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Congressman Capuano's
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
8th Congressional District of Massachusetts
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October 30, 2009

Health Care

Yesterday, House leadership released the combined health care reform bill — H.R. 3962: the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

It is a large, complicated piece of legislation that I am still absorbing. It seems to contain some solid programs for providing healthcare in America — such as authorizing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries. At the same time, I am unsure how strong the Public Health Insurance Option will be, and also whether the issue of geographic variance is addressed effectively. I will be reviewing the bill with these concerns, and others, in mind.

I would like to know your opinion on H.R. 3962 that is currently before the House of Representatives. You can find the bill at Please call the office or send an email through Write Your Rep if you would like to weigh in on the proposal.


On Thursday, the House continued the appropriations process by considering the conference report on H.R. 2996: Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2010. The legislation will provide a $32.2 billion to fund important programs that ensure availability of safe drinking water, wildfire suppression, climate change prevention, and public lands conservation and clean up.

The conference report also contained a Continuing Resolution that will fund government operations through December 18th, since only four of the twelve FY10 appropriations bills have been signed into law. I continue to hope that the Senate will act more swiftly to consider these pieces of legislation, since all have passed the House and the outstanding bills await Senate approval.

I voted YES. The conference report on H.R. 2996 passed in the House and the entire vote is recorded below:





















Financial Regulatory Reform

This week the Financial Services Committee, of which I am a member, continued to mark up legislation that will become part of a comprehensive financial regulatory reform package in the upcoming month. The committee approved H.R. 3818: Private Fund Investment Advisers Registration Act with widespread bipartisan support. The bill requires hedge funds and private equity firms to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is based on hedge fund legislation I have led since 2006. The measure will increase transparency of hedge fund operations for investors and will provide regulators with needed information to identify systemically risky behavior of hedge funds. The committee also passed H.R. 3890: Accountability and Transparency in Rating Agencies Act. This bill enhances oversight of credit rating agencies, which assign ratings to companies and securities based on how risky they are. It also imposes a liability standard on agencies to hold them accountable for doing their job. I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill. The committee also began marking up H.R. 3817: Investor Protection Act, which includes several provisions to safeguard investors and close loopholes in securities laws. The committee will finish consideration of this legislation next week.

Next week, I expect the committee to also begin marking up three bills that would create a systemic risk council, ensure fair overdraft protection practices, and create a federal insurance agency. These measures will be added to the financial regulatory reform package.

Senator Edward Brooke

This week, I had the honor of attending a ceremony in the Rotunda of the Capitol in which former Senator Edward Brooke (R-MA) received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor given by Congress. Senator Brooke was the first African American popularly elected to the Senate, and he represented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with distinction, along with Senator Ted Kennedy, from 1967-1979. Both President Barack Obama and Senator John Kerry gave remarks in which they praised Senator Brooke's ability to reach across the aisle and the indelible legacy he has left as a champion of civil rights and fair housing. I was proud to be present as Senator Brooke received this award, and Iím pleased that his achievements have garnered both admiration and respect nationally.

What's Up Next

Next week the House is expected to consider H.R. 3962: Affordable Health Care for America Act.

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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