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An update from the office of
U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
8th Congressional District of Massachusetts

Congressman Capuano's
E-UPDATE

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February 17, 2006

Recent House Votes

This week the House considered H. Con. Res. 341: A concurrent resolution condemning the Government of Iran for violating its international nuclear nonproliferation obligations and expressing support for efforts to report Iran to the United Nations Security Counsel. The proponents of this resolution believe that it simply expresses the grave concern that members of Congress feel over the government of Iran's nuclear program. I was prepared to vote for this resolution but a late language change made that impossible.

The phrase "and take action" was added to paragraph three which now reads: "calls on all members of the United Nations Security Council... to expeditiously consider AND TAKE ACTION ... to respond to and DEAL WITH situations bearing on the maintenance of international peace and security" (emphasis added). Because of that change, I could not support this resolution. However, since I do believe that Iran poses a serious threat to the world and demands the attention of the world, I could not vote against the proposal. Therefore, I voted PRESENT.

I strongly agree that Iran poses a real security threat to the world and I encourage continued vigilance. However, I have real concerns that the wording of this resolution might be interpreted by the Bush Administration as all that is necessary to take military action. Although the day may come when I do support such action, today is not that day. I do not trust the Bush Administration to come back to Congress if they wish to pursue military action. My lack of trust is unfortunately, based on past actions. I voted to support military action against Afghanistan but the President is insisting today that Congress in so voting also granted him the legal authority to intercept telephone calls and other forms of communication without a warrant. I completely reject that assertion and I am concerned with future interpretations of H. Con. Res. 341. I regret that I cannot trust the President of the United States to use military force prudently and when all nonviolent means have been exhausted. I regret that I cannot support this resolution.

I voted PRESENT. The entire vote is recorded below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

221

1

0

8

DEMOCRAT

182

3

4

12

INDEPENDENT

1

0

0

0

TOTAL

404

4

4

20

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

9

0

1

0


The House also considered several suspension bills, including S. CON.RES 79: Expressing the sense of Congress that no United States assistance should be provided directly to the Palestinian Authority if any representative political party holding a majority of parliamentary seats within the Palestinian Authority maintains a position calling for the destruction of Israel. I voted YES. The entire vote is detailed below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

223

0

0

7

DEMOCRAT

194

1

0

6

INDEPENDENT

1

0

0

0

TOTAL

418

1

0

13

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

10

0

0

0


Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke

The new Chief of the Federal Reserve, Benjamin Bernanke testified for the first time this week before the House Committee on Financial Services -- one of the committees on which I serve. In the past, former Chairman Greenspan has called for spending cuts to balance the budget. Chairman Bernanke offered a different approach. He stated that tax increases and spending cuts both accomplish the same goal of balancing the budget and it is up to Congress to decide which measures to adopt.

Chairman Bernanke also clearly stated that the growing inequities in the American economy are of increasing concern. Unless all citizens can see some benefit from our economic/monetary policies, the underpinnings of the system are weakened. Mr. Bernanke also explained that high energy prices might contribute to an increase in inflation and that interest rate increases may be needed later in the year.


Draper Lab

This week I visited Draper Labs in Cambridge. This independent, not-for-profit research and development lab was established in 1973, with close ties to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Draper developed guidance and navigation systems for missiles and for the Apollo lunar missions. It is currently expanding into biomedical engineering in partnership with CIMIT (Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology). During my tour, I learned about the work that Draper is doing with implants for drug delivery, non-invasive diagnostic tools, and projects in "tissue engineering," including a filtration device that shows great promise for the treatment of kidney disease.


What's Up For Next Week

Next week, a district work period is scheduled and votes will not occur. When the House returns on February 28th, votes are expected on the USA PATRIOT Act and the President's tax cuts.


Congressman Mike Capuano
8th District, Massachusetts
House Committee on Financial Services
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

District Offices:

110 First Street, Cambridge, MA 02141
and
Roxbury Community College, Administration Building, Room 110

District Office Phone:

(617) 621-6208

DC Office:

1232 Longworth Building, Washington, DC 20515

DC Office Phone:

(202) 225-5111

Website and e-mail:

capuano.house.gov



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