When Ed Markey passed the most sweeping judicial reform legislation in the history of Massachusetts as a freshman State Representative, the powerful interests who controlled the State House Chamber moved his desk out into the hall. It was the first time Ed Markey showed his courage in political office, but it wouldn’t be the last.
Senator Ed Markey is a passionate voice for the families and future of Massachusetts. First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976 as one of its youngest members, Ed has built a powerful, progressive legislative record in Congress by standing up for families, fighting the special interests and making an important difference for people in Massachusetts and our country. Now Ed continues his prolific legislative efforts and strong advocacy in the U.S. Senate since winning the special election held on June 25th, 2013 to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat formerly held by John F. Kerry, who is now serving as Secretary of the U.S. Department of State.
In the Senate, Ed is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, where he serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, International Environmental Protection, and Peace Corps. In addition, Ed serves on the U.S. Senate Committees on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In recognition of his national leadership on environmental issues, Ed was named Chair of the Senate Climate Change Clearinghouse. Having served with more than 50 current Senators when they were in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ed has a strong bipartisan network of relationships that fuels his ability to get things done for his constituents.
Already, Ed has made his mark. The first bill Ed introduced in the U.S. Senate would create thousands of jobs and quadruple America’s clean electricity production. It requires that a minimum of 25 percent of electricity come from renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal by 2025. After Ed released a report showing how outdated, leaky natural gas pipelines are costing consumers billions and releasing harmful pollution that adds to global warming, he introduced legislation in the Senate to promote the modernization of our nation’s natural gas infrastructure, creating jobs, lowering costs for consumers and fixing the leaks that contribute to global warming pollution.
After tainted steroid medications produced at the New England Compounding Company (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts triggered a deadly meningitis outbreak that killed more than 60 people and sickened hundreds more, Ed was the first legislator in Congress to bring this health threat to the public’s attention, introducing a bill when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives to crack down on these abuses. After Ed was sworn in as a Senator, the Senate passed, and President Obama signed into law, a bipartisan compounding pharmacy reform bill. This legislation contained many of the provisions in Ed’s House of Representatives’ bill. In the House, Ed co-authored an important bi-partisan bill to ensure the supply of helium gas needed for MRI machines and other critical technologies required in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that affect many Americans, and then the Senate passed a similar bill that President Obama signed into law.
As a U.S. Senator, Ed has also fought successfully for the release of more than $450 million in funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that helps needy families in Massachusetts and around the country pay their heating and cooling bills. Additionally, Ed played a major role in securing $75 million in funding for disaster relief for fisherman struggling to make ends meet.
Ed is a national leader on energy and environmental issues. He stood up to BP when it caused the worst offshore oil spill in American history. He worked successfully to increase fuel economy standards to save consumers money at the gas pump and reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. In 2009, Ed co-authored the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act — landmark legislation to protect our environment and invest in clean energy sources. It is the only piece of legislation to combat global warming ever to pass a chamber of Congress.
A cornerstone of Ed’s work has been to promote an innovation economy in Massachusetts and across America. Whether you are a consumer seeking more choices at competitive prices for you and your family or an entrepreneur looking for a level playing field to launch your new idea or business, you have a champion in Ed Markey. Ed has been a leading advocate for consumers, taking on and breaking up monopolies in the cable television, telephone, and electricity markets. With his deep knowledge of telecommunications policy and his strong commitment to ensuring openness and competition in these industries, Ed has been at the forefront and frontlines in Congress to build America’s high-tech economy and create new jobs. He is a powerful champion for net neutrality, public broadcasting and improving access to technology for individuals with disabilities. Ed served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet in the US House of Representatives.
As Chairman of the Telecommunications and Finance Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ed wrote landmark Wall Street reform laws to protect consumers including statutes that toughened penalties for insider trading, strengthened federal oversight over the stock and futures markets, and improved regulation of the government securities market.
Ed has also made strengthening our homeland security a top priority focusing particularly on issues of nuclear, air and maritime cargo, liquefied natural gas and chemical security. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Ed was selected by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on a newly-created Homeland Security Committee where Ed authored major pieces of legislation, including the first-ever law to require the screening of all the billions of pounds of air cargo carried on passenger planes each year and the scanning of all the maritime cargo shipped to our country from overseas. Ed is the Congressional leader on nuclear nonproliferation, leading the nuclear freeze movement and continuing to spearhead efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
Ed knows how important Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are to millions of Americans, and he fights to protect these vital programs. Ed is also a powerful voice for increased investments in health research to prevent and find cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and other deadly illnesses. As Co-Founder of the Alzheimer’s Task Force, Ed wrote the bill creating the first national strategy aimed at curing Alzheimer’s Disease that President Obama signed into law in January 2011. Ed authored the Independence at Home demonstration program, an innovative initiative for improving the quality of health care for Medicare patients with multiple chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes and congestive heart failure. Ed’s program was signed into law as part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Throughout his career, Ed has stood up for Massachusetts, doing what’s right for the people he represents. He is a prolific legislator and has a proven record of working in a bipartisan manner. Ed brings passion and energy to take on the most important issues facing Massachusetts families and our country.
Ed is from Malden, Massachusetts. His father drove a truck for the Hood Milk Company and worked his way up to supervisor. His mother graduated first in her high school class, but left school to care for her sisters after their mother’s death. On Townsend Street in Malden, Ed’s mother and father taught him the values that still guide him today: fairness, honesty, integrity, and giving back to your community and country.
Ed graduated from Malden Catholic High School. He was the first in his family to go to college and worked his way through Boston College driving an ice cream truck. He then graduated Boston College Law School and served in the Massachusetts State Legislature for two terms until he was elected to Congress in 1976. Ed is the recipient of numerous awards including honorary doctorates for his important contributions to improving the lives of people in Massachusetts and America.
Ed is married to Dr. Susan Blumenthal. Devoted to the Pats, Sox, Celtics and Bruins, with an accent that’s hard to miss, Ed Markey is Massachusetts through and through.