In office
January 3, 1973 – November 2, 1976
Preceded byWilliam R. Callahan
Succeeded byJohn C. McNeil
Personal details
Born
Edward John Markey

(1946-07-11) July 11, 1946 (age 72)
Malden, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Susan Blumenthal (m. 1988)
EducationBoston College (BA, JD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1968–1973
RankArmy-USA-OR-04b.svg Specialist Fourth Class
UnitSeal of the United States Army Reserve.svg United States Army Reserve

Markey has focused on energy policy and was Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming from 2007 to 2011. In 2013, after John Kerry was appointed United States Secretary of State, he was elected to serve out the balance of Kerry's sixth Senate term in a 2013 special election. Markey defeated Stephen Lynch in the Democratic primary and Republican Gabriel E. Gomez in the general election. When he left the House, he was its eighth most senior member. In 2014, Markey was elected to a full six-year term in the Senate. He is the dean of the Massachusetts congressional delegation and the second longest-serving current member of Congress from New England, behind Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Contents

Early life, education, and careerEdit

Markey was born on July 11, 1946, in Malden, Massachusetts, the son of Christina M. (née Courtney) and John E. Markey, a milkman. Markey's mother was the valedictorian of her high school class but was unable to attend college because her mother died and she was needed to care for the family.[1][2][3] The family was Irish Catholic, and Markey was educated at Immaculate Conception School and Malden Catholic High School. He graduated from Boston College in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts, and from Boston College Law School in 1972 with a Juris Doctor.[4] After graduating, Markey worked as a lawyer in private practice.

Markey served in the United States Army Reserve from 1968 to 1973, attaining the rank of Specialist Fourth Class. He joined while a junior in college, and has stated that he enlisted before receiving a Vietnam War draft notice. He further stated that even though he opposed the war, if he had been drafted without having secured a position in the Reserve, he would have answered the induction notice and gone to Vietnam. Markey's South Boston reserve unit included Thomas P. O'Neill III, Steve Grossman, and Markey's brothers Richard and John. He was discharged in 1973, a year before his enlistment agreement was due to expire, which was not unusual as the military discharged many members early during post-Vietnam force drawdowns.[5][6][7][8][9]

Markey was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he represented the 16th Middlesex district (Malden and Melrose) from 1973 to 1976.[4][10]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit

ElectionsEdit

 
Markey in the 101st United States Congress (1989)

On May 21, 1976, incumbent Congressman Torbert Macdonald died in office. Markey, who had just been elected to a third term in the state house, entered a seven-candidate Democratic primary for what was then the 7th District. In the primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic district—Markey won the nomination with a plurality of 22% of the vote.[11] In the November 1976 election he defeated Republican Richard Daly 77%-18%.[12] That election doubled as both a special election for the balance of Macdonald's 11th term and a regular election for a full two-year term, and so Markey took office later that night. This gave him greater seniority than other Representatives elected in 1976.

Markey has been challenged in a Democratic primary three times: in 1980 when he won 85%,[13] in 1984 when he won 54%,[14] and in 2002 when he won 85% of the vote.[15]

Markey was reelected 19 more times from this district, which included most of the northern suburbs of Boston. His lowest vote total was 62% in 1992, in a three-way election. Markey faced no Republican opposition in eight of his bids for reelection, in 1978, 1980, 1986, 1988, 1990, 2000, 2002, and 2006.[16][17] His district was renumbered the 5th after the 2010 census, in which Massachusetts lost a district.

TenureEdit

 
Markey as ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee

Markey was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the National Journal gave him a "Composite Liberal" score of 89.2.[18]

Environment and energyEdit

In December 2007 Markey became the first US politician to use Second Life, through which he addressed the delegates of the UNFCCC in Bali as part of OneClimate's Virtual Bali event. It was estimated that the carbon dioxide he saved by not flying to Bali was around 5.5 tons.[19] Pressure from Markey prompted BP to provide a live underwater video feed showing oil leaking out of a pipe in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.[20] Markey has been a longtime critic of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and has been critical of the NRC's decision-making on the proposed Westinghouse AP1000 reactor design and the NRC response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.[21][22]

In 2011 Markey criticized Republicans and the Tea Party movement, saying "Rick Perry and these other guys are allergic to science...too many of the tea party people, who basically don’t believe in science, are now controlling the Republican Party."[23] In reply to Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin's position on how the American Clean Energy and Security Act (also known as Waxman-Markey, named after Markey and Henry Waxman) could have a negative impact for Alaskans,[24] Markey wrote an article criticizing Palin's inaction on global warming and her environmental positions.[25]

Markey sarcastically suggested in August 2010 that global warming deniers form their own country on an iceberg: "An iceberg four times the size of Manhattan has broken off Greenland, creating plenty of room for global warming deniers to start their own country." Markey also said that, at the time, 2010 was the hottest recorded year, and "scientists agree Arctic ice is a canary in a coal mine that provides clear warnings on climate".[26][27] Markey has derided Republicans' stance on global warming, stating during a hearing: "I won’t physically rise, because I’m worried that Republicans will overturn the law of gravity, sending us floating about the room."[28]

In January 2011 House Republicans eliminated the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming, which Nancy Pelosi created in 2006 and Markey chaired.[29]

Domestic issuesEdit

Markey was one of the 31 members of the House who voted not to count the electoral votes from Ohio in the 2004 Presidential election. Without Ohio's electoral votes the election would have been decided by the U.S. House of Representatives, with each state having one vote in accordance with the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[30]

Markey introduced legislation to change the duration of Daylight Saving Time[31] and to increasing privacy controls over children online.[32]

Markey drew some controversy through his proposal to introduce legislation[33] that deals with amusement parks' roller coasters, believing that newer, faster rides that exert greater G-pressures on the human body are dangerous mentally and physically, despite a lack of concrete evidence to support these claims,[34] and contrary to studies that affirmed the safety of roller coasters in general.[35]

In 2009 Markey sponsored the Internet Freedom Preservation Act to enact principles of net neutrality.[36] The proposed legislation received support from a few dozen co-sponsors and public interest organizations but ultimately died in committee before enactment.[37]

 
Markey with Liu Zhijun and Nancy Pelosi in May 2009. Behind them is a Hexie Hao train on the Beijing–Tianjin Intercity Railway.

National defenseEdit

In 2003 Markey called attention to the lack of security surrounding air cargo placed on commercial passenger planes, arguing that if passenger baggage is screened for explosive devices, cargo on the plane should be as well.[38] In 2007 he succeeded in getting a 100 percent air cargo screening requirement signed into law.[39] In the law codifying the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, Markey wrote the mandate requiring all cargo on passenger planes to be screened.[40]

Committee assignmentsEdit

U.S. SenateEdit

In 2004 Markey was considered a contender for John Kerry's seat in the United States Senate if Kerry were to be elected President of the United States.[41] He was also considered a leading contender in the 2010 special election to replace the late Ted Kennedy, but on September 12, 2009, he announced his decision not to run and endorsed fellow Congressman Michael Capuano, who went on to lose the Democratic primary to Martha Coakley.[42]

2013 special electionEdit

On December 27, 2012, Markey was the first to announce his candidacy to run in a special election to fill Kerry's seat after Barack Obama nominated him for United States Secretary of State.[43] Several politicians, including Kerry, endorsed Markey even before the Senate confirmed Kerry.[44] On April 30, 2013, Markey won the Democratic nomination by defeating fellow Congressman Stephen Lynch in the primary election.[45] He defeated Republican challenger Gabriel E. Gomez in the general special election on June 25 and completed the remaining 17 months of Kerry's term.[46][47]

Markey is the longest-tenured House member ever elected to the Senate, with his 36-plus years of service exceeding that of Frederick H. Gillett, who served in the House for 32 years before moving to the upper chamber in 1925.[48][49] He is the 11th oldest candidate to win a U.S. Senate special election out of more than 170 men and women since the passage of the 17th Amendment.[50]

2014 electionEdit

Markey sought a full six-year term in 2014. He defeated Hopkinton selectman Brian Herr with 62 percent of the vote.

TenureEdit

 
Markey attending the Greater Boston Labor Council’s annual Labor Day Breakfast in Boston.

Markey resigned his House seat on July 15, 2013, and was sworn into the Senate on July 16.[51] Although he is the dean of the Massachusetts delegation, he is the state's junior Senator, alongside Elizabeth Warren, who has been in the Senate since 2013.

Markey is known for the "blizzard" of public letters he posts on his website and sends to the press to draw attention to his favored issues.[52]

Committee assignmentsEdit

Political positionsEdit

AbortionEdit

Markey has said that he believes he should not impose his religious beliefs about abortion on others. He has said that "decisions about a woman’s reproductive health should be left between the woman, her family, her doctor, and her faith."[54]

Climate changeEdit

 
Ed Markey speaks on a Green New Deal in front of the Capitol Building in February 2019

In November 2018 Markey was one of 25 Democratic senators to cosponsor a resolution in response to findings of the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change report and National Climate Assessment. The resolution affirmed the senators' acceptance of the findings and their support for bold action to address climate change.[55]

In February 2019 Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released a 14-page summary of their Green New Deal plan to address climate change. It calls for implementing the "social cost of carbon" that was part of the Obama administration's plans to address climate change and transitioning the United States to 100% renewable, zero-emission energy sources, zero-emission vehicles, and high-speed rail systems. It also aims to provide new jobs and alleviate poverty.[56] On March 26, in what Democrats called a "stunt," Republicans called for an early vote without allowing discussion or expert testimony. Markey said Republicans were trying to “make a mockery” of the Green New Deal debate and called the vote a "sham." In protest, Democrats, including Markey, voted "present" or against the bill, resulting in a 57-0 defeat on the Senate floor.[57][58]

In March 2019 Markey was one of 11 senators to sponsor the Climate Security Act of 2019, legislation to form a new group within the State Department to develop strategies to integrate climate science and data into national security operations as well as to restore the post of special envoy for the Arctic, which President Trump dismantled in 2017. The envoy would advise the president and the administration on the potential effects of climate on national security and be responsible for facilitating all interagency communication between federal science and security agencies.[59]

Disaster reliefEdit

In April 2018 Markey was one of five Democratic senators to sign a letter to FEMA administrator Brock Long calling on FEMA to enter an agreement with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development that would "stand up the Disaster Housing Assistance Program and address the medium- and longer-term housing needs" of evacuees of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The senators asserted that "FEMA's refusal to use the tools at its disposal, including DHAP, to help these survivors is puzzling—and profoundly troubling" and that hundreds of hurricane survivors were susceptible to being left homeless in the event that FEMA and HUD continued not to work together.[60][61]

In August 2018 Markey was one of eight senators to sign a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency charging the agency with not assisting displaced homeowners in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria under the Individuals and Households (IHP) program at "alarming rates."[62]

Drug policyEdit

In December 2016 Markey was one of 17 senators to sign a letter to President-elect Trump asking him to fulfill a campaign pledge to bring down the cost of prescription drugs, stating their willingness "to advance measures to achieve this goal", and calling on Trump "to partner with Republicans and Democrats alike to take meaningful steps to address the high cost of prescription drugs through bold administrative and legislative actions."[63]

In December 2018 Markey was one of 21 senators to sign a letter to Commissioner of Food and Drugs Scott Gottlieb stating their approval of the actions of the Food and Drugs Administration to hinder youth access to e-cigarettes and urging the FDA "to take additional, stronger steps to prevent and reduce e-cigarette use among youth."[64]

EconomyEdit

In February 2019 Markey was one of eight senators to sign a letter to the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice asking that regulators prohibit a proposed $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint because American enforcers have understood for the last 30 years "that fostering robust competition in telecommunications markets is the best way to provide every American with access to high-quality, cutting-edge communications at a reasonable price" and the merger would result in a return "to the dark days of heavily consolidated markets and less competition, with all of the resulting harms."[65]

In March 2019 Markey was one of six senators to sign a letter to the Federal Trade Commission requesting that it "use its rulemaking authority, along with other tools, in order to combat the scourge of non-compete clauses rigging our economy against workers" and saying that incomplete clauses "harm employees by limiting their ability to find alternate work, which leaves them with little leverage to bargain for better wages or working conditions with their immediate employer." The letter added that the FTC had the responsibility of protecting both consumers and workers and needed to "act decisively" to address their concerns over "serious anti-competitive harms from the proliferation of non-competes in the economy."[66]

Foreign policyEdit

In October 2017 Markey condemned the genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar.[67]

In October 2018 Markey was one of eight senators to sign a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats requesting a classified briefing on what the American intelligence community knew about threats to U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi so that the senators could fulfill their "oversight obligation" as members of Congress.[68] In March 2019 Markey was one of nine Democratic senators to sign a letter to Salman of Saudi Arabia requesting the release of human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair and writer Raif Badawi, women’s rights activists Loujain al-Hathloul and Samar Badawi, and Dr. Walid Fitaih. The senators wrote, "Not only have reputable international organizations detailed the arbitrary detention of peaceful activists and dissidents without trial for long periods, but the systematic discrimination against women, religious minorities and mistreatment of migrant workers and others has also been well-documented."[69]

In November 2018 Markey joined Senators Chris Coons, Elizabeth Warren and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in sending the Trump administration a letter raising concerns about the People's Republic of China’s undue influence on media outlets and academic institutions in the United States. They wrote: "In American news outlets, Beijing has used financial ties to suppress negative information about the CCP. ... Beijing has also sought to use relationships with American academic institutions and student groups to shape public discourse."[70]

In February 2019, ahead of the 2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit, Markey said that it was "pretty clear that Kim wants to have a personal meeting with Trump with hopes that he can, in fact, elicit concessions from President Trump that might not otherwise be possible if it was just our diplomats talking one-on-one" and that the US "could run the risk that Kim is given concessions which are not accompanied by real concessions that the United States is receiving in return from Kim and his regime." Markey called for Trump to receive commitments on denuclearization from Kim Jong-un before making commitments in return.[71]

In April 2019 Markey was one of 34 senators to sign a letter to President Trump encouraging him "to listen to members of your own Administration and reverse a decision that will damage our national security and aggravate conditions inside Central America", asserting that Trump had "consistently expressed a flawed understanding of U.S. foreign assistance" since becoming president and that he was "personally undermining efforts to promote U.S. national security and economic prosperity" by preventing the use of Fiscal Year 2018 national security funding. The senators argued that foreign assistance to Central American countries created less migration to the U.S. by helping to improve conditions in those countries.[72]

Gun lawEdit

Markey supports gun control, including improved background checks, ending illegal gun trafficking, and closing loopholes on gun purchases.[73] In 2015 he proposed a "smart gun" bill that aimed to equip handguns with technology making them usable only by the purchaser.[74]

In January 2016 Markey led 18 senators in signing a letter to Thad Cochran and Barbara Mikulski requesting that the Labor, Health and Education subcommittee hold a hearing on whether to allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to fund a study of gun violence and "the annual appropriations rider that some have interpreted as preventing it" with taxpayer dollars. The senators noted their support for taking steps "to fund gun-violence research, because only the United States government is in a position to establish an integrated public-health research agenda to understand the causes of gun violence and identify the most effective strategies for prevention."[75]

After the Orlando nightclub shooting, Markey called for more gun regulations and supported the Feinstein Amendment, which would have made it illegal for suspected terrorists to buy guns. He also supports universal background checks.[76]

In response to the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, Markey said, "This Congress has the responsibility to make sure the NRA stands for ‘not relevant anymore’ in American politics, and we have to begin this debate now."[77] He co-sponsored a proposal to ban bump stocks, which make a semi-automatic weapons act like automatic weapons.[78]

Health careEdit

In January 2019, during the 2018–19 United States federal government shutdown, Markey was one of 34 senators to sign a letter to Commissioner of Food and Drugs Scott Gottlieb recognizing the efforts of the FDA to address the shutdown's effects on public health and employees while remaining alarmed "that the continued shutdown will result in increasingly harmful effects on the agency’s employees and the safety and security of the nation’s food and medical products."[79]

HousingEdit

In April 2019 Markey was one of 41 senators to sign a bipartisan letter to the housing subcommittee praising the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 4 Capacity Building program as authorizing "HUD to partner with national nonprofit community development organizations to provide education, training, and financial support to local community development corporations (CDCs) across the country" and expressing disappointment that President Trump's budget "has slated this program for elimination after decades of successful economic and community development." The senators wrote of their hope that the subcommittee would support continued funding for Section 4 in Fiscal Year 2020.[80]

Internet privacyEdit

In February 2019 Markey, Richard Blumenthal, and Josh Hawley sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about Project Atlas and its relevance to "longstanding concerns that Facebook has used its products to deeply intrude into personal privacy."[81]

LaborEdit

In May 2018 Markey led 11 senators in signing a letter to Chairman of the Federal Labor Relations Authority Colleen Kiko urging the FLRA to end efforts to close its Boston regional office until Congress debated the matter because the closure would place staff farther away from the federal employees whose rights they protect.[82]

LGBT issuesEdit

In May 2017 Markey was one of 46 senators to introduce the Equality Act of 2017, described by Representative David Cicilline as ensuring "that every LGBT person can live their lives free from the fear of discrimination. Above all, it’s about honoring the values that have guided our nation since its founding. It’s critical that Congress pass the Equality Act into law."[83]

In October 2018 Markey was one of 20 senators to sign a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging him to reverse the rolling back of a policy that granted visas to same-sex partners of LGBTQ diplomats who had unions that were not recognized by their home countries, writing that too many places around the world have seen LGBTQ individuals "subjected to discrimination and unspeakable violence, and receive little or no protection from the law or local authorities" and that refusing to let LGBTQ diplomats bring their partners to the US would be equivalent of upholding "the discriminatory policies of many countries around the world."[84]

MilitaryEdit

In August 2013 Markey was one of 23 Democratic senators to sign a letter to the Defense Department warning that some payday lenders were "offering predatory loan products to service members at exorbitant triple digit effective interest rates and loan products that do not include the additional protections envisioned by the law" and asserting that service members and their families "deserve the strongest possible protections and swift action to ensure that all forms of credit offered to members of our armed forces are safe and sound."[85]

Net neutralityEdit

 
Markey speaks at a rally on Net Neutrality in 2017

In September 2017 Markey was one of nine senators to sign a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai that charged the FCC with failing "to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to comment on the tens of thousands of filed complaints that directly shed light on proposed changes to existing net neutrality protections."[86]

In March 2018 Markey was one of ten senators to sign a letter spearheaded by Jeff Merkley lambasting Pai's proposal to cut the Lifeline program during a period where roughly 6.5 million people in poor communities relied on it for access to high-speed internet, writing that it was Pai's "obligation to the American public, as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, to improve the Lifeline program and ensure that more Americans can afford access, and have means of access, to broadband and phone service." The senators also advocated that "Lifeline reaches more Americans in need of access to communication services."[87]

PipelinesEdit

In October 2016 Markey was one of five senators to sign a letter to President Obama requesting the administration halt work on the Dakota Access Pipeline until the permitting process of the Army Corps was transparent and would "include public notice and participation, formal and meaningful tribal consultation, and adequate environmental review", and stating their support for the "tribes along the pipeline route in their fight against the Dakota Access pipeline project."[88]

State DepartmentEdit

In September 2018 Markey was one of five senators to sign a letter to United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging him to employ more multifactor authentication measures to secure the State Department's information systems and seeking answers on how the department would boost its security following the Office of Management and Budget's designation of the department's cyber readiness as "high risk", what the department would do to address the lack of multifactor authentication required by law, and statistics on the department's cyber incidents over the last three years.[89]

Personal lifeEdit

Since 1988 Markey has been married to Dr. Susan Blumenthal, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Women's Health and held the rank of rear admiral as Assistant U.S. Surgeon General.[90] Since 2005 he has been a contributing writer for The Huffington Post.[91] He was one of several politicians who had a cameo role in the 2003 film Gods and Generals, in which he played an Irish Brigade officer.[92]

Electoral historyEdit

ReferencesEdit

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Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Torbert Macdonald
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 7th congressional district

1976–2013
Succeeded by
Mike Capuano
Preceded by
Niki Tsongas
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 5th congressional district

2013
Succeeded by
Katherine Clark
New office Chair of the House Energy Independence Committee
2007–2011
Position abolished
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Kerry
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
(Class 2)

2013, 2014
Most recent
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Mo Cowan
United States Senator (Class 2) from Massachusetts
2013–present
Served alongside: Elizabeth Warren
Incumbent
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Deb Fischer
United States Senators by seniority
67th
Succeeded by
Cory Booker