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Ed Markey on Corporations

Democratic Representative (MA-7)

 


90% tax on executive bonuses at companies receiving TARP

On March 19, Markey spoke from the House floor as one of three dozen cosponsors of HR 1586, the bill that would levy a 90% tax on bonuses for any executive of a company receiving at least $5 billion in TARP finds who made more than $250,000. "This is March Madness," he intoned. "You don't blow the big game and then still get a trophy. Not one single penny of taxpayer funds should be used to reward the reckless executives whose irresponsible risk-taking has done massive damage to our economy. And this bill will ensure that they are not rewarded."

Markey could bid fair claim to being farther ahead of the curve on the financial crisis than almost any elected official in Washington [having previously] introduced the Derivatives Market Reform Act of 1994.

Source: Confidence Men, by Ron Suskind, p.239 , Sep 20, 2011

Voted NO on more funding for nanotechnology R&D and commercialization.

Congressional Summary:Extends funding for research and development topics, nanotechnology, project commercialization, prioritization of applications, and federal administration and oversight.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. NYDIA VELÁZQUEZ (D, NY-12): We need jobs that cannot be shipped overseas and will not evaporate in the next cycle of boom and bust. But those jobs aren't going to appear out of thin air. They need to be created. By expanding existing industries and unlocking new ones, H.R. 2965 will generate the jobs we need. Job creation is the primary goal of R&D. But in order to generate new positions, we have to first develop new industries. Commercialization is critical to that process.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. ED MARKEY (D, MA-7): I must oppose this bill because I have serious concerns about allowing SBIR awards to go to an unlimited number of businesses owned or controlled by venture capital (VC) firms. The SBIR program, responsible for over 60,000 patents, has always focused on innovation from truly small businesses for whom commercial capital market funding is typically not an option. However, with the change made in this bill, the SBIR program would be wide open to applicants that already are well-capitalized due to VC participation, crowding out the small businesses that have been the focus of the highly successful SBIR program.

While I support VC participation in the SBIR program, enabling an unlimited amount of large VC majority-owned firms to qualify for SBIR funding calls into question whether this program, intended for genuinely small businesses, is, in fact, still focused on these firms.

We should do everything in our power to strengthen small businesses that generate 70% of new jobs in our country. H.R 2965 does not do enough to ensure that small businesses are the focus of the SBIR program, and therefore I cannot support the bill.

Reference: Enhancing Small Business Research and Innovation Act; Bill S.1233&H.R.2965 ; vote number 2009-H486 on Jul 8, 2009

Voted YES on allowing stockholder voting on executive compensation.

To amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to provide shareholders with an advisory vote on executive compensation [and as part of that process, fully disclosing executive compensation].

Proponents support voting YES because:

We should not deprive the public, the stockholders, from being able to do anything meaningful once they find out about scandalous levels of executive compensation or board compensation. Everyone talks about the corporate board as the remedy. But the board is often a part of the problem, being paid huge amounts of money for showing up once or twice a year at meetings.

Give the stockholders a meaningful remedy. Once you get the mandatory disclosure put in place by previous legislation, we are saying the stockholders should be allowed to have a referendum on that and not have a runaround by the board.

Opponents support voting NO because:

This vote is based on mischaracterization--it is an unnecessary amendment. The opportunity for these kinds of votes already exists within the structure of corporate governance right now. A good company from Georgia, AFLAC, went ahead and already has these nonbinding shareholder votes. But there is a difference between having individuals in the private sector, shareholders and individuals outside of the mandating of government to have it occur and have government come in with its heavy hand and say, this is exactly what you need to do because we know best. Our constituents know better how to act and how to relate to corporations than Washington.

Reference: Shareholder Vote on Executive Compensation Act; Bill H R 1257 ; vote number 2007-244 on Apr 20, 2007

Voted NO on replacing illegal export tax breaks with $140B in new breaks.

Vote to pass a bill that would repeal an export tax break for U.S. manufacturers ruled an illegal trade subsidy by the World Trade Organization, while providing for about $140 billion in new corporate tax cuts. Revenue raising offsets would decrease the cost of the bill to $34.4 billion over 11 years. It would consist of a buyout for tobacco farmers that could not go over $9.6 billion. It also would allow the IRS to hire private collection agencies to get back money from taxpayers, and require individuals who claim a tax deduction for a charitable donation of a vehicle to obtain an independent appraisal of the car.
Reference: American Jobs Creation Act; Bill HR 4520 ; vote number 2004-259 on Jun 17, 2004

Voted NO on Bankruptcy Overhaul requiring partial debt repayment.

Vote to pass a bill that would make it easier for courts to change debtors from Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which allows most debts to be dismissed, to Chapter 13, which requires a repayment plan.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Gekas, R-PA; Bill HR 333 ; vote number 2001-25 on Mar 1, 2001

Rated 20% by the US COC, indicating an anti-business voting record.

Markey scores 20% by US Chamber of Commerce on business policy

Whether you own a business, represent one, lead a corporate office, or manage an association, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of AmericaSM provides you with a voice of experience and influence in Washington, D.C., and around the globe.

Our members include businesses of all sizes and sectors—from large Fortune 500 companies to home-based, one-person operations. In fact, 96% of our membership encompasses businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

Mission Statement:

"To advance human progress through an economic, political and social system based on individual freedom, incentive, initiative, opportunity, and responsibility."
The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: COC website 03n-COC on Dec 31, 2003

Rated 100% by UFCW, indicating an anti-management/pro-labor record.

Markey scores 100% by UFCW on labor-management issues

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is North America's Neighborhood Union--1.3 million members with UFCW locals in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Our members work in supermarkets, drug stores, retail stores, meatpacking and meat processing plants, food processing plants, and manufacturing workers who make everything from fertilizer to shoes. We number over 60,000 strong with 25,000 workers in chemical production and 20,000 who work in garment and textile industries.

    The UFCW House scorecard is based on these key votes:
  1. (+) Extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
  2. (+) H. Am. 877 Bishop Am. to HR 3094, penalties for lawsuits against unionization
  3. (+) H. Am. 880 Jackson-Lee Am. to HR 3094, preventing delays in union votes
  4. (-) Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, freezing public salaries
  5. (-) Regulation from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, for less corporate regulation
  6. (-) Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act
  7. (-) Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, letting CEOs fire union organizers
Source: UFCW website 12-UFCW-H on May 2, 2012

Sponsored enforcing against corporate offshore tax haven banking.

Markey co-sponsored Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act

Congressional Summary:Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act: to impose restrictions on foreign jurisdictions or financial institutions operating in the US that are of prime money laundering concern or that significantly impede US tax enforcement.

Proponent's argument for bill: (by Jubilee USA Network, a religious antipoverty organization):

"The religious community couldn't be more pleased with this vital legislation that protects poor people inside and outside our borders. This legislation means that corporations can't rob billions of dollars from poor people across the globe. A critical piece of the legislation is country-by-country reporting of corporate payments to governments. Reporting at this level sheds light on the tax dodging that hurts all of us."

Source: H.R.1554 / S.268 13-H1554 on Apr 15, 2013

Deregulating banks encourages discriminatory practices.

Markey voted NAY Banking Bill

Congressional Summary:

Supporting press release from Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN-6): This legislation will foster economic growth by providing relief to Main Street, tailor regulations for better efficacy, and most importantly it will empower individual Americans and give them more opportunity.

Opposing statement on ProPublica.org from Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY-5): The bill includes many provisions I support: minority-owned banks and credit unions in underserved communities have legitimate regulatory burden concerns. Unfortunately, exempting mortgage disclosures enacted to detect discriminatory practices will only assist the Trump Administration in its overall effort to curtail important civil rights regulations. I simply cannot vote for any proposal that would help this Administration chip away at laws that I and my colleagues worked so hard to enact and preserve.

Legislative outcome: Passed House 258-159-10 on May 22, 2018(Roll call 216); Passed Senate 67-31-2 on March 14, 2018(Roll call 54); Signed by President Trump. May 24, 2018

Source: Congressional vote 16-S2155 on Mar 14, 2018

Reducing tax rates balloons federal deficit & cuts programs.

Markey voted NAY Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Summary by GovTrack.US: (Nov 16, 2017)

Case for voting YES by Heritage Foundation (12/19/17):This is the most sweeping update to the US tax code in more than 30 years. The bill would lower taxes on businesses and individuals and unleash higher wages, more jobs, and untold opportunity through a larger and more dynamic economy. The bill includes many pro-growth features, including a deep reduction in the corporate tax rate, a scaled-back state and local tax deduction, full expensing for five years, and lower individual tax rates.

Case for voting NO by Sierra Club (11/16/17): Republicans have passed a deeply regressive tax plan that will result in painful cuts to core domestic programs, to give billionaires and corporate polluters tax cuts while making American families pay the price. Among the worst provisions:

  • This plan balloons the federal deficit by over $1.5 trillion. Cutting taxes for the rich now means cuts to the federal budget and entitlements later.
  • The bill hampers the booming clean energy economy by ending tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles and for wind and solar energy.
  • The bill opens up the Arctic Refuge to drilling, a thinly veiled giveaway to the fossil fuel industry.

    Legislative outcome: Passed House, 224-201-7, roll call #699 on 12/20; passed Senate 51-48-1, roll call #323 on 12/20; signed by Pres. Trump on 12/22.

    Source: Congressional vote 17-HR1 on Nov 16, 2017

    Restrict corporate use of consumer mandatory arbitration.

    Markey signed restricting corporate use of consumer mandatory arbitration

    Excerpts from Letter from 35 Senators to the CFPB: We write to commend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for its proposed rule to limit the use of mandatory, pre-dispute ("forced") arbitration clauses in consumer financial product and service contracts. Every day, Americans across the country are forced to sign away their constitutional right to access the courts as a condition of purchasing common products and services like credit cards, checking accounts, and private student loans. Binding arbitration is a privatized justice system that studies show consistently produces results that favor large corporations and offers no meaningful appeals process. As a result, consumers are left without redress, and companies are unaccountable for their unscrupulous behavior.

    Opposing freedom argument: (Cato Institute, "ATLA monopoly," May 2002): The trial lawyers new goal is to tighten their monopoly grip on the court system, and prevent the rest of us from choosing a more efficient means of resolving our disputes. Arbitration is simply private court. Lawyers with a vested interest in a monopoly court system are trying to stop the arbitration business from developing. But there's nothing forced or mandatory about it. Contracts are the result of choice. People should be free to choose for themselves what contracts to make and what rights to give up.

    Opposing economic argument: (Heritage Foundation, "The Unfair Attack on Arbitration," July 17, 2013): Any study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should examine whether a limit on arbitration would:

    Source: Letter to CFPB Director 17LTR-CFPB on Aug 4, 2016

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