Betsy Markey

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This is a profile of a freshman U.S. Representative in the 111th Congress. (See the Colorado portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
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Betsy Markey currently serves the 4th Congressional District of Colorado

Betsy Markey has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 4th district of the State of Colorado, since 2009 (map).

Positions, record and controversies


Markey supports the 2008 Farm Bill. She also supports measures to support small businesses, improve local infrastructure and modernize rural telecommunications systems. She supports young and beginning farmer programs which provide assistance to new farmers in the start up of their operation. She supports expansion in the local and organics market. Markey believes in fair trade policies that take into account our country’s economic needs and hold partnering countries to the same environmental and labor standards as those that we maintain here at home. [1]


  • Cut Federal Media Contracts by 10 Percent: a ten percent reduction in federal media contracts would save this government $8.8 million a year. [1]
  • Ban Bonuses for Political Appointees: In 2002, the Bush Administration reversed an 8-year-old ban on awarding bonuses to political appointees. Eliminating these bonuses would save taxpayers $1.5 million a year. [1]
  • Reduce Government Travel: From 2000 to 2006, spending on travel increased from $9 billion to $14 billion. The government should take their cue from private business and use teleconferencing and the Internet, as well as heed regulations regarding travel, to save taxpayers $1.85 billion a year. [1]
  • Repeal Subsidies for Oil Companies: Markey supports repealing the $13 billion in tax breaks extended to oil companies.
  • Eliminate the Oil Technology Program: The Department of Energy’s Oil Technology Program provides billions of dollars in taxpayer money to corporations like BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil for research and development into the production and distribution of crude oil. The program amounts to nothing more than corporate welfare at a time when oil and gas companies are making record profits. The Office of Management and Budget classified the program as “not performing.” Eliminating this program would save taxpayers $78 million a year. [1]
  • Consolidate Federal Statistical Agencies: By consolidating the principal statistical agencies – including the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics – into a single agency we can eliminate redundancy, actually increase and improve the collection and analysis of data, and save American taxpayers $5 million a year. [1]
  • Create a Bipartisan Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission: Federal subsidies to large corporations cost anywhere from $60 billion to $87 billion a year. In the 1990’s, along with then Representative Richard Gephardt (D-MO), John McCain suggested creating a Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission to take a bipartisan look at corporate subsidies and make recommendations to eliminate the most egregious examples of corporate welfare. A conservative estimate of what a fully empowered commission would save American taxpayers over ten years is around $250 billion. [1]
  • Reform the Earmark System: As a member of Congress, Markey will be committed to listing on her website her entire list of earmark requests, as well as the entities doing the requesting. [1]


  • Enact a Two-Year Refinancing Credit: Assist homeowners to transition to lower-cost mortgage loans by providing a two-year, one-time $2000 credit toward closing costs when they refinance into a fixed-rate mortgage. The estimated cost of such a credit is about $2.5 billion per year. [1]
  • Fix the AMT: The AMT was created in 1969 to target 155 wealthy tax dodgers – but because it was not indexed to inflation, it now ensnares 4.2 million middle class families. Projections suggest that by 2017, nearly half of all taxpayers will pay the AMT. [1]
  • Double the Personal Exemption for Each Dependent: The cost of raising a child in today’s world has risen significantly – especially over the last ten years. Markey supports doubling the current tax exemption for each dependent from $3500 to $7000. [1]
  • Make College More Affordable: Markey supports expanding current tax law to create a single college tuition tax credit equal to 50% of college costs up to $10,000. [1]
  • Create Flexible Education Accounts: Markey believes in assisting workers who are being squeezed out of the current economy to seek job retraining and continuing education programs by creating flexible education accounts that include tax credits for education and training. [1]
  • Help Baby Boomers Care for Aging Parents: As the law currently exists, the only families who are eligible to claim tax credits for caring for aging parents are those whose parents are living with them. We need to extend these tax credits to families where the elderly person being cared for lives outside the home. [1]
  • Make the Research and Development Tax Credit Permanent: The R&D tax credit grants companies a 20 percent tax credit on year-to-year increases in R&D – enabling small companies to make the investment in research and retain the long term benefits of that investment. [1]
  • Increase the Small Business Enterprise Credit: Currently small businesses can deduct up to $5,000 in start-up costs. I support increasing the allowable deduction for business start-up costs from $5,000 to $10,000. [1]
  • Make the Production Tax Credit Permanent: The Production Tax Credit was originally enacted by Congress in 1992 but has been allowed to expire on numerous occasions. The PTC has been a major driver of wind power development and every time the credit is allowed to expire, it sets the wind industry back. [1]
  • Close the CEO Pay Loophole: IRS regulations defining performance based compensation and director independence have been abused to the tune of at least $20 billion. In 1993, section 162(m) of the federal tax code was created, allowing corporations to deduct up to $1 million in executive pay from their tax returns. However, a loophole to the law allows corporations to deduct MORE than $1 million if the pay is “performance based.” Whether or not the compensation qualifies as performance based is left up to a compensation committee of independent directors. Average taxpayers should not be asked to subsidize the salaries of CEOs making millions of dollars. Eliminating this loophole would save taxpayers $15 billion over ten years. [1]
  • Close the Bermuda Tax Loophole: Congress should take definitive action to close the Bermuda tax loophole which costs average American taxpayers close to $2.6 billion a year. [1]


Markey would like to amend No Child Left Behind so that schools are given more flexibility to meet the learning needs of their students. Congress should focus on providing adequate funding and improving accountability measures. There also needs to be an added focus on training and retaining highly qualified teachers in our schools. [1]


Seventy-five percent of health care costs are attributable to chronic diseases such as heart disease, asthma, and cancer. We must reduce the costs and increase American’s quality of life through emphasizing disease prevention. We must address how to provide healthcare, particularly preventative health care, to everyone in the most efficient and equitable way. [1]


Markey supports increased funding for border security efforts. Markey supports strong and workable employer verification programs to equip employers with the means to verify the status of their employees. If employers knowingly hire workers who are here illegally, they should be fined.[1]

Iraq War

Markey supports a safe withdrawal from Iraq. [1]

Renewable Energy

This includes developing and implementing renewable energy resources in conjunction with responsible domestic drilling practices, particularly the 68 million acres already leased to oil and gas companies. Markey plans on making research in new alternative technology and energy conservation a top priority. [1]

Veteran's Affairs

  • Allow All Veterans Back into the VA: Markey will seek to reverse the 2003 ban on enrolling modest-income veterans, which has denied care to a million veterans.[1]
  • Strengthen VA Care: Markey seeks to make the VA a leader of national health care reform so that veterans get the best care possible. [1]
  • Combat Homelessness among Our Nation's Veterans: Markey will work to establish a national "zero tolerance" policy for veterans falling into homelessness by expanding proven programs and launching innovative services to prevent veterans from falling into homelessness.[1]
  • Fight Veterans Employment Discrimination: Markey will help crack down on employers who commit job discrimination against guardsmen and reservists.[1]

Help for Returning Service Members

  • Fully Fund VA Medical Care: Markey is committed to funding the VA so it has all the resources it needs to serve the veterans who need it, when they need it. Markey will work to establish a world-class VA Planning Division to avoid future budget shortfalls.[1]
  • Fix the Benefits Bureaucracy: Markey believes in hiring additional claims workers, and improving training and accountability so that VA benefit decisions are rated fairly and consistently. She will also help to transform the paper benefit claims process to an electronic one to reduce errors and improve timeliness.[1]
  • Improve Mental Health Treatment: Markey will work to recruit more health professionals, improve screening, offer more support to families and make PTSD benefits claims fairer.[1]
  • Improve Care for Traumatic Brain Injury: Markey will help establish standards of care for Traumatic Brain Injury, the signature injury of the Iraq war.[1]
  • Expand Vet Centers: Markey wants to expand and strengthen Vet Centers to provide more counseling for vets and their families.[1]


Markey founded Syscom Services, an internet business, with her husband in the late 1980s. She also founded Huckleberry's, a coffee and ice cream shop. She sold Huckleberry's in 2001.

2008 elections

Markey won the Democratic nomination and later defeated incumbent Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) in the 2008 congressional elections.[2]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases.

Campaign contributions

The following is drawn from government records of campaign contributions to Betsy Markey. Campaign contributions are one of the most direct conduits for influencing members of Congress. How to use this information. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00029128&cycle=2008</crpcontribdata>

Markey will be assigned committees if and when she is elected to Congress.

Committees and affiliations



More background data


Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 Issues page on Markey for Congress
  2. "2008 Colorado General Election,", retrieved Nov. 5, 2008

External resources

External articles

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House Committee on Agriculture
110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: n/a
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 4, 2008
First Took Current Office:
January 3, 2009
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 123 N. College Avenue, Ste 220, Fort Collins, CO 80524
Phone: / Fax:

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: April 27, 1956