Democrat Rep. Ed Markey, who entered Congress during the Nixon Administration, has voted to increase his own salary at least six different times. Markey is a candidate in the special election to fill former Sen. John Kerry’s Senate seat. A consummate political insider, Markey faces businessman Gabriel Gomez in the surprisingly competitive race.
Markey’s nearly 40 years in Congress have witnessed a massive run-up in the national debt. According to National Taxpayers Union, in just the last decade, Markey has sponsored or co-sponsored legislation that would increase federal spending by $2.6 Trillion. He also hasn’t been shy about spending federal money to boost his own salary.
In 1989, Markey voted to boost his Congressional salary by almost 40%. The vote lifted his salary from $89,500 to $125,000. In subsequent years, Markey voted at least five more times to add various cost-of-living adjustments to his pay. Today, a Congressman receives $174,000 a year in salary, more than three times the median household income.
The special election is just over two weeks away, onJune 25. Markey had been expected to win the race comfortably, given the strong Democrat tilt of Massachusetts. He clings, however, to a very narrow lead in most polls. Gomez, his opponent, is a former Navy Seal and successful businessman. A son of legal immigrants, Gomez offers voters a new voice in Washington.
Markey is an embodiment of the permanent political class that has captured Washington. On his watch, government spending and regulation have spiraled out of control. His positions, however, would have increased both even more. His elevation to the Senate would maintain the status quo in DC. It would also provide yet another vote to increase Congressional pay.