Washington (December 18, 2015) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after voting against the government spending and tax package.
“Everyone wants the government to remain open and working for America. This spending package includes important raises for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and other federal agencies working to support America’s middle class and working families. This funding will help us in our efforts to find cures to Alzheimer’s and other deadly diseases, combat climate change and implement a comprehensive solution to the opioid epidemic. The tax provisions contain important tax credits for hard-working American families that I have long supported for middle class families, college students, and businesses.
“But this bill also contains a massive giveaway to Big Oil that would be a disaster for our economy, our national security and our environment. This spending package lifts the longstanding crude oil export ban and gives the oil industry yet another permanent windfall while the wind and solar industries are left with tax breaks that will phase out and then be gone. This spending bill hamstrings our clean energy future to protect our dirty energy past. It will be consumers in Massachusetts and across the country who pay the price, literally, for decades to come.
“Big Oil, aided by Congressional Republicans, made lifting the oil export ban their number one priority in budget negotiations. Lifting the ban is an oil-drenched Christmas present for the American people wrapped by Big Oil and delivered by Congressional Republicans. Using this must-pass spending bill to jam through this massive, permanent giveaway to the oil industry is just plain wrong.
“This bill also contains a provision that sacrifices Americans’ privacy under the guise of security. The flawed Cybersecurity Act could open a floodgate of information sharing that would jeopardize Americans’ privacy and put their personal information at risk.We need stronger privacy protections that would ensure personally-identifiable information isn’t compromised, personal information doesn’t flow freely to the National Security Agency, and provide more limited liability protections to companies that share information with the government.”