Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn wants to be elected to the Senate. So, let’s look at her record while serving in the House of Representatives and examine if she has been representing her constituents or corporate lobbyists?
Marsha first was elected to the US House of Representatives in 2002, making her first votes in 2003. Her first vote was a simple Yes to a Resolution against Flag Burning. Her second vote was a Yes to extending Unemployment Benefits. Seems okay, right? Well, after those 2 innocuous votes, Marsha was ready to co-sponsor her first piece of legislation: a bill to Prohibit lawsuits against manufacturers, sellers, or trade associations of food products in federal or state courts in regards to injury caused by a person’s consumption and weight gain, or any associated health issue, except in cases where there is a violation of previously established laws or acts governing food products.
And with this first co-sponsored bill, Marsha Blackburn began what has been a 15 year odyssey in doing any and everything she can do to choose corporations over people. The list is long, so be prepared.
Here is a list of bills Marsha has either co-sponsored or voted “Yes” with regards to protecting corporate power or granting more corporate power:
- Feb 2003: Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit lawsuits to be filed against gun manufacturers or sellers, or ammunition manufacturers or sellers based on the criminal or unlawful misuse of the products.
- March 2003: Vote to pass a bill that would limit the amount of money awarded to plaintiffs and attorneys for medical malpractice cases.
- April 2003: Vote to adopt a conference report on a bill that would change the nation’s energy policies, regarding production, taxes, and operations.
Highlights: Allows oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to expand domestic energy sources.
- April 2003: Vote to pass a bill that would allow federal agencies to shop elsewhere for products traditionally bought from the Federal Prison Industries. (In other words: allowing Privatized Prisons)
- June 2004: Vote to pass a bill that would repeal the foreign sales corporation/extraterritorial income tax system ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other purposes.
Highlights: Provides an estimated $145 billion in new tax reductions to U.S. corporations over the next 10 years. Reduces the corporate tax rate from 35% to 32% for domestic manufacturers and small corporations.
- October 2005: Vote to pass a bill that authorizes the President to designate Federal land for construction of new oil refineries, implements penalties to prevent gasoline suppliers from overcharging consumers, and repeals certain environmental regulations.
- May 2006: Vote to adopt an amendment that removes sections 104, 105, and 106 from HR 5386, thus giving power to the Department of the Interior to provide funds for offshore oil preleasing, leasing, and other activities along the Outer Continental Shelf included in President Clinton’s moratorium statement of 1998.
- June 2006: Vote to pass a bill that amends the Communications Act of 1934 allowing national franchise telecommunication purchasing and provides for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) involvement in enforcing franchise requirements.
Highlights: Allows companies or individuals to acquire national franchises of telecommunications services that would provide cable services in certain areas (Sec. 101).
- June 2006: Vote to adopt an amendment that prevents funds in the Commerce Department FY2007 Appropriation bill from being used to enforce a law requiring guns be sold with locks on guns.
- August 2007: Vote to adopt an amendment that would remove section 726 of HR 3161 and allow funds appropriated in HR 3161 to be used to prohibit the importation of prescription drugs by anyone who is not a legally sanctioned importer of drugs, a wholesaler, or a pharmacist.
- September 2008: Vote to pass a bill that repeals regulations relating to the possession and sale of firearms in Washington, D.C..
- July 2010: Vote to pass a bill that authorizes a debtor in bankruptcy to exempt from the property of his or her estate the aggregate interest in a rifle, shotgun, pistol, or any combination thereof, provided that the value does not exceed $3,000.
- January 2011: Vote pass a bill that repeals the excise tax on medical devices.
Highlights: Repeals the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices previously imposed on manufactures, producers and importers
- February 2011: Vote to pass a bill that requires states to recognize permits issued by another state that authorize the concealed carry of a firearm.
- February 2011: Vote to adopt an amendment to HR 1 that prohibits federal funding for the implementation, administration, or enforcement of certain Department of Education regulations that include, but are not limited to, rules restricting federal financial aid to students at for-profit colleges.
- March 2011: Vote to pass a bill that prohibits federal funding of National Public Radio and the use of federal funds to acquire radio content.
- April 2011: Vote to pass a bill that prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change.
- April 2011: Vote to pass a joint resolution that disapproves a rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to open Internet and broadband industry practices.
- May 2011: Vote to pass a bill that repeals mandatory funding to states to be used for the establishment of health benefit exchanges as appropriated in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
- May 2011: Vote to pass a bill that requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct offshore oil and gas lease sales.
- June 2011: Vote to pass a bill that requires any air quality impact resulting from outer continental shelf oil drilling or exploration activities to be measured or modeled solely with respect to the impacts in the corresponding onshore area.
- July 2011: Vote on a motion to suspend the rules and pass a bill that repeals provisions of the “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007” that increase energy efficiency standards for certain incandescent light bulbs.
- July 2011: Vote to pass a bill that limits the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to impose water quality standards.
- September 2011: Vote to adopt an amendment to HR 2401 that repeals the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule limiting interstate transport of emissions.
- October 2011: Vote to pass a bill that repeals emissions standards for cement manufacturing plants.
- October 2011: Vote to pass a bill that authorizes each state to adopt and implement a coal combustion residuals permit program, and limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate the disposal of coal combustion residuals.
- November 2011: Vote to pass a bill that limits the authority of the National Labor Relations Board with regard to petitions for union representation and union elections, and restricts the number and composition of collective bargaining units.
- February 2012: Vote to pass a bill that authorizes the exploration and development of oil shale and tar sand resources in certain areas.
- June 2012: Vote to pass a bill that establishes a minimum percentage of federal lands that must be available for oil and gas leasing, increases oil and gas lease sales in Alaska and off the coast of Virginia, and delays implementation of certain environmental regulations.
- May 2013: Vote to pass a bill that exempts the Keystone XL pipeline from the requirement of a presidential permit, establishes a deadline for filing claims, and requires the pipeline owners and operators to develop an oil spill response plan.
- November 2013: Vote to pass a bill that amends onshore energy permitting procedures for projects on federal lands, requires lease sales in the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve, and establishes a fee for official protests of Bureau of Land Management decisions.
- December 2013: Vote to pass a bill that expands registration and reporting exemptions to an investment advisor who offers investment advice related to a private equity fund if the private equity fund has not borrowed or does not have an outstanding principal amount in excess of twice its invested capital commitments.
- March 2014: Vote to adopt an amendment to HR 2641 that prohibits the social cost of carbon from being used in an environmental review or decision-making process of a regulatory agency.
- April 2014: Vote to pass a bill that increases the number of hours from 30 to 40 that an employee is required to work per week in order to be considered a full-time employee for the purpose of employer-sponsored health care coverage.
- June 2014: Vote to pass a bill that requires the Secretary of Commerce to approve any pipeline application pending approval unless such approval would not be in United States national security interests.
- June 2014: Vote to pass a bill that expands energy production on federal lands.
- July 2014: Vote to pass a bill that prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from implementing the scope of waters covered under the Clean Water Act.
- July 2014: Vote to adopt an amendment to HR 5016 that prohibits the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from using funds appropriated by this act to prevent states from implementing their own state laws regarding broadband Internet access service.
- November 2014: Vote to pass a bill that authorizes the construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline and cross-border facilities, including any subsequent revisions to the Pipeline route within the State of Nebraska.
- January 2015: Vote to pass a bill that amends the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and reduces the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s regulatory authority over certain businesses.
- April 2015: Vote to pass a bill that prohibits the Federal Communications Commission from regulating the rates charged for broadband internet access.
- July 2015: Vote to pass a bill that prohibits mandatory labeling for food produced from, containing, or consisting of a bio-engineered organism.
- October 2015: Vote to pass a bill that reduces regulations for the development of energy on Native American land.
- January 2016: Vote to pass a bill that expands requirements for individuals in a class action lawsuit and for individuals seeking compensation for exposure to asbestos.
- February 2016: Vote to pass a bill that amends certain nutrition disclosure requirements for restaurants.
- September 2016: Vote to pass a bill that exempts Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) health insurance plans from the requirement to maintain minimum essential health care coverage.
- February 2017: Vote to pass a joint resolution disapproving the Stream Protection Rule.
- March 2017: A vote to pass a bill that authorizes veterans deemed mentally incompetent to buy firearms.
- March 2017: A vote to pass a joint resolution disapproving a rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services.
- June 2017: Vote to pass a bill that repeals and reduces financial regulations from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and establishes new regulations for financial institutions and government agencies.
- June 2017: Vote to pass a bill that limits the damages awarded to plaintiffs in certain civil health care lawsuits.
- July 2017: Vote to pass a bill delaying the compliance date for ground level ozone standards.
- November 2017: Vote to pass a bill that exempts certain micro-offerings from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933.
- February 2018: Vote to pass a bill that amends procedures required for an individual to file a lawsuit against a business for noncompliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- March 2018: A vote to pass a bill that authorizes a delay in the date by which brick makers and residential wood heaters have to comply with emission standards of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- March 2018: Vote to pass a bill that exempts power plants that convert coal refuse into energy from certain Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.
- April 2018: Vote to pass a bill that amends the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to modify testing requirements applicable to bank holding companies and certain nonbank financial companies.
And, here is a list of bills for which Marsha has voted “No” because they would limit corporate power:
- July 2003: Vote to pass a bill that would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to allow qualified individuals to import counterfeit – resistant closed products [pharmaceuticals] into the United States.
- April 2005: Vote to adopt an amendment that strikes language from the bill that shields manufacturers of the gasoline additive MTBE from liability lawsuits concerning contamination of drinking water.
- June 2005: Vote to adopt an amendment that bans the Department of Justice from arresting, prosecuting, or suing individuals involved with the distribution or use of medical marijuana in states that have laws authorizing such use.
- January 2007: Vote to pass a bill to increase the Federal minimum wage.
- January 2007: Vote to pass a bill that requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices for part D drugs for people enrolled in a prescription drug plan through part D.
- January 2007: Vote to pass a bill that lowers interest rates on student loans under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) and Direct Loan (DL) programs, and to make other adjustments.
- January 2007: Vote to pass a bill that increases fuel economy of motor vehicles and requires an increase in the production of renewable fuels.
- March 2007: Vote on a motion to invoke on a bill that amends the National Labor Relations Act to eliminate a requirement for a vote to organize a labor union, outline a time frame for the bargaining process, and provide certain penalties for employers who attempt to influence the formation of a union.
- August 2007: Vote to adopt an amendment that would require retail electric suppliers to supply 15 percent of their electricity through renewable resources by 2020.
- September 2007: Vote to pass a bill that changes the methods for obtaining and challenging patent claims.
- November 2007: Vote to pass a bill that establishes royalty payments and requires permits for mineral mining operations and imposes penalties for environmental protection violations.
- November 2007: Vote to pass a bill that standardizes licensing requirements for mortgage loan originators and requires the maximum costs of a mortgage loan to be stated in the contract.
- January 2008: Vote to pass a bill that increases the number and scope of safety regulations for mining operations.
- February 2008: Vote to pass a bill that makes changes to regulations regarding student costs for attending colleges, relationships between colleges and lenders, and student aid.
Highlights: Requires textbook publishers to disclose the retail cost of textbooks or supplemental materials, copyright dates of any previous editions, a description of the substantial content revisions, and whether any other format is available when college faculty select course materials (Sec. 112). Requires textbook publishers that bundle textbooks and supplemental materials to also sell them separately (Sec. 112).
- February 2008: Vote to pass a bill that extends renewable energy tax credits and increases taxes on oil companies.
- April 2008: Vote to pass a bill that requires the Secretary of Labor to set safety standards for combustible dusts.
- June 2008: Vote to pass a bill that prohibits price-gouging of gasoline and other petroleum based fuels during times of an energy emergency.
- June 2008: Vote to pass a bill that raises taxes on certain oil, investment, and credit companies and increases alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemptions.
- June 2008: Vote to pass a bill that appropriates $850 million to the Department of Transportation in order to fund grants for the expansion of public transportation, the reduction of public transportation fares or avoidance of increases in fares, the use of alternative fuel vehicle-related equipment or facilities, or the expansion or establishment of commuter matching services with information about alternatives to single occupancy vehicle use.
- July 2008: Vote to pass a bill that authorizes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the labeling, ingredient levels, and required disclosures related to tobacco products.
- September 2008: Vote to pass a bill that sets limits intended to reduce the occurrences of price manipulation and “excessive” speculation in the energy and agriculture commodities markets.
- September 2008: Vote to pass a bill that creates new regulations governing the actions of credit card companies.
Highlights: Prohibits creditors from imposing finance charges based on balances for days in previous billing cycles (Sec. 3). Increases the time by which creditors must send periodic credit card account statements to consumers to at least 25 days before the due date of the next payment instead of 14 days before the due date (Sec. 3). Mandates that creditors inform consumers of any increase in the annual percentage rate of interest at least 45 days before the rate increase takes effect (Sec. 2). Prohibits creditors from charging fees for outstanding interest accrued on an outstanding balance during a previous billing period that was paid in full during that period (Sec. 3).
- January 2009: Vote to pass a bill that redefines unlawful employment laws and counts each paycheck as an offense if a salary is ruled as discriminatory.
- June 2009: Vote to concur with Senate amendments and pass a bill that amends food safety laws.
- June 2009: Vote to pass a bill that amends various statutes related to energy, including, but not limited to, establishing a cap and trade program to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
- November 2009: Vote to pass a bill that amends various statues related to health care and heath insurance coverage, including, but not limited to, the establishment of a public health insurance option and a Health Insurance Exchange Program, an individual mandate to purchase insurance, a surcharge on the adjusted gross income of individuals in the top income tax brackets, prohibiting insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, a gradual elimination of the Medicare Part D coverage gap (“donut hole”), and an expansion of Medicaid eligibility.
- December 2009: Vote to pass a bill that amends and creates various statutes relating to regulation and oversight of activities within the U.S. financial system.
- July 2010: Vote to pass a bill that establishes various bureaus within the Department of the Interior and amends regulations for nonrenewable resource management. Highlights: Establishes a fine of $200 million for every 1 million barrels of oil or other hazardous substance discharged into the Gulf of Mexico from an offshore facility, which shall be in addition to any other penalties that the owner or operator may incur (Sec. 504). Repeals the limit on liability for oil pollution from an offshore facility other than a deepwater port, which in existing law equals no more than the total of all removal costs plus $75 million (Sec. 702).
- September 2010: Vote concur with Senate amendments pass a bill that establishes the Small Business Lending Fund to fund capital investments to financial institutions to provide loans to small businesses, establishes the Small Business Credit Initiative to fund state capital access programs for small businesses, and expands various tax deductions.
- November 2011: Vote to adopt an amendment to HR 2940 that requires the disclosure of bonus compensation structures and “golden parachute” severance packages awarded to executives in any advertising materials connected with the offer or sale of securities.
- September 2013: Vote to adopt an amendment to HR 761 that requires mine operators to include the cost of cleanup in the financial insurance prior to the issuance of a mining permit.
- October 2013: Vote to pass a bill that prohibits the Securities and Exchange Commission from issuing certain regulations.
- November 2013: Vote to adopt an amendment to HR 1965 that requires the Secretary of the Interior to enter into an arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences to report to Congress the effect of flooding on oil and gas facilities, including instances of leaks and spills from tanks, wells, and pipelines.
So, in summary, Marsha Blackburn has been a solid vote for you, if you happen to be a Lobbyist or Executive for an Oil and Gas Corporation, a Mining Corporation, a Pharmaceutical Corporation, a Gun Manufacturing Corporation, a Private Prison Corporation, a Cable/Internet Corporation, a Media Conglomerate Corporation, a Chemical Corporation, a Student Textbook Corporation, a Tobacco Corporation, a Banking Corporation, a Private Equity Corporation, an Investment Advisory Corporation, a Food Corporation, a Health Insurance Corporation, a Medical Devices Corporation, a For-Profit School Corporation, a Cement Manufacturing Corporation, any Corporation that Pollutes the Air/Water/Earth, or even a Corporation that Manufactures Light Bulbs.
If you are a worker, a union member, a consumer, a student, a victim of corporate malfeasance, a small business, or simply a citizen that wants to stay safe from gun violence, have access to healthcare and/or enjoy a non-polluted environment, Marsha Blackburn is most definitely not on your side.
If all of this is not disgusting enough, Marsha has had alot, and I mean, alot more up her sleeve. There is honestly just too much to choose from, but here are a couple highlights:
Do you think Children’s Healthcare is a good thing to be funded, as most do? Marsha doesn’t.
- August 2007: Marsha voted No to pass a bill that reauthorizes and expands the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
- October 2007: Marsha voted No to pass a bill that reauthorizes and expands the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2012.
- January 2009: Marsha voted No to pass a bill that expands coverage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Do you support the GI Bill that was passed to provide education grants to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, as most do? Marsha didn’t.
- May 2008: Marsha voted No to pass a bill that provides education funding for certain veterans, extends unemployment compensation, establishes a moratorium on certain actions regarding Medicaid, and appropriates funds for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Do you think we should have paper ballots for elections, as most do? Marsha doesn’t.
- July 2008: Marsha voted No to pass a bill that provides grants to state and local governments for making backup paper ballots available in the November 2008 election.
Oh, Marsha, Marsha, Marsha. Haven’t we heard that name enough?
If you want to delve any deeper into the inner workings of Swamp Creature Marsha Blackburn, below are the sources. It’s not a pleasant read. To put it simply, Marsha Blackburn will vote however any corporate lobbyist from any industry asks her to vote. But, there is some good news: Marsha is up for her own vote in November.