Ed Markey (Dem) U.S. House District 7 - Issues
Ed Markey believes that all Americans deserve access to high quality healthcare and is committed to making universal healthcare a reality. As a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over health issues, Ed has worked tirelessly to advance biomedical research, ensure the safety of prescription drugs, help children gain access to medical devices designed for their bodies. He has also provided national leadership working to improve the lives of patients suffering from chronic diseases. Ed also co-founded the Bipartisan, Bicameral Taskforce on Alzheimer's Disease in 1999 and the Bipartisan Cystic Fibrosis Caucus in 2006.
Ed believes that research is medicine's field of dreams through which we can harvest cures for the most devastating diseases affecting our nation's families. As the leading voice in the House for increasing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget, Ed leads a bipartisan coalition that advocates for increased funding for the NIH. Since 2003, the Bush administration has cut the NIH budget and Ed has worked to defend the NIH from the threat posed by this devastating decline in funding. In 2006, Ed was one of only two members of Congress to vote against the NIH reauthorization in the House because of its inadequate funding for lifesaving research. In large part because of Ed's leadership and advocacy, the final NIH bill included higher levels of funding for research.
Ed is also strong supporter of stem cell research. Ed believes we must unleash innovation for our nation's scientists to explore new scientific frontiers by committing significant federal funding to unlock the promise of stem cell research. Ed has consistently voted to lift the Bush administration's prohibitions on stem cell research. He also co-authored a bill to promote Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer which many scientists believe will be critical to developing personalized medicine and treatments from stem cells.
Since 2004, when Ed learned that some drug companies were hiding negative clinical trial results from patients and their doctors, he has advocated requiring all companies to register all of their trials in a national database and make all of their trial results (good and bad) available to the public. In 2007, Ed's bill to create a clinical trials registry became law. In that same FDA reform bill, Ed also authored provisions to encourage the development of medical devices designed specifically for children. While children suffer from many of the same diseases as adults, children's bodies are different, and they require specialized medical devices to meet their unique needs. Ed's bill, which is now law, will help children get access to medical devices that are designed for their bodies so doctors are not forced to just "jury-rig" adult devices for kids.
Ed Markey understands that one of the most important roles the federal government can play is that of economic engine, leveraging public with private funds to revitalize urban and suburban areas. From his earliest days as a member of Congress, Ed Markey has worked tirelessly to secure targeted economic development dollars for downtown redevelopment and other projects important to the communities in the 7th District.
Here are just a few examples:
-- Ed Markey has been a great partner to cities and towns who have developed visionary downtown redevelopment and transportation infrastructure plans for their communities. In just the past several years, Ed Markey has secured nearly $30 million to assist with community projects like: downtown redevelopment in Malden and Medford; redevelopment of the Wonderland station area in Revere; continued operation of the LIFT transportation system in Framingham; main roadway improvements in Arlington, Watertown, Natick, Waltham, Stoneham, and Woburn; historic preservation in Melrose and Framingham; law enforcement activities in Melrose, Everett, and through the NEMLEC regional law enforcement group.
-- Ed Markey has secured millions more for local colleges and universities, hospitals, and 7th District companies engaged in high tech research and development in health, homeland security, and defense-related areas. Some of the projects supported include: contributions toward the effort to build a new emergency department at Whidden Hospital in Everett, and funding for the National Center for Genomics at Brandeis University.
-- Since the 1990s and through today, Ed Markey has been working with state, local, and federal officials to ensure the continued viability of the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center at Natick (Natick Labs) and Hanscom Air Force Base. Over the past 5 years, Ed Markey has secured $12 million to enhance the mission at Natick with monies for a new food lab, thermal lab, and textile center of excellence. Ed Markey, the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, and state officials scored a huge victory when both Natick and Hanscom were spared from the 2005 round of the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Combined, Natick and Hanscom are estimated to contribute almost $4 billion in economic activity to the state of Massachusetts. The economic impact is most dramatic in Natick and the four communities surrounding Hanscom (Lexington, Lincoln, Bedford, and Concord), but it extends as well to Waltham, Framingham, and many other communities in New England.
-- After the 1995 BRAC, and thanks largely to efforts by Congressman Markey and MetroWest businesses and community leaders, Natick actually gained 162 jobs. That same year, Hanscom AFB was retained as a vital command and control center for the Air Force.
-- The "River's Edge" project, formerly TeleCom City, a cooperative "brownfields" development on the site in Everett, Malden, Medford abandoned by General Electric in the 1980s, has seen millions of federal and state dollars invested for transportation infrastructure improvements, environmental mitigation, and redevelopment initiatives. Congressman Markey has been working closely with the Mayors and other officials in Everett, Malden, and Medford to promote this important mixed-use development. The project has earned national recognition as an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "Showcase Community," and has contributed to an educational renaissance in the three communities.
-- Through his longstanding perseverance, and with the assistance of former Mayor George Colella and numerous other Revere city officials, Revere Beach, the nation's oldest public beach was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003. That designation, combined with the millions of federal dollars Ed Markey has secured over the years for beach re-nourishment, Roughan's Point flood mitigation, and most recently millions for improvements to the Wonderland MBTA station, serve as an important financial shot in the arm to help the local economy in Revere.
-- In addition to this recent funding, Ed Markey secured $16 million for 7th District projects as part of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) in 1998 - for projects in Malden, Medford, Everett, Melrose, Revere and Framingham.
-- In his first days in Congress in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Congressman Markey fought for and won Urban Development Action Grants for development projects in Malden, Melrose, and Medford.
In addition to these local initiatives, Congressman Markey's legislative career has been focused on policy initiatives that foster competition and break down monopolies in the telecommunications and electricity industries, and that spur research and development in environment, telecommunications, medical research and defense. These initiatives are vitally important to the Massachusetts economy and all of its workers and employers. Congressman Markey is looking forward to continuing to pursue an aggressive economic development agenda in the Democrat-led 110th Congress.
Energy Independence and Global Warming
An environmental champion, Ed Markey has provided pioneering leadership in protection our environment, in the fight against global warming and in creating a roadmap for energy independence in the United States. Twenty eight years ago, Ed Markey laid out his vision for an energy independent future in his speech to the 1980 Democratic National Convention (read Ed's 1980 convention speech) and he continues to lead the charge for a clean energy future in Congress today.
Throughout his 34 years in Congress, Ed has fought in both the Energy & Commerce Committee and the Natural Resources Committee to preserve the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to protect our planet from climate change, and to recover a fair amount in royalties from the oil companies when they drill on public lands. In 1987, Ed Markey led the effort to pass the landmark National Appliance Energy Conservation Act, which has eliminated the need for hundreds of large carbon-emitting electric power plants by setting minimum energy efficiency standards for major energy-consuming household appliances such as air-conditioners, refrigerators and washer-dryers. He fought to mandate additional appliance standards in 1992, 2005, and 2009.
Ed is a close friend and ally of Nancy Pelosi so when she took the Speaker's gavel in 2007, she asked Ed to take the lead on her signature issue: saving the planet from the existential threat of climate change and named him as the Chairman of her new Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee.
That year, after more than a decade of effort, Ed was able to pass the first Congressional increase in fuel economy standards in 32 years. This will raise the fuel economy standards of our vehicles from 25 miles per gallon to 35 miles per gallon. When fully implemented, the efficiency improvements in this bill, along with the biofuels mandate, will back out the equivalent of all the oil we currently import from the Persian Gulf.
Since 2007, Ed has had over 50 hearings in the Select Committee to build the case for passing a global warming and energy bill that will finally deal with the economic and environmental threats from our dirty and outdated energy systems. That year, Ed was the author of a bill to recover $14 billion in unnecessary tax breaks given to the oil and gas industry and redirect that money to a new fund to foster innovation in the use of energy efficiency and renewable and alternative fuels.
In 2009, Ed added a second key chairmanship, when he became Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce's Energy and Environment Subcommittee, which has legislative jurisdiction over the Energy Department, the EPA, the NRC, and the FERC.
On June 26, 2009, because of Ed's tremendous leadership, the House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act- the most important energy and environmental bill in the history of the United States.