Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Warren -MA

Current Position: US Senator since 2013
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position(s): Law Professor from 1978 – 2013

Other Positions:  
Vice Chair of Conference

Featured Quote: 
Trickle-down economics has been a complete failure, pure and simple. We build an economy that works for everyone by building it from the bottom up.

Featured Video: 
Sen. Warren: Trump Inaugural Committee Chair Indictment Is Why We Need For The People Act

Source: Government page

United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), along with Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.), sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in support of a recent re-interpretation of Department policy that will significantly enhance oversight and accountability of the student loan program and its contractors by ending federal obstruction of state-level efforts to protect student loan borrowers. Their letter calls for the Department to expand this approach to state laws that protect student loan borrowers and contract negotiations with servicers. Their letter is in response to a request for public comment.

Under former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Department took the position that state regulation of loan servicers was broadly preempted by the Federal government’s oversight role. Federal courts repeatedly rejected this position. This policy interfered with state regulators exercising their authority to protect consumers in their states and prevented states from conducting supervisory examinations of loan servicers. It also obstructed state enforcement actions by allowing student loan servicers to withhold from states the documents and data needed to identify misconduct.

Summary

Current Position: US Senator since 2013
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position(s): Law Professor from 1978 – 2013

Other Positions:  
Vice Chair of Conference

Featured Quote: 
Trickle-down economics has been a complete failure, pure and simple. We build an economy that works for everyone by building it from the bottom up.

Featured Video: 
Sen. Warren: Trump Inaugural Committee Chair Indictment Is Why We Need For The People Act

Source: Government page

News

United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), along with Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.), sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in support of a recent re-interpretation of Department policy that will significantly enhance oversight and accountability of the student loan program and its contractors by ending federal obstruction of state-level efforts to protect student loan borrowers. Their letter calls for the Department to expand this approach to state laws that protect student loan borrowers and contract negotiations with servicers. Their letter is in response to a request for public comment.

Under former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Department took the position that state regulation of loan servicers was broadly preempted by the Federal government’s oversight role. Federal courts repeatedly rejected this position. This policy interfered with state regulators exercising their authority to protect consumers in their states and prevented states from conducting supervisory examinations of loan servicers. It also obstructed state enforcement actions by allowing student loan servicers to withhold from states the documents and data needed to identify misconduct.

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About

Elizabeth Warren 2

Source: Government page

She has put forward bold, ambitious plans to:

  • End lobbying as we know it and make other sweeping changes to eliminate the influence of money in our federal government through the most comprehensive anti-corruption legislation since Watergate;
  • Impose an ultra-millionaire tax on fortunes worth over $50 million to generate $2.75 trillion in revenue over ten years—enough to pay for universal child care, student debt relief, and a down payment on a Green New Deal;
  • Address the nation’s housing crisis by building more than 3 million new homes, cutting rents nationwide by 10%, and taking the first steps towards healing the legacy of housing discrimination through historic new investments in federal housing programs;
  • Extend criminal accountability to corporate executives who oversee and direct illegal scams;
  • Give workers a greater say in the decision-making process at the nation’s biggest corporations by empowering them to elect 40% of the board at the company where they work;
  • Require every public company to disclose climate-related risks;
  • Provide Puerto Rico with a path to comprehensive debt relief and rebuild the island’s infrastructure;
  • Allocate $100 billion to solve the opioid and substance use crisis; and
  • Address skyrocketing prescription drug costs, including through the public manufacturing of generic drugs.

Elizabeth consistently reaches across the aisle to deliver wins for Massachusetts, making her one of the most effective members of the Senate. She helped secure $750 million in debt relief for students who were cheated by predatory, for-profit colleges, including 4,500 Massachusetts students and more than 28,000 students across the country. Elizabeth has also helped pass legislation to double federal funding for child care, make hearing aids available over the counter, reduce out-of-pocket costs for high school students enrolled in career and technical education programs, and put over $6 billion dollars in federal funding towards the fight against the opioid epidemic.

Elizabeth has used her platform to hold some of the nation’s largest corporations and most powerful government agencies accountable for fraud, waste, and abuse. In the wake of the fake accounts scandal at Wells Fargo, her relentless public pressure led to the resignation of two Wells Fargo CEOs, John Stumpf and his successor, Tim Sloan. Elizabeth also launched an investigation to hold Equifax accountable for a data breach that exposed the personal financial information of over 140 million customers and wrote legislation to keep it from happening again. Through her oversight work, she has exposed fraud and abuse perpetrated by Trump Administration officials, including at the Department of Education, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Defense, and has successfully overturned rules that harm consumers and students.

Before becoming the first woman ever elected to the Senate from Massachusetts in 2012, Elizabeth served as Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)—the oversight board set up in the aftermath of the financial crisis to protect taxpayers, hold Wall Street accountable, and help homeowners get back on their feet.

She is widely credited for the original thinking, political courage, and relentless persistence that led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which she helped stand up and has successfully protected millions of consumers from financial tricks and traps often hidden in mortgages, credit cards, and other financial products.

As a law professor for more than 30 years, Elizabeth taught courses on commercial law, contracts, and bankruptcy. She has written more than a hundred articles and eleven books, including four national best-sellers, This Fight Is Our Fight, A Fighting Chance, The Two-Income Trap, and All Your Worth. 

Elizabeth learned first-hand about the economic pressures facing working families, growing up in a family she says was “on the ragged edge of the middle class.” She got married at 19, and after graduating from college, started teaching in elementary school. Her first baby, a daughter Amelia, was born when Elizabeth was 22. When Amelia was two, Elizabeth started law school. Shortly after she graduated, her son Alex was born. Elizabeth hung out a shingle and practiced law out of her living room, but she soon returned to teaching.

Elizabeth is a graduate of the University of Houston and Rutgers School of Law. Elizabeth and her husband Bruce Mann have been married for 40 years and live in Cambridge, Massachusetts with their golden retriever, Bailey. They have three grandchildren.

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Wikipedia Entry

Elizabeth Ann Warren (née Herring; born June 22, 1949) is an American politician and former law professor who is the senior United States senator from Massachusetts, serving since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party and regarded as a progressive,[2] Warren has focused on consumer protection, economic opportunity, and the social safety net while in the Senate. Warren was a candidate in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries, ultimately finishing third.

Warren is a graduate of the University of Houston and Rutgers Law School and has taught law at several universities, including the University of Houston, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University. She was one of the most influential professors in commercial and bankruptcy law before beginning her political career. Warren has written 12 books and more than 100 articles.[3][4][5]

Warren’s first foray into public policy began in 1995, when she worked to oppose what eventually became a 2005 act restricting bankruptcy access for individuals.[6][7] During the late 2000s, her national profile grew after her forceful public stances in favor of more stringent banking regulations after the financial crisis of 2007–08. She served as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and proposed and established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, for which she served as the first special advisor under President Barack Obama.[8]

In 2012, Warren defeated incumbent Republican Scott Brown and became the first female U.S. senator from Massachusetts.[9] She won re-election by a wide margin in 2018, defeating Republican nominee Geoff Diehl.[10] On February 9, 2019, Warren announced her candidacy in the 2020 United States presidential election.[11] She was briefly considered the front-runner for the Democratic nomination in late 2019, but support for her campaign dwindled. She withdrew from the race on March 5, 2020, after Super Tuesday.[12]

Early life, education, and family

Warren’s high school graduation photo

Warren was born Elizabeth Ann Herring in Oklahoma City on June 22, 1949.[13][14][15][16] She is the fourth child of Pauline Louise (née Reed, 1912–1995), a homemaker,[17] and Donald Jones Herring (1911–1997), a U.S. Army flight instructor during World War II, both of whom were members of the evangelical branch of the Protestant Methodist Church.[18] Warren has described her early family life as teetering “on the ragged edge of the middle class” and “kind of hanging on at the edges by our fingernails.”[19][20] She and her three older brothers were raised Methodist.[21][22]

Warren lived in Norman, Oklahoma, until she was 11 years old, when her family moved back to Oklahoma City.[20] When she was 12, her father, then a salesman at Montgomery Ward,[20] had a heart attack, which led to many medical bills as well as a pay cut because he could not do his previous work.[15] After leaving his sales job, he worked as a maintenance man for an apartment building.[23] Eventually, the family’s car was repossessed because they failed to make loan payments. To help the family finances, her mother found work in the catalog-order department at Sears.[15] When she was 13, Warren started waiting tables at her aunt’s restaurant.[24][25]

Warren became a star member of the debate team at Northwest Classen High School and won the state high school debating championship. She also won a debate scholarship to George Washington University (GWU) at the age of 16.[15] She initially aspired to be a teacher, but left GWU after two years in 1968 to marry James Robert “Jim” Warren,[26] whom she had met in high school.[15][24][27]

Warren and her husband moved to Houston, where he was employed by IBM.[15][28] She enrolled in the University of Houston and graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in speech pathology and audiology.[23][29]

The Warrens moved to New Jersey when Jim received a job transfer. She soon became pregnant and decided to stay at home to care for their daughter, Amelia.[15][19][30] After Amelia turned two, Warren enrolled in Rutgers Law School at Rutgers University–Newark.[30] She received her J.D. in 1976, and passed the bar examination shortly thereafter.[27][30] Shortly before graduating, Warren became pregnant with their second child, Alexander.[15][19]

The Warrens divorced in 1978,[15][19] and two years later, Warren married law professor Bruce H. Mann on July 12, 1980,[31] but kept her first husband’s surname.[19][32] Warren has three grandchildren through her daughter Amelia.[33]

On April 23, 2020, Warren announced on Twitter that her eldest brother, Don Reed Herring, had died of COVID-19 two days earlier.[34][35] On October 1, 2021, she announced that her brother, John Herring, had died of cancer.[36]

As of 2019, according to Forbes Magazine, Warren’s net worth was $12 million.[37][38]

Career before elected office

Warren in Rutgers School of Law–Newark‘s 1976 yearbook.

In 1970, after obtaining a degree in speech pathology and audiology, but before enrolling in law school (see above), Warren taught children with disabilities for a year in a public school.[39] During law school, she worked as a summer associate at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. After receiving her J.D. and passing the bar examination, Warren offered legal services from home, writing wills and doing real estate closings.[27][30]

In the late 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Warren taught law at several American universities while researching issues related to bankruptcy and middle-class personal finance.[30] She became involved with public work in bankruptcy regulation and consumer protection in the mid-1990s.

Academic

Warren began her career in academia as a lecturer at Rutgers University, Newark School of Law (1977–78). She then moved to the University of Houston Law Center (1978–83), where she became an associate dean in 1980 and obtained tenure in 1981. She taught at the University of Texas School of Law as visiting associate professor in 1981 and returned as a full professor two years later (staying from 1983 to 1987). She was a research associate at the Population Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin from 1983 to 1987[29] and was also a visiting professor at the University of Michigan in 1985. During this period, Warren also taught Sunday school.[21][40]

Warren in University of Texas School of Law‘s 1987 yearbook.

Warren’s earliest academic work was heavily influenced by the law and economics movement, which aimed to apply neoclassical economic theory to the study of law with an emphasis on economic efficiency. One of her articles, published in 1980 in the Notre Dame Law Review, argued that public utilities were over-regulated and that automatic utility rate increases should be instituted.[41] But Warren soon became a proponent of on-the-ground research into how people respond to laws. Her work analyzing court records and interviewing judges, lawyers, and debtors, established her as a rising star in the field of bankruptcy law.[42] According to Warren and economists who follow her work, one of her key insights was that rising bankruptcy rates were caused not by profligate consumer spending but by middle-class families’ attempts to buy homes in good school districts.[43] Warren worked in this field alongside colleagues Teresa A. Sullivan and Jay Westbrook, and the trio published their research in the book As We Forgive Our Debtors in 1989. Warren later recalled that she had begun her research believing that most people filing for bankruptcy were either working the system or had been irresponsible in incurring debts, but that she concluded that such abuse was in fact rare and that the legal framework for bankruptcy was poorly designed, describing the way the research challenged her fundamental beliefs as “worse than disillusionment” and “like being shocked at a deep-down level”.[41] In 2004, she published an article in the Washington University Law Review in which she argued that correlating middle-class struggles with over-consumption was a fallacy.[44]

Warren joined the University of Pennsylvania Law School as a full professor in 1987 and obtained an endowed chair in 1990, becoming the William A. Schnader Professor of Commercial Law. In 1992, she taught for a year at Harvard Law School as Robert Braucher Visiting Professor of Commercial Law. In 1995, Warren left Penn to become Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. In 1996, she became the highest-paid professor at Harvard University who was not an administrator, with a $181,300 salary and total compensation of $291,876, including moving expenses and an allowance in lieu of benefits contributions.[45][29] As of 2011, she was Harvard’s only tenured law professor who had attended law school at an American public university.[42] Warren was a highly influential law professor. She published in many fields, but her expertise was in bankruptcy and commercial law. From 2005 to 2009, Warren was among the three most-cited scholars in those fields.[46][47]

She began to rise in prominence in 2004 with an appearance on the Dr. Phil show, and published several books including The Two Income Trap.[48]

Advisory roles

Warren’s “A minimum-wage job saved my family” speech at the Economic Policy Institute, November 2015 (3:28)

In 1995, the National Bankruptcy Review Commission’s chair, former congressman Mike Synar, asked Warren to advise the commission. Synar had been a debate opponent of Warren’s during their school years.[49] She helped draft the commission’s report and worked for several years to oppose legislation intended to severely restrict consumers’ right to file for bankruptcy. Warren and others opposing the legislation were not successful; in 2005, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which curtailed consumers’ ability to file for bankruptcy.[24][50]

From 2006 to 2010, Warren was a member of the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion.[51] She is a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference, an independent organization that advises the U.S. Congress on bankruptcy law,[52] a former vice president of the American Law Institute and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[53]

Warren’s scholarship and public advocacy were the impetus for establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2011.[54][55]: 1315 

TARP oversight

Warren stands next to President Barack Obama as he announces Richard Cordray‘s nomination as the first director of the CFPB, July 2011.

On November 14, 2008, U.S. Senate majority leader Harry Reid appointed Warren to chair the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the implementation of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.[56] The panel released monthly oversight reports evaluating the government bailout and related programs.[57] During Warren’s tenure, these reports covered foreclosure mitigation, consumer and small business lending, commercial real estate, AIG, bank stress tests, the impact of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) on the financial markets, government guarantees, the automotive industry and other topics.[58][59][60]

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Warren discussing the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the ICBA conference in 2011

Warren was an early advocate for creating a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The bureau was established by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law by President Obama in July 2010. In September 2010, Obama named Warren Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the CFPB to set up the new agency.[61] While liberal groups and consumer advocacy groups urged Obama to formally nominate Warren as the agency’s director, financial institutions and Republican members of Congress strongly opposed her, believing she would be an overly zealous regulator.[24][62][63] Reportedly convinced that Warren could not win Senate confirmation as the bureau’s first director,[64] in January 2012, Obama appointed former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to the post in a recess appointment over Republican senators’ objections.[65][66]

Political affiliation

A close high-school friend told Politico in 2019 that in high school Warren was a “diehard conservative” and that she had since done a “180-degree turn and an about-face”.[41] One of her colleagues at the University of Texas in Austin said that at university in the early 1980s Warren was “sometimes surprisingly anti-consumer in her attitude”.[41] Gary L. Francione, who had been a colleague of hers at the University of Pennsylvania, recalled in 2019 that when he heard her speak at the time she was becoming politically prominent, he “almost fell off [his] chair… She’s definitely changed”.[41] Warren was registered as a Republican from 1991 to 1996.[1] She voted Republican for many years. “I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets”, she has said.[15] But she has also said that in the six presidential elections before 1996 she voted for the Republican nominee only once, in 1976, for Gerald Ford.[41] Warren has said that she began to vote Democratic in 1995 because she no longer believed that the Republicans were the party who best supported markets, but she has said she has voted for both parties because she believed that neither should dominate.[67] According to Warren, she left the Republican Party because it is no longer “principled in its conservative approach to economics and to markets” and is instead tilting the playing field in favor of large financial institutions and against middle-class American families.[68][69]

U.S. Senate (2013–present)

2012 Senate election results by municipality

Senate campaign logo

Warren at a campaign event, November 2012

Elections

2012

On September 14, 2011, Warren declared her intention to run for the Democratic nomination for the 2012 election in Massachusetts for the U.S. Senate. Republican Scott Brown had won the seat in a 2010 special election after Ted Kennedy‘s death.[70][71] A week later, a video of Warren speaking in Andover went viral on the Internet.[72] In it, Warren responds to the charge that asking the rich to pay more taxes is “class warfare” by saying that no one grew rich in the U.S. without depending on infrastructure paid for by the rest of society:[73][74]

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. … You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

President Obama later echoed her sentiments in a 2012 election campaign speech.[75]

Warren ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination and won it on June 2, 2012, at the state Democratic convention with a record 95.77% of the votes of delegates.[76][77][78] She encountered significant opposition from business interests. In August, the political director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce commented that “no other candidate in 2012 represents a greater threat to free enterprise than Professor Warren”.[79] Warren nonetheless raised $39 million for her campaign, more than any other Senate candidate in 2012, and showed, according to The New York Times, “that it was possible to run against the big banks without Wall Street money and still win”.[80]

Warren received a prime-time speaking slot at the 2012 Democratic National Convention on September 5, 2012. She positioned herself as a champion of a beleaguered middle class that “has been chipped, squeezed, and hammered”. According to Warren, “People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here’s the painful part: They’re right. The system is rigged.” Warren said Wall Street CEOs “wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs” and that they “still strut around congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them”.[81][82][83]

2018

On January 6, 2017, in an email to supporters, Warren announced that she would be running for a second term as a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, writing, “The people of Massachusetts didn’t send me to Washington to roll over and play dead while Donald Trump and his team of billionaires, bigots, and Wall Street bankers crush the working people of our Commonwealth and this country. … This is no time to quit.”[84]

In the 2018 election, Warren defeated Republican nominee Geoff Diehl, 60% to 36%.

Tenure

Warren attending the swearing in of Senator Mo Cowan in the Old Senate Chamber

On November 6, 2012, Warren defeated Brown with 53.7% of the vote. She is the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts,[13] as part of a sitting U.S. Senate that had 20 women senators in office, which was the most women in the U.S. Senate in history at the time, following the November 2012 elections. In December 2012, Warren was assigned a seat on the Senate Banking Committee, which oversees the implementation of Dodd–Frank and other regulation of the banking industry.[85] Vice President Joe Biden swore Warren in on January 3, 2013.[86]

At Warren’s first Banking Committee hearing in February 2013, she pressed several banking regulators to say when they had last taken a Wall Street bank to trial and said, “I’m really concerned that ‘too big to fail’ has become ‘too big for trial’.” Videos of Warren’s questioning amassed more than one million views in a matter of days.[87] At a March Banking Committee hearing, Warren asked Treasury Department officials why criminal charges were not brought against HSBC for its money laundering practices. Warren compared money laundering to drug possession, saying: “If you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you’re going to go to jail … But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night.”[88][89]

In May 2013, Warren sent letters to the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Reserve questioning their decisions that settling would be more fruitful than going to court.[90] Also in May, saying that students should get “the same great deal that banks get”, Warren introduced the Bank on Student Loans Fairness Act, which would allow students to take out government education loans at the same rate that banks pay to borrow from the federal government, 0.75%.[91] Independent senator Bernie Sanders endorsed her bill, saying: “The only thing wrong with this bill is that [she] thought of it and I didn’t”.[92]

During the 2014 election cycle, Warren was a top Democratic fundraiser. After the election, Warren was appointed to become the first-ever Strategic Adviser of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, a position created for her. The appointment added to speculation that Warren would run for president in 2016.[93][94][95][96]

In early 2015, President Obama urged Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed free trade agreement between the United States and 11 Asian and South American countries.[97] Warren criticized the TPP, arguing that the dispute resolution mechanism in the agreement and labor protections for American workers therein were insufficient; her objections were in turn criticized by Obama.[98][99]

Saying “despite the progress we’ve made since 2008, the biggest banks continue to threaten our economy”, in July 2015 Warren, along with John McCain (R-AZ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Angus King (I-ME) reintroduced the 21st Century Glass–Steagall Act, a modern version of the Banking Act of 1933. The legislation was intended to reduce the American taxpayer’s risk in the financial system and decrease the likelihood of future financial crises.[100]

Warren speaking at St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in Boston’s South Boston neighborhood, March 17, 2018

In a September 20, 2016, hearing, Warren called on Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf to resign, adding that he should be “criminally investigated” over Wells Fargo’s opening of two million checking and credit-card accounts without the customers’ consent.[101][102]

In December 2016, Warren gained a seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, which The Boston Globe called “a high-profile perch on one of the chamber’s most powerful committees” that would “fuel speculation about a possible 2020 bid for president”.[103]

During the debate on Senator Jeff Sessions‘s nomination for United States attorney general in February 2017, Warren quoted a letter Coretta Scott King had written to Senator Strom Thurmond in 1986 when Sessions was nominated for a federal judgeship.[104] King wrote, “Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge. This simply cannot be allowed to happen.”[104] Senate Republicans voted that by reading the letter from King, Warren had violated Senate Rule 19, which prohibits impugning another senator’s character.[104] This prohibited Warren from further participating in the debate on Sessions’s nomination, and Warren instead read King’s letter while streaming live online.[105][106] In rebuking Warren, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”[106] McConnell’s language became a slogan for Warren and others.[106][107]

On October 3, 2017, during Wells Fargo chief executive Timothy J. Sloan‘s appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, Warren called on him to resign, saying, “At best you were incompetent, at worst you were complicit.”[108]

On July 17, 2019, Warren and Rep. AI Lawson introduced legislation that would make low-income college students eligible for benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) according to the College Student Hunger Act of 2019.[109]

In November 2020, Warren was named a candidate for Secretary of the Treasury in the Biden Administration.[110]

Warren was at the Capitol to participate in the 2021 United States Electoral College vote count when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. She called it an “attempted coup and act of insurrection egged on by a corrupt president to overthrow our democracy”, and the perpetrators “domestic terrorists.”[111] The day after the attack, Warren joined the entire Massachusetts Congressional delegation to call for Trump’s immediate removal from office through the invocation of the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution or impeachment.[112]

Role in the 2016 presidential election

Warren stumps for Hillary Clinton in Manchester, New Hampshire, October 2016

In the run-up to the 2016 United States presidential election, supporters put Warren forward as a possible presidential candidate, but she repeatedly said she would not run for president in 2016.[113][114][115][116] In October 2013, she joined the other 15 women Democratic senators in signing a letter that encouraged Hillary Clinton to run.[117] There was much speculation about Warren being added to the Democratic ticket as a vice-presidential candidate.[118][119] On June 9, 2016, after the California Democratic primary, Warren formally endorsed Clinton for president. In response to questions when she endorsed Clinton, Warren said that she believed herself to be ready to be vice president, but she was not being vetted.[120] On July 7, CNN reported that Warren was on a five-person short list to be Clinton’s running mate.[120][121] Clinton eventually chose Tim Kaine.

Until her June endorsement, Warren was neutral during the Democratic primary but made public statements that she was cheering Bernie Sanders on.[122] In June, Warren endorsed and campaigned for Clinton.[123] She called Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, dishonest, uncaring, and “a loser”.[124][125][126]

Committee assignments

Current

Previous

2020 presidential campaign

Warren while formally declaring her candidacy in Lawrence, Massachusetts on February 9, 2019

At a town hall meeting in Holyoke, Massachusetts, on September 29, 2018, Warren said she would “take a hard look” at running for president in the 2020 election after the 2018 United States elections concluded.[130] On December 31, 2018, Warren announced that she was forming an exploratory committee to run for president.[131][132]

On February 9, 2019, Warren officially announced her candidacy at a rally in Lawrence, Massachusetts, at the site of the 1912 Bread and Roses strike.[133] A longtime critic of President Trump, Warren called him a “symptom of a larger problem [that has resulted in] a rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else”.[134]

Warren staged her first campaign event in Lawrence to demonstrate the constituency groups she hopes to appeal to, including working class families, union members, women, and new immigrants. She called for major changes in government:

It won’t be enough to just undo the terrible acts of this administration. We can’t afford to just tinker around the edges—a tax credit here, a regulation there. Our fight is for big, structural change. This is the fight of our lives. The fight to build an America where dreams are possible, an America that works for everyone.[11]

Following her candidacy announcement, Warren released several policy proposals, including plans to assist family farms by addressing the advantages held by large agricultural conglomerates, plans to reduce student loan debt and offer free tuition at public colleges, a plan to make large corporations pay more in taxes and better regulate large technology companies, and plans to address opioid addiction. She has introduced an “Economic Patriotism” plan intended to create opportunities for American workers, and proposals inspired by opposition to President Trump, including one that would make it permissible to indict a sitting president.[135]

One of her signature plans was a wealth tax, dubbed the “Ultra-Millionaire Tax,” on fortunes over $50,000,000.[136] Warren was credited with popularizing the idea of a wealth tax with Americans, leading competitor Bernie Sanders to release a wealth tax plan.[137]

Warren became known for the number and depth of her policy proposals.[138] On her campaign website, she detailed more than 45 plans for topics including health care, universal child care, ending the opioid crisis, clean energy, climate change, foreign policy, reducing corporate influence at the Pentagon, and ending “Wall Street’s stranglehold on the economy”.[139]

On March 5, 2020, she ended her campaign.[140]

Polls

In early June 2019, Warren placed second in some polls, with Joe Biden in first place and Bernie Sanders in third.[135] In the following weeks her poll numbers steadily increased, and a September Iowa poll placed her in the lead with 22% to Biden’s 20%. The Iowa poll also rated the number of voters at least considering voting for each candidate; Warren scored 71% to Biden’s 60%. Poll respondents also gave her a higher “enthusiasm” rating, with 32% of her backers extremely enthusiastic to Biden’s 22%.[141]

An October 24 Quinnipiac poll placed Warren in the lead at 28%, with Biden at 21% and Sanders at 15%. When asked which candidate had the best policy ideas, 30% of respondents named Warren, with Sanders at 20% and Biden 15%. Sanders was most often named as the candidate who “cares most about people like you,” with Warren in second place and Biden third. Sanders also placed first at 28% when respondents were asked which candidate was the most honest, followed by Warren and Biden at 15% each.[142]

Funding

Selfie line for Elizabeth Warren after a May 19, 2019 campaign event in Nashua, New Hampshire.

The Los Angeles Times reported that of the front-runners in the presidential race, only Sanders and Warren have previously won an election with almost exclusively small online contributions, and that no presidential primary in recent history has had two of the top three candidates refuse to use bundlers or hold private fundraisers with wealthy donors.[143][144]

In January 2019, Warren said that she took no PAC money.[145] In October 2019, Warren announced that her campaign would not accept contributions of more than $200 from executives at banks, large tech companies, private equity firms, or hedge funds, in addition to her previous refusal to accept donations of over $200 from fossil fuel or pharmaceutical executives.[146]

In the third quarter of 2019 Warren’s campaign raised $24.6 million, just less than the $25.3 million Sanders’s campaign raised and well ahead of Joe Biden, the front-runner in the polls, who raised $15.2 million. Warren’s average donation was $26; Sanders’s was $18.[147]

In February 2020, Warren began accepting support from Super PACs, after failing to convince other Democratic presidential candidates to join her in disavowing them.[148][149]

Public appearances

A crowd of 20,000 attended Warren’s rally in Washington Square Park

As of September 2019, Warren had attended 128 town halls. She is known for remaining afterward to talk with audience members and for the large numbers of selfies she has taken with them.[143] On September 17, over 20,000 people attended a Warren rally at New York City’s Washington Square Park. After her speech long lines formed with people waiting as long as four hours for selfies.[150]

Due to the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, Warren was unable to make final campaign stops in person and opted to send her dog, Bailey Warren, to meet with voters in Iowa.[151]

Vice-presidential speculation

In June 2020, CNN reported that Warren was among the top four vice-presidential choices for Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, along with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Representative Val Demings, and Senator Kamala Harris.[152] Kamala Harris was officially announced as Biden’s running mate on August 11, 2020. On August 13, The New York Times reported that Warren was one of Biden’s four finalists along with Harris, Susan Rice, and Gretchen Whitmer.[153]

In late April, CNBC reported that big-money donors were pressuring Biden not to choose Warren, preferring other candidates purportedly on his list, such as Harris, Klobuchar and Whitmer.[154]

Political positions

Warren with a supporter wearing a “Warren has a plan for that” T-shirt. The phrase became an internet meme during her presidential run.[155]

Warren is widely regarded as a progressive. In 2012, the British magazine New Statesman named Warren among the “top 20 U.S. progressives”.[156]

Warren supports worker representation on corporations’ board of directors, breaking up monopolies, stiffening sentences for white-collar crime, a Medicare for All plan to provide health insurance for all Americans, and a higher minimum wage.[157]

Warren has been highly critical of the Trump administration. She has expressed concerns over what she says are Trump’s conflicts of interest. The Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act, written by Warren, was first read in the Senate in January 2017.[158][159] In November 2018, Warren said she would not vote for Trump’s United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA): “It won’t stop outsourcing, it won’t raise wages, and it won’t create jobs. It’s NAFTA 2.0.” She has also said she believes USMCA would make it harder to reduce drug prices because it would allow drug companies to lock in the prices they charge for many drugs.[160] Warren has been highly critical of Trump’s immigration policies. In 2018, she called for abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).[161]

Warren has criticized U.S. involvement in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen in support of Yemen’s government against the Houthis.[162][163] In January 2019, Warren criticized Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan. She agreed that U.S. troops should be withdrawn from Syria and Afghanistan but said such withdrawals should be part of a “coordinated” plan formed with U.S. allies.[164]

In April 2019, after reading the Mueller report, Warren called on the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, saying, “The Mueller report lays out facts showing that a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election to help Donald Trump and Donald Trump welcomed that help. Once elected, Donald Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack.”[165]

Public image

Ancestry and Native American relations

According to Warren and her brothers, older family members told them during their childhood that they had Native American ancestry.[166][167] In 2012, she said that “being Native American has been part of my story, I guess, since the day I was born”.[168] In 1984,[169][170] Warren contributed recipes to a Native American cookbook and identified herself as Cherokee.[171][172]

During Warren’s first Senate race in 2012, her opponent, Scott Brown, speculated that she had fabricated Native ancestry to gain advantage on the employment market and used Warren’s ancestry in several attack ads.[173][174][175] Warren has denied that her heritage gave her any advantages in her schooling or her career.[176] Several colleagues and employers (including Harvard) have said her reported ethnic status played no role in her hiring.[177][178] From 1995 to 2004, her employer, Harvard Law School, listed her as a Native American in its federal affirmative action forms; Warren later said she was unaware of this.[179]

The Washington Post reported that in 1986, Warren identified her race as “American Indian” on a State Bar of Texas write-in form used for statistical information gathering, but added that there was “no indication it was used for professional advancement”.[180] A 2018 Boston Globe investigation found that her reported ethnicity played no role in her rise in the academic legal profession, and concluded there was “clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools”, and that “Warren was viewed as a white woman by the hiring committees at every institution that employed her”.[181] In February 2019, Warren apologized for having identified as Native American.[172][182][183]

Throughout his presidency, former president Donald Trump mocked Warren for her assertions of Native American ancestry,[184] and called her the slur “Pocahontas“.[185] At a July 2018 Montana rally, he promised that if he debated Warren, he would pay $1 million to her favorite charity if she could prove her Native American ancestry via a DNA test. Warren released results of a DNA test in October 2018, then asked Trump to donate the money to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. Trump responded by denying that he had made the challenge.[186][187] The DNA test found that Warren’s ancestry is mostly European but “strongly support[ed] the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor”, likely “in the range of 6 to 10 generations ago”.[188] The Cherokee Nation criticized the use of DNA testing to determine Native American heritage as “inappropriate and wrong”.[178][189] According to Politico, “Warren’s past claims of American Indian ancestry garnered fierce criticism from both sides of the aisle,” with “tribal leaders calling out Warren for claiming a heritage she did not culturally belong to.”[185]

During a January 2019 public appearance in Sioux City, Iowa, Warren was asked by an attendee, “Why did you undergo the DNA testing and give Donald more fodder to be a bully?” She responded in part, “I am not a person of color; I am not a citizen of a tribe. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry. Tribes, and only tribes, determine tribal citizenship, and I respect that difference.”[190] She later contacted leadership of the Cherokee Nation to apologize “for furthering confusion over issues of tribal sovereignty and citizenship and for any harm her announcement caused”. Cherokee Nation executive director of communications Julie Hubbard said that Warren understands “that being a Cherokee Nation tribal citizen is rooted in centuries of culture and laws not through DNA tests”.[191] Warren apologized again in August 2019 before the Native American Forum in Iowa.[192][193]

In February 2019, Warren received a standing ovation during a surprise visit to a Native American conference, where she was introduced by freshman representative Deb Haaland (D-NM), one of the first two Native American women elected to the U.S. Congress.[194][195] Haaland endorsed Warren for president in July 2019, calling her “a great partner for Indian Country”.[196]

Honors and awards

Warren at the 2009 Time 100 Gala

In 2009, The Boston Globe named Warren the Bostonian of the Year[23] and the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts honored her with the Lelia J. Robinson Award.[197] The National Law Journal has repeatedly named Warren one of the Fifty Most Influential Women Attorneys in America,[198][199] and in 2010 named her one of the 40 most influential attorneys of the decade.[200] Also in 2009, Warren became the first professor in Harvard’s history to win the law school’s Sacks–Freund Teaching Award for a second time.[201] In 2011, she delivered the commencement address at Rutgers Law School, her alma mater, and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree and membership in the Order of the Coif.[202] In 2011, Warren was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.[203] In January 2012, New Statesman magazine named her one of the “top 20 U.S. progressives”.[156] Warren was named one of Time magazine‘s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2009, 2010, 2015, and 2017.[204][205][206][207][208]

In 2018, the Women’s History Month theme in the United States was “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women”, referring to McConnell’s remark about Warren.[209]

In popular culture

Political protégés

Warren has mentored several people who have gone on to hold notable political office. U.S. Representative Katie Porter, a former law student of Warren’s, is considered a protégée of Warren.[221] Porter co-chaired Warren’s presidential campaign.[222] Another of Warren’s political protégés is Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, who was a law student of Warren’s and worked on her 2012 senate campaign before running for Boston City Council herself in 2013.[223][224][225] Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins got his start in politics working on Warren’s 2012 Senate campaign.[226] During his law school career, former U.S. Representative Joe Kennedy III considered Warren a mentor.[227] A number of Warren acolytes serve in the Biden administration, including Bharat Ramamurti (a former economic policy advisor to Warren).[228]

Books and other works

In 2004, Warren and her daughter, Amelia Tyagi, wrote The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke. In the book they state that at that time, a fully employed worker earned less inflation-adjusted income than a fully employed worker had 30 years earlier. Although families spent less at that time on clothing, appliances, and other forms of consumption, the costs of core expenses such as mortgages, health care, transportation, and child care had increased dramatically. According to the authors, the result was that even families with two income earners were no longer able to save and incurred ever greater debt.[229]

In an article in The New York Times, Jeff Madrick said of the book:

The authors find that it is not the free-spending young or the incapacitated elderly who are declaring bankruptcy so much as families with children … their main thesis is undeniable. Typical families often cannot afford the high-quality education, health care, and neighborhoods required to be middle class today. More clearly than anyone else, I think, Ms. Warren and Ms. Tyagi have shown how little attention the nation and our government have paid to the way Americans really live.[230]

In 2005, Warren and David Himmelstein published a study on bankruptcy and medical bills[231] that found that half of all families filing for bankruptcy did so in the aftermath of a serious medical problem. They say that three-quarters of such families had medical insurance.[232] The study was widely cited in policy debates, but some have challenged its methods and offered alternative interpretations of the data, suggesting that only 17% of bankruptcies are directly attributable to medical expenses.[233]

Metropolitan Books published Warren’s book A Fighting Chance in April 2014.[234] According to a Boston Globe review, “the book’s title refers to a time she says is now gone, when even families of modest means who worked hard and played by the rules had at a fair shot at the American dream.”[235]

In April 2017, Warren published her 11th book,[4] This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class, in which she explores the plight of the American middle class and argues that the federal government needs to do more to help working families with stronger social programs and increased investment in education.[236]

Publications

See also

References

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Further reading

External links


Issues

Committees

In the 116th Congress (2019-2020), Senator Warren serves on the following committees:

Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs

As a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Senator Warren works on legislation related to financial services and the economy, housing, urban development, and other issues, and participates in oversight of federal regulatory agencies.

Subcommittee Assignments:


Committee on Finance

As a member of the Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Warren works on policies concerning federal tax and revenue, including oversight of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). She prioritizes reforms like passing a wealth tax, improving our trade policies, expanding Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare, bringing down drug prices, advancing racial equity, and better enforcing our tax laws.


Special Committee on Aging

As a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Senator Warren is focused on supporting and strengthening Social Security, Medicare, and other programs essential to older Americans, as well as working to protect seniors from fraud and abuse. Senator Warren is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to a secure and dignified retirement.


Committee on Armed Services

On the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Warren works to provide effective support and oversight of the Armed Forces, to address threats to national security, and to ensure the responsible use of military force.

Subcommittee Assignments:

Legislation

Sponsored and Cosponsored

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Ed Markey – MA

Current Position: US Senator since 2013
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2021 US Senator
Former Position(s): US Representative from 1976 – 2013; State Delegate from 1973 – 1976

Other Positions:  
Chair, Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate and Nuclear Safety
Chair, Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy

Featured Quote: 
The intersecting crises which we face demand a Green New Deal to create jobs, deliver justice, and save our planet. Thank you @AOC, the @sunrisemvmt and all of our partners organizing in Congress, online, and in the streets for a just and livable future.

Featured Video: 
Senator Markey: Civilian Climate Corps would create union jobs

Source: Government page

Senator Markey Commemorates 20th Anniversary of September 11th Attack
Senator WebpageSeptember 11, 2021 (Short)

“Twenty years have passed since the fateful attacks of September 11, 2001, and we remember the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives in New York City, Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania – including the more than 200 with ties to Massachusetts. The victims of that day hailed from around the country, and they were some of our country’s and Commonwealth’s best and brightest. Today is a day of remembrance for sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, and neighbors. We also mourn and remember the nearly 7,000 United States service members, and hundreds of thousands of civilians, who lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11. Our country is eternally grateful to all those who risked and gave their lives on that terrible day, including the first responders, frontline workers and civilians who rushed in to save innocent lives 20 years ago. In one of our nation’s darkest hours, we saw valor, courage, and sacrifice personified by those heroes.

Summary

Current Position: US Senator since 2013
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2021 US Senator
Former Position(s): US Representative from 1976 – 2013; State Delegate from 1973 – 1976

Other Positions:  
Chair, Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate and Nuclear Safety
Chair, Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy

Featured Quote: 
The intersecting crises which we face demand a Green New Deal to create jobs, deliver justice, and save our planet. Thank you @AOC, the @sunrisemvmt and all of our partners organizing in Congress, online, and in the streets for a just and livable future.

Featured Video: 
Senator Markey: Civilian Climate Corps would create union jobs

Source: Government page

News

Senator Markey Commemorates 20th Anniversary of September 11th Attack
Senator WebpageSeptember 11, 2021 (Short)

“Twenty years have passed since the fateful attacks of September 11, 2001, and we remember the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives in New York City, Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania – including the more than 200 with ties to Massachusetts. The victims of that day hailed from around the country, and they were some of our country’s and Commonwealth’s best and brightest. Today is a day of remembrance for sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, and neighbors. We also mourn and remember the nearly 7,000 United States service members, and hundreds of thousands of civilians, who lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11. Our country is eternally grateful to all those who risked and gave their lives on that terrible day, including the first responders, frontline workers and civilians who rushed in to save innocent lives 20 years ago. In one of our nation’s darkest hours, we saw valor, courage, and sacrifice personified by those heroes.

Twitter

About

Ed Markey 1

While serving for 37 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Senator Markey fought for his constituents throughout his Congressional District. When he was Dean of the Massachusetts delegation in the House, he worked to harness the energy and influence of his colleagues on behalf of the entire Commonwealth. Elected to the Senate in a special election in June 2013, Senator Markey is bringing his experience, energy and expertise to fight for all the people of Massachusetts.

Senator Markey has amassed an unparalleled record of energy and environmental legislative achievements. He has consistently fought to create new jobs in American clean energy and served as a leading consumer champion against rising gas prices and foreign oil. He is the principal House author of the 2007 fuel economy law, which will increase fuel economy standards to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, the first increase in a generation. He also is the author of the appliance efficiency act of 1987, which stopped the construction of hundreds of coal-fired plants. Senator Markey authored the law that established the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, ensuring that New England families won’t be left out in the cold when oil prices spike. And he is the author of the revolutionary law that requires electricity regulators to open up the wholesale electric power market for the first time.
In 2009, Congressman Markey was the co-author of the landmark Waxman-Markey bill, the only comprehensive climate legislation ever to pass a chamber of Congress. It gave hope to the world that the United States was serious about addressing climate change and helped America effectively negotiate with the international community.

Senator Markey was a leading voice in the investigation into the BP oil spill. He insisted that the company reveal the true size of the spill’s flow rate, raised concerns about the use of toxic chemical dispersants into the environment and forced BP to make live video footage of the oil spill available to the public on the “Spillcam” website he created. BP ultimately pled guilty to 14 counts, including one count of Obstruction of Congress for making false and misleading statements and withholding information and documents from then-Rep. Markey about the true size of the spill.

In the House of Representatives, Congressman Markey served as the Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee. From 2007 to 2010, he served as Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, a signature committee established by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He also served on the Energy and Commerce Committee, where he was Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment.

A member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Senator Markey is a national leader on telecommunications policy, technology and privacy. In the House, he served for 20 years as Chair or Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, where he fostered the growth of new information technologies and was the principal author of many of the laws now governing our nation’s telephone, broadcasting, cable television, wireless, and broadband communications systems. He is the House author of the 1992 Cable Act, which increased choices for millions of consumers and enabled satellite-delivered programming to be more widely offered.
He also authored the law in 1993 that moved over 200 MHz of spectrum from government to commercial use, creating the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th wireless phone companies. New companies entered the market with digital technology, forcing the incumbents to innovate and invest and pushing mobile phone prices down.

Congressman Markey authored the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996, ushering competition into the telecommunications marketplace and unleashing private sector investment.

Competition remains Senator Markey’s economic mantra–in his words, “ruthless Darwinian competition that would bring a smile to Adam Smith.” He has been instrumental in breaking up anti-consumer, anti-innovative monopolies in electricity, long-distance and local telephone service, cable television, and international satellite services. He was one of the only members of the House Commerce Committee to fight AT&T’s monopoly in the early 1980’s and is a principal author of the requirement that the Bell Operating companies accept local telephone service in the 1990’s. His pro-competition policies have directly benefited job creation in Massachusetts and throughout the country.

While in the House, Congressman Markey introduced the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, the first net neutrality bill introduced in Congress, to ensure that as the Internet continues to evolve, it remains a level playing field guided by the principles of openness, competition and innovation. He also has been a key leader on providing privacy protections for personal information such as medical records, financial records, and on-line purchases. He has championed strengthening privacy protections for children and is the House author of the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA), the primary law that safeguards children’s privacy online.

From 2003 to 2009 in the House of Representatives, Senator Markey also served as a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee. In that capacity, he focused on closing gaps in our homeland defenses, particularly in the areas of nuclear, aviation, maritime, liquefied natural gas and chemical security. In the wake of the 9-11 attacks, he authored the first-ever mandate in the law that 100% of cargo on passenger planes is screened, and 100% of all maritime cargo is scanned before entering America’s ports.

Senator Markey also was the leader of the national Nuclear Freeze movement and has been a Congressional champion on nuclear nonproliferation. His amendment to ban all underground nuclear testing passed in 1986, and in the 1990s, he fought to tighten controls on global trafficking in nuclear technology. Since then, Senator Markey has continued his work on nuclear nonproliferation, successfully enacting new restrictions on exports of nuclear and dual-use technologies to Iran, North Korea, and other countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism and pressing for stronger nuclear nonproliferation conditions on all future nuclear trade cooperation agreements As founder of the Nonproliferation Caucus, Senator Markey continues to spearhead efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to safeguard the future for generations to come.

He is the author of some of the most important Wall Street reform laws since the Great Depression, including statutes that strengthened penalties against insider trading, improved federal oversight over the stock and futures markets, and reformed regulation of the government securities market.

Senator Markey was born in Malden, Massachusetts, on July 11, 1946. He attended Boston College (B.A., 1968) and Boston College Law School (J.D., 1972). He served in the U.S. Army Reserve and was elected to the Massachusetts State House where he served two terms representing Malden and Melrose. He is married to Dr. Susan Blumenthal.

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Offices

BOSTON

975 JFK Federal Building
15 New Sudbury St
Boston, MA 02203
(617) 565-8519
SPRINGFIELD

1550 Main Street 4th Floor
Springfield, MA 01103
(413) 785-4610
FALL RIVER

222 Milliken Boulevard
Suite 312
Fall River, MA 02721
(508) 677-0523
WASHINGTON, DC

255 Dirksen Senate
Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202)224-2742

 

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975 JFK Federal Building

15 New Sudbury Street

Boston, MA 02203
Phone: 617-565-8519

Fall River
222 Milliken Boulevard, Suite 312

Fall River, MA 02721
Phone: 508-677-0523

Springfield
1550 Main Street, 4th Floor

Springfield, MA 01103
Phone: 413-785-4610

Washington, D.C.
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Washington, D.C. 20510

202-224-2742
Phone: 800-744-17441

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Wikipedia Entry

Edward John Markey (born July 11, 1946) is an American lawyer, politician, and former military officer who has served 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.

In 2013, after John Kerry was appointed United States Secretary of State, Markey was elected to serve out the remainder of Kerry’s Senate term in a 2013 special election. Markey defeated Stephen Lynch in the Democratic primary and Republican Gabriel E. Gomez in the general election. Markey was elected to a full term in the Senate in 2014. Markey fended off a primary challenge from Joseph Kennedy III and was reelected in 2020 by a wide margin.

Markey is a progressive who has focused on climate change and energy policy and was chair of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming from 2007 to 2011. He is the Senate author of the Green New Deal.[1] Markey is the dean of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, having served in Congress since 1976. Markey’s progressive policies have led to widespread support among young voters.[2] The Hill called him “a Gen-Z Icon”.[3]

Early life and education

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.[4][5][6] The family was Irish Catholic, and Markey was educated at Immaculate Conception School and Malden Catholic High School.[citation needed]

Starting in the summer of 1965, Markey was the driver and salesperson for an ice cream truck in Lexington, Massachusetts. He was known as “Eddie the Ice Cream Man” to neighborhood children and used the proceeds from the Hood route to pay tuition at Boston College. In the late 1960s Markey was cited by the Lexington Police for the ringing of his bell to announce the ice cream truck’s presence. Soon after the citation, the selectmen of Lexington changed the ordinance and he was allowed to ring his bell.[7]

Markey graduated from Boston College in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts and from Boston College Law School in 1972 with a Juris Doctor.[8]

Career

Edward Markey, 1975

After graduating, Markey worked as a lawyer in private practice. He served in the United States Army Reserve from 1968 to 1973, attaining the rank of Specialist Fourth Class.[9] He joined while a junior in college, and has said that he enlisted before knowing whether he would receive a Vietnam War draft notice.[9][a] Markey also said that even though he opposed the war, he would have answered the induction notice and gone to Vietnam if he had been drafted, despite having secured a position in the Reserve.[9] His South Boston reserve unit included Thomas P. O’Neill III, Steve Grossman, and Markey’s brothers Richard and John.[9][11]

Markey was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he represented the 16th Middlesex district (Malden and Melrose) and 26th Middlesex district from 1973 to 1976.[12][13]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

Markey during the 101st United States Congress (1989)

On May 21, 1976, incumbent Congressman Torbert Macdonald died in office.[14] Markey, who had just been elected to a third term in the state house, entered a twelve-candidate Democratic primary[15] 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.[16] In the November 1976 election he defeated Republican Richard Daly 77%–18%.[17] 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 first elected in 1976.

Markey has been challenged in a Democratic primary three times, first in 1980, when he won 85%;[18] then in 1984, when he won 54%;[19] and finally in 2002, when he won 85% of the vote.[20]

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.[21][22] His district was renumbered the 5th after the 2010 census, in which Massachusetts lost a district.

Tenure

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.[23]

Environment and energy

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.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26][27]

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,[28] Markey wrote an article criticizing Palin’s inaction on global warming and her environmental positions.[29]

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 that “scientists agree Arctic ice is a canary in a coal mine that provides clear warnings on climate”.[30][31] 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.”[32]

In January 2011, House Republicans eliminated the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming, which Nancy Pelosi created in 2006 and Markey chaired.[33]

Objection to the 2004 presidential election

Markey was one of the 31 House Democrats who voted not to count Ohio’s 20 electoral votes in the 2004 presidential election.[34] George W. Bush had won Ohio by 118,457 votes.[35] Without Ohio’s electoral votes, the election would have been decided by the U.S. House of Representatives, with each state having one vote, as dictated by the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Domestic initiatives

Markey introduced legislation to change the duration of Daylight Saving Time[36] and to increasing privacy controls over children online.[37]

Markey drew some controversy through his proposal to introduce legislation[38] 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,[39] and contrary to studies that affirmed the safety of roller coasters in general.[40]

In 2009, Markey sponsored the Internet Freedom Preservation Act to enact principles of net neutrality.[41] The proposed legislation received support from a few dozen co-sponsors and public interest organizations but ultimately died in committee before enactment.[42]

Rep. Markey (R) with Chinese Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun (L) and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (C) in May 2009. Behind them is a Hexie Hao train on the Beijing–Tianjin Intercity Railway.

National defense

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.[43] In 2007, he succeeded in getting a 100% air cargo screening requirement signed into law.[44] In the law codifying the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, Markey wrote the mandate requiring all cargo on passenger planes to be screened.[45]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate

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.[46] 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.[47]

Elections

2013 special election

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.[48] Several politicians, including Kerry, endorsed Markey even before the Senate confirmed Kerry.[49] On April 30, 2013, Markey won the Democratic nomination by defeating fellow Congressman Stephen Lynch in the primary election.[50] 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.[51][52]

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.[53][54] 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.[55]

2014

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

2020

In the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Markey endorsed fellow Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.[56] After Warren withdrew in early 2020, he endorsed Joe Biden.[57]

Several Massachusetts Democrats announced primary challenges to Markey in the September 1, 2020 election,[58] but all but 4th district Representative Joe Kennedy III dropped out, leaving Kennedy as the sole challenger.[59] On September 13, 2019, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with whom Markey has collaborated on the proposed Green New Deal, endorsed Markey.[60][61]

Markey defeated Kennedy with 55.6% of the vote, with overwhelming margins in Boston and the surrounding suburbs, including Kennedy’s Newton, and in the college towns of Western Massachusetts. The primary race was seen by many as a showdown between the Democratic establishment, represented by Kennedy, and its new and growing progressive wing, embodied by Markey.[62] Despite the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee‘s longstanding opposition to Democratic primary challengers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed Kennedy, whose fundraising and campaigning efforts she credited for returning the House to Democratic control in the 2018 midterm elections.[63] Meanwhile, Markey had the support of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Ocasio-Cortez, and the youth-led Sunrise Movement founded in 2017 to promote the Green New Deal as a solution to the climate crisis.[63][64][65][66]

Markey defeated Republican Kevin O’Connor in the general election.

Tenure

Senator Markey attending the Greater Boston Labor Council’s 2015 annual Labor Day Breakfast in Boston.

Markey resigned his House seat on July 15, 2013, and was sworn into the Senate on July 16.[67] Although he is the dean of the Massachusetts delegation, he is the state’s junior Senator, since Elizabeth Warren took office six months before he did.

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.[68]

Markey was on Capitol Hill to participate in the 2021 United States Electoral College vote count when Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. During the attack, he and his staff sheltered in place in an undisclosed location. During the siege, he tweeted, “Donald Trump is responsible for the coup that is unfolding at the Capitol. He is a fascist and a direct threat to our country.”[69] After the Capitol was secure, Markey tweeted that Trump should be impeached.[70] When Congress returned to count the electoral votes, Markey gave his remarks, calling Republicans who objected to the count seditious.[71] The next day, he called for the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution to be invoked.[72]

Committee assignments

Political positions

Abortion

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.”[74]

Antitrust, competition and corporate regulation

In June 2019, Markey was one of six Democrats led by Amy Klobuchar who signed letters to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice recounting that many of them had “called on both the FTC and the Justice Department to investigate potential anticompetitive activity in these markets, particularly following the significant enforcement actions taken by foreign competition enforcers against these same companies” and requesting that each agency confirm whether it had opened antitrust investigations into each of the companies and pledge that it would publicly release any such investigation’s findings.[75]

Child care

In 2019, Markey and 34 other senators introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act, a bill that they claim would create 770,000 new child care jobs and ensure that families making less than 75% of the state median income would not pay for child care, with higher-earning families having to pay “their fair share for care on a sliding scale, regardless of the number of children they have.” The legislation also supports universal access to high-quality preschool programs for all 3- and 4-year-olds and changes child care compensation and training.[76]

Children’s programming

In 2019, after the Federal Communications Commission announced changes to the Children’s Television Act of 1990, Markey and eight other Democratic senators signed a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai that expressed concern that the proposed changes “would limit the reach of educational content available to children and have a particular damaging effect on youth in low-income and minority communities” and asserted that the new rules would decrease access to valuable educational content through over-the-air services.[77]

Climate change

Senator 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.[78] In 2019, the League of Conservation Voters, which works to elect pro-environment candidates, endorsed Markey.[79]

Markey is the Senate author of the Green New Deal.[80] 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.[81] 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.[82][83]

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, a group that 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.[84]

COVID-19 vaccine equity

Markey proposed that the COVID-19 vaccine be distributed to underserved areas and communities of color as a priority for racial justice. He said on February 20, 2021, “Even though Black and Hispanic residents have borne the brunt of this pandemic here in Massachusetts and all across the country, these communities are not receiving the vaccine in proportion to their share of their population.”[85]

Disaster relief

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.[86][87]

Drug policy

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.”[88]

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.”[89]

Economy

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.”[90]

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.”[91]

Foreign policy

In October 2017, Markey condemned the genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar.[92]

In 2018, Markey was a cosponsor of the Countering the Chinese Government and Communist Party’s Political Influence Operations Act, a bill introduced by Marco Rubio and Catherine Cortez Masto that would grant the U.S. Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) the authority to create an interagency task force with the purpose of examining Chinese attempts to influence the U.S. and key allies.[93]

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.[94] 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.”[95]

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.”[96]

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.[97]

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.[98]

In October 2020, Markey accused Turkey, a NATO ally, of inciting war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh and called on the Trump administration to immediately suspend U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan[99] sent through the Pentagon‘s “building partner assistance program.”[100][101] According to critics, the aid could be used in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.[100][102] He co-signed a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that read: “If Turkey is unwilling to step back from active engagement in the conflict, then the State Department should immediately suspend all sales and transfers of military equipment to Ankara.”[99]

Iraq War

On October 10, 2002, Markey voted in favor of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, authorizing the use of the United States Armed Forces against Saddam Hussein‘s government in what became Operation Iraqi Freedom.[103] As of March 2020, Markey has said that voting for the authorization was a “mistake”, and that he did so because “George Bush lied, Donald Rumsfeld lied, Dick Cheney lied to the American people about the presence of nuclear weapons in Iraq. I’m still angry about that lie to the American people.”[104]

Government shutdown

In March 2019, Markey and 38 other senators signed a letter to the Appropriations Committee opining that contractor workers and by extension their families “should not be penalized for a government shutdown that they did nothing to cause” while noting that there were bills in both chambers of Congress that if enacted would provide back pay to compensate contractor employees for lost wages. The letter urged the Appropriations Committee “to include back pay for contractor employees in a supplemental appropriations bill for FY2019 or as part of the regular appropriations process for FY2020.”[105]

Gun law

Markey supports gun control, including improved background checks, ending illegal gun trafficking, and closing loopholes on gun purchases.[106]
In 2015 he proposed a “smart gun” bill that aimed to equip handguns with technology making them usable by only the purchaser.[107]

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.”[108]

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.[109]

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.”[110] He co-sponsored a proposal to ban bump stocks, which make semi-automatic weapons act like automatic weapons.[111]

In November 2017, Markey was a cosponsor of the Military Domestic Violence Reporting Enhancement Act, a bill to create a charge of domestic violence under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and stipulate that convictions must be reported to federal databases to keep abusers from purchasing firearms within three days in an attempt to close a loophole in the UCMJ whereby convicted abusers retain the ability to purchase firearms.[112]

In January 2019, Markey was one of 40 senators to introduce the Background Check Expansion Act, a bill that would require background checks for either the sale or transfer of all firearms, including unlicensed sellers. Exceptions to the bill’s background check requirement included transfers between members of law enforcement, loaning firearms for either hunting or sporting events on a temporary basis, giving firearms to members of one’s immediate family, firearms being transferred as part of an inheritance, or giving a firearm to another person temporarily for immediate self-defense.[113]

Health care

Markey supports the creation of a single-payer federal healthcare program.[114] In September 2017, he was one of 16 senators to cosponsor the 2017 Medicare for All Act introduced by Bernie Sanders, which proposes establishing a federal health insurance program by expanding Medicare coverage to all United States residents.[115]

In June 2019, Markey was one of eight senators to cosponsor the Territories Health Equity Act of 2019, legislation that would remove the cap on annual federal Medicaid funding and increase federal matching rate for Medicaid expenditures of territories along with providing more funds for prescription drug coverage to low-income seniors in an attempt to equalize funding for American territories Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands with that of U.S. states.[116]

Housing

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.[117]

Immigration

In July 2019, following reports that the Trump administration intended to cease protecting spouses, parents and children of active-duty service members from deportation, Markey was one of 22 senators led by Tammy Duckworth to sign a letter arguing that the protection gave service members the ability “to fight for the United States overseas and not worry that their spouse, children, or parents will be deported while they are away” and that its termination would both cause service members personal hardship and negatively affect their combat performance.[118]

Also in July 2019, Markey and 15 other Senate Democrats introduced the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act, which would require, except in special circumstances, that ICE agents get approval from a supervisor before engaging in enforcement actions at sensitive locations, and that agents receive annual training in addition to reporting annually on enforcement actions in those locations.[119]

Internet

Internet security

On October 27, 2006, Markey called for the arrest of security researcher Christopher Soghoian for creating a website to generate fake boarding passes.[120] At 2AM on October 28, 2006, FBI agents raided Soghoian’s home to seize computers and other materials.[121]

On October 29, 2006, Markey issued a statement revising his previous comments, stating that the Department of Homeland Security should instead “put him to work showing public officials how easily our security can be compromised”. The statement was critical of Soghoian’s disclosure method—deeming it “ill-considered”—but also said that “he should not go to jail for his bad judgment”.[122]

Net neutrality

Markey speaks at a rally on Net Neutrality in 2017

In May 2014, days before the FCC was scheduled to rewrite its net neutrality rules, Markey was one of 11 senators to sign a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler arguing that Wheeler’s proposal would destroy net neutrality and urging the FCC to “consider reclassifying Internet providers to make them more like traditional phone companies, over which the agency has clear authority to regulate more broadly.”[123]

In September 2017, Markey was one of nine senators to sign a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai accusing the FCC of 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.”[124]

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 when 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 wrote, “Lifeline reaches more Americans in need of access to communication services.”[125]

Internet privacy

In February 2019, Markey, Richard Blumenthal, and Josh Hawley sent Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a letter about Project Atlas and its relevance to “longstanding concerns that Facebook has used its products to deeply intrude into personal privacy.”[126]

Labor

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.[127]

LGBT rights

In 1996, Markey voted against the Defense of Marriage Act.[128]

In September 2014, Markey was one of 69 members of the US House and Senate to sign a letter to then-FDA commissioner Sylvia Burwell requesting that the FDA revise its policy banning donation of corneas and other tissues by men who have had sex with another man in the preceding 5 years.[129][130]

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.”[131]

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.”[132]

In June 2019, Markey was one of 18 senators to sign a letter to Pompeo requesting an explanation of a State Department decision not to issue an official statement that year commemorating Pride Month nor to issue the annual cable outlining activities for embassies commemorating Pride Month. They also asked why the LGBTI special envoy position remained vacant and asserted that “preventing the official flying of rainbow flags and limiting public messages celebrating Pride Month signals to the international community that the United States is abandoning the advancement of LGBTI rights as a foreign policy priority.”[133]

Military

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.”[134]

Nuclear waste

In July 2019, Markey was an original cosponsor of the Sensible, Timely Relief for America’s Nuclear Districts’ Economic Development (STRANDED) Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Susan Collins and Tammy Duckworth that would give local government entities economic impact grants to offset the economic impact of stranded nuclear waste, form a task force to identify existing funding that could be used to benefit communities, and form a competitive innovative solutions prize competition to aid those communities in their search for alternatives to “nuclear facilities, generating sites, and waste sites.”[135]

Opioids

In February 2017, Markey and 30 other senators signed a letter to Kaléo Pharmaceuticals in response to an increase of the opioid-overdose-reversing device Evzio’s price from $690 in 2014 to $4,500. They requested the detailed price structure for Evzio, the number of devices Kaléo Pharmaceuticals set aside for donation, and the totality of federal reimbursements Evzio received in the previous year.[136]

In March 2017, Markey led 21 senators who signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that said that 12% of adult Medicaid beneficiaries had some form or a substance abuse disorder, that one-third of treatment for opioid and other substance use disorders in the United States is financed by Medicaid, and that the American Health Care Act could “very literally translate into a death spiral for those with opioid use disorders” due to inadequate funding, often resulting in individuals abandoning substance use disorder treatment.[137]

Pipelines

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.”[138]

Public transportation

Markey advocates making public transit fare-free. In June 2020, he and Representative Ayanna Pressley co-authored the Freedom to Move Act, which would offer $5 billion in annual competitive grants to transit agencies that offer fare-free transit access. Markey argues that fare-free public transportation would help “provide low-income workers, families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities with improved access to jobs, education, medical care, and other critical services.”[139][140]

Railroad safety

In June 2019, Markey was one of ten senators to cosponsor the Safe Freight Act, a bill that would require freight trains to have one or more certified conductors and a certified engineer on board who can collaborate on how to protect the train and people living near the tracks. The legislation was meant to correct a Federal Railroad Administration rollback of a proposed rule intended to establish safety standards.[141]

State Department

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.[142]

Supreme Court

In April 2021, Markey sponsored a bill in the Senate to expand the Supreme Court of the United States from nine to 13 justices.[143]

Recognition

Markey received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Tufts University in May 2019.[144]

Personal life

Since 1988, Markey has been married to 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.[145] From 2005 to 2017, he was a contributing writer for The Huffington Post.[146] 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.[147]

Electoral history

Notes

  1. ^ Markey was not drafted. His birth date corresponded to number 248 in the 1969 military draft. The highest number called up for military service was 195.[10]

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