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Congressman Capuano's
E-UPDATE
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
8th Congressional District of Massachusetts
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October 4, 2010

Middle Class Tax Cuts

The House adjourned last week without taking a vote on the Bush era tax cuts, which expire at the end of this year. I am extremely disappointed that action was not taken.

It is particularly frustrating because probably every Member of Congress supports extending tax cuts for families making below $250,000 a year. Agreement breaks down over what to do about everyone else. I proposed a compromise plan along with my New Jersey colleague, Rep. Bill Pascrell. We suggested increasing the threshold to $500,000 while allowing the tax cuts to expire for anything higher.

Some Members continue to demand an all or nothing approach, declaring that they won't support anything less than extending tax cuts for everyone. I simply cannot believe that anyone would stand in the way of tax cuts for middle and lower income Americans over tax cuts for the wealthy few, but some of my colleagues are doing just that.

I am confident that Congress will extend the middle class tax cuts before the end of the year, but it shouldn't be taking this long to do it. The House should have voted last week, and should have allowed the tax cuts for the wealthiest few to expire.

Sudan

Last Tuesday my bipartisan resolution (H.Res. 1588) seeking full implementation of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) passed by voice vote in the House.

There has been unimaginable violence, suffering and destruction in Sudan. A fragile peace exists but so much could derail the incremental progress that has been made. The CPA is a vital component of stabilizing Sudan. The CPA ended more than 20 years of civil war in Sudan between the North and South, fueled by Northern persecution of populations in the South. It resulted in the deaths of more than two million people and the displacement of over four million more in Southern Sudan. The agreement mandates that a number of events take place including a referendum in Southern Sudan on whether to remain united with the North, and another referendum in the key border region of Abyei on whether to join with the South. Significant international assistance will be needed to ensure that these referenda are conducted on time and in a manner free and fair to the people of Sudan.

Sudan faces a number of challenges while it struggles to emerge as a democracy after decades of civil war. The conflict and violence in Darfur still rage even as the international community hopes to bolster peace talks. Lack of border demarcation between the North and South leads many to fear renewed conflict in the wake of the referenda. The United States has served as a guarantor of the CPA, helping negotiate the agreement and facilitate its implementation. We have invested considerable time and resources in helping the people of Sudan, and we must ensure that this level of commitment is maintained as the CPA comes to a close and Sudan moves forward as either one unified state or two neighbors.

Continuing Resolution

Last week the House passed H.R. 3081, a continuing resolution to fund government agencies through December 3rd. The Fiscal Year 2011 budget year began today. If this measure had failed, then the federal government would have basically shut down. Social Security checks, unemployment benefits, housing assistance and many more essential items would not have been funded. I voted YES. The entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

227

22

0

5

REPUBLICAN

1

172

0

5

TOTAL

228

194

0

10

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

0

0

1

What's Up This Week

The House is currently in a District Work period. Next votes will occur in November.


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

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District Offices:

110 First Street, Cambridge, MA 02141
and
Roxbury Community College, Campus Library, Room 211

District Office Phone:

(617) 621-6208

DC Office:

1414 Longworth Building, Washington, DC 20515

DC Office Phone:

(202) 225-5111

Website and e-mail:

capuano.house.gov

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