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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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May 15, 2009

Supplemental Appropriations

Yesterday the House considered H.R. 2346: Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009. This bill provides additional funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as funding for Pakistan. After a great deal of reflection, I decided that I could not support this measure. In the final analysis, I simply do not believe that H.R. 2346 does enough to get us closer to the true goal of ending these conflicts.

I think that President Obama is committed to changing course in Iraq and Afghanistan and I struggled over whether to support this bill as a show of faith. Ultimately, my decision came down to my belief that our policies toward Iraq and Afghanistan are inadequately formulated at this time. I still have too many unanswered questions over how we will bring an end to these conflicts and I feared that a vote in support of this proposal might imply that I accept the current situation as is. That is why I am supporting legislation filed by my colleague, Congressman Jim McGovern that calls on the President to submit to Congress by December 31, 2009, a report on his exit strategy for Afghanistan. Congressional support for Mr. McGovern's bill should make plain our insistence that the Administration must clarify its military and diplomatic strategy.

It is important to note that a new commander for Afghanistan was appointed this week, so a revised strategy may be taking shape. As far as Pakistan is concerned, I do believe that the Taliban poses a grave threat to a nuclear armed nation. Furthermore, instability in its frontier regions has a direct and dangerous impact on Afghanistan. I recognize the need for additional assistance to Pakistan so that its security forces can combat these challenges. However, H.R. 2346 provides the monetary support without any conditions for its use and an amendment proposed by Congressman John Tierney to add some specific conditions was not allowed to the floor for a vote.

I voted NO. H.R. 2346 passed in the House and the entire vote is recorded below:





















Wind Turbines

This week I joined Secretary of Energy Steven Chu in Charlestown, who announced that the state would receive $25 million in stimulus funds for the construction of a facility that will design and test large wind turbines. Congress is on track to pass landmark climate change legislation this year and this effort puts Massachusetts at the forefront of initiatives to create viable renewable energy alternatives. Two years ago the state received $2 million in federal funding to begin construction of this facility. This week's announcement further advances the project.

Telephone Community Meeting

On Monday May 18th from 7:10 – 8:10 PM, I am hosting a telephone community meeting. Anyone interested in participating may dial 1-877-229-8493 and use pin 13034 at the scheduled time to listen in. Anyone who wishes to ask a question can press *3 after joining the meeting. If you are unable to join me on the 18th, we have also scheduled one for Thursday May 28th from 6:40 – 7:40 PM. The call-in number and pin are the same. We will post audio files of both meetings on our website as soon as they are available.

What's Up Next

Next week the House is expected to consider several bills, including H.R. 915: the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009.

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

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Roxbury Community College, Campus Library, Room 211

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