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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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December 22, 2010

Census

This week's announcement from the Census Bureau that Massachusetts will lose a House seat is disappointing but not unexpected. Many federal formulas use population numbers to allocate funds so this loss will mean fewer dollars for the Commonwealth. I am focused on making sure that the 8th Congressional district continues to have access to adequate federal resources. District boundaries may change, but the people of Massachusetts share a common interest and vision for our future and I will continue working as hard as possible to ensure that our shared vision is achieved. States won't receive detailed population data until early next year, and then the Legislature will begin the process of redrawing districts.

Continuing Resolution

On Tuesday the House passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through March 4, 2011 . The House passed a year long CR earlier but there were not enough votes in the Senate to get it to the President's desk. I voted YES. H.R. 3082 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

192

19

0

43

REPUBLICAN

1

146

0

32

TOTAL

193

165

0

75

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

8

0

0

2

Food Safety

Earlier this month, the House passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act as part of the year long Continuing Resolution (CR). Over the weekend, the Senate passed H.R. 2751: the Food Safety Modernization Act as a stand alone bill. It gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to conduct a food recall if necessary. The FDA currently lacks that power and must rely on companies to voluntarily recall questionable food products.

This legislation gives the FDA greater access to company records and the results of company product safety testing. It also requires companies to report any negative tests to the FDA. One recent recall happened after a company received two different test results, one indicating contamination and one indicating the product was clean. The company shipped the food anyway and it did contain some contamination. The measure also requires the FDA to inspect farms and food processing facilities regularly. I voted YES. H.R. 2751 passed and will be sent to the President. The entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

205

8

0

41

REPUBLICAN

10

136

0

33

TOTAL

215

144

0

74

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

8

0

0

2

America COMPETES Act

The House this week also voted on a Senate amendment to H.R. 5116: America COMPETES Reauthorization Act. This bill increases funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF). It provides additional funds for basic research, loan assistance for innovative technology use and more resources for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. I voted YES. The legislation passed and will be sent to the President. The entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

212

0

0

42

REPUBLICAN

16

130

0

33

TOTAL

228

130

0

75

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

8

0

0

2

9/11 Health Care Bill

Before adjourning this week, the House agreed to adopt the Senate amendments to H.R. 847: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. This bill was previously passed by the House but it ran into protracted opposition in the Senate due to concerns over cost. As late as Wednesday morning, one Senator had put what is called a “hold” on the bill, which prevents it from being considered. After some legislative changes, the revised bill passed in the Senate and then passed again in the House. It establishes a 5 year health benefits program for 9/11 first responders and those living in the immediate vicinity of the twin towers. Many first responders have experienced significant health issues after being exposed to toxic substances that were released into the air when the towers collapsed. I am very pleased that the Senate was finally able to advance this bill, which now goes to the President. I voted YES and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

175

1

0

79

REPUBLICAN

31

59

0

89

TOTAL

206

60

0

168

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

8

0

0

2

What's up Next Week

The 111th Congress has adjourned for the year. The 112th Congress will be sworn in on January 5, 2011 . I expect that there will be a great deal to report on in the coming year. I hope you are all having a happy holiday season and I wish you a happy New Year.


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

P.S. I welcome your feedback on our e-Updates. Please let me and my staff know what you think of this service by e-mailing our office.


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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