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

Congressman Capuano's

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September 8, 2006

Recent House Votes

This week the House was briefly in session to consider several bills under suspension of the rules as well as H.R. 503: the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which effectively outlaws the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the United States.

I voted YES. The entire vote is recorded below:

































The Congress and the Bush Administration declared the atrocities occurring in Darfur genocide over two years ago. Despite the presence of the African Union peacekeeping force and the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement in May 2006, the violence continues unabated. Twelve humanitarian workers were killed and three million internally-displaced persons (IDPs) are in danger. Humanitarian organizations have pulled out of North Darfur due to the increasing insecurity and a massive humanitarian catastrophe is looming. Last month the Government of Sudan began the deployment of over 26,000 troops in preparation for a major offensive in Darfur. At the same time, the Sudanese government continues to oppose the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force to Darfur, despite the passage of a UN resolution to send 21,000 peacekeepers to the region.

The crisis in Darfur is dire. It is essential that UN peacekeepers be deployed immediately or we will surely witness more death, violence and destruction. The innocent civilians of Darfur have had to live in horrible conditions, with their lives at risk on a daily basis, for the last 3 years. We must do all we can to end this genocide once and for all.

Yesterday, I joined my colleague, Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), yesterday in renewing our calls for the appointment of a Presidential Envoy for Sudan who has the mandate and support of senior Administration officials to effectively represent the U.S. government in bringing peace to Sudan. Over the last few years, we have called on the Administration to appoint a high-level Envoy to Sudan. These calls have gone unanswered and yesterday Congressman Wolf introduced a resolution, of which I am a co-sponsor, that expresses the need for the immediate appointment of this Envoy.

Reach Out and Read

I recently participated in the Reach Out and Read program, which was founded at the Boston Medical Center in 1989. The program now has more than 1,000 participating organizations. Reach Out and Read promotes literacy in young children by arranging for pediatricians in the primary care setting to provide their young patients with a book a visit, starting when the child is six months old. I had an opportunity during the recent district work period to read several books to children in the Pediatrics waiting room at Boston Medical Center as part of this valuable program. The 8th Congressional District contains more Reach Out and Read sites than any other district in the state and is the fourth largest participant in the country.

New Website Feature

We recently added a section to our website that lists interesting facts about Massachusetts. For example, did you know that Boston's subway system is our nation's first, and the Boston Common is our nation's first public park? Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone, first demonstrated it in Boston in 1876. The first telephone line was actually installed in a home in Somerville, right next door to my current residence. Take a look at the list if you have some time and let us know if there is anything we should add to it. I am sure there are numerous interesting facts about our great state that would be worth adding.

What's Up Next Week

Next week the House is scheduled to consider several bills, including a resolution on the 5th anniversary of September 11th.

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

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