skip to main contentskip to popular page linksskip to main navigation links
Office Hours Program Social Security Calculator Translate this page into another language
photo of Mike Capuano Michael E. Capuano representing the 7th district of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives Go to the House of Representatives homepage
Visit Mike's video channel on YouTube Like Mike on Facebook

 

 Mike's Schedule Voting Record District Maps Register To Vote FAQ Site Map e-Updates

Congressman Capuano's
E-UPDATE
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
8th Congressional District of Massachusetts
Thanks for subscribing to this periodic correspondence. We hope you find the information useful. As always, let us know your questions, comments or concerns. Our contact information is provided at the end of this e-mail.

July 22, 2011

"Cut, Cap and Balance"

Negotiations over raising the debt ceiling are continuing on Capitol Hill. As part of that discussion the House considered H.R. 2560, the “Cut, Cap and Balance Act”. Before the first vote was even cast in the House, the President announced that he would veto the bill. H.R. 2560 was presented as the House’s approach to addressing the debt ceiling. It calls for an immediate cut of $111 billion for FY 2012, which is the same amount of cuts included in the Republican budget proposal that passed the House in April. It also imposes spending caps for the next ten years. Finally, the bill references three balanced budget constitutional amendments and REQUIRES that Congress approves one of them BEFORE the debt ceiling can be raised.

Since constitutional amendments require a two-thirds vote for passage and ratification by the states, the chances of this amendment even moving beyond Congress are zero. H.R. 2560 is a nonstarter and does nothing to bring us closer to a resolution. It’s just another example of this House refusing to move one centimeter toward a compromise.

The Senate today voted down H.R. 2560, so it won’t even make it to the President’s desk for that promised veto. Because of a family commitment, I was not in Washington for this vote. I certainly would have voted NO on H.R. 2560, which passed in the House and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

229

9

0

1

DEMOCRAT

5

181

0

7

TOTAL

234

190

0

8

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

1

FAA

At this writing, parts of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are scheduled to shut down at midnight. Funding for the FAA must be reauthorized periodically, and the most recent reauthorization expired a couple years ago. The House voted on the 21st extension this week. This is a significant number because 20 other times both the House and Senate passed noncontroversial extensions of the existing bill. Not this time. The House-passed bill eliminates some funding for airline service to 13 rural communities.

The place to have this debate is in the Conference Committee where the House and Senate reauthorization bills will be merged. Instead, the House took what has been a routine extension and turned it into something that won’t pass the Senate. If the extension expires tonight, it will mean $200 million a week in lost revenue because airline ticket taxes won’t be collected and it will mean the halting of $2.5 billion in airport construction projects. And, by the way, the Senate appointed conferees many months ago to work with the House on a final bill so we wouldn’t need any more extensions. But they don’t have anyone to negotiate with because the Republicans in the House refuse to appoint their conferees.

Consumer Protection

Yesterday the House considered H.R. 1315: To amend the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to strengthen the review authority of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) of regulations issued by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB). To translate that title for you: this bill seeks to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) established as part of the Wall Street reform bill passed last year.

H.R. 1315 makes it easier for the FSOC to overturn CFPB rules. It also changes the standard under which those rules can be overturned. Currently a rule must be found to threaten the safety and soundness of the financial system. H.R. 1315 weakens that provision by allowing rules to be overturned if they are simply inconsistent with a bank’s safe and sound operations. H.R. 1315 also replaces the CFPB director with a five person commission, thus weakening the agency’s authority. Finally, this bill prevents the consumer protection responsibilities that start when the office opens (which was yesterday) from going into effect until the Senate confirms a director. Senate Republicans have repeatedly said that they will block ANY nominee, no matter who they are.

So H.R. 1315 is really all about weakening one of the key provisions of Dodd-Frank, the one that most directly impacts consumers. I voted NO. H.R. 1315 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

231

1

0

7

DEMOCRAT

10

172

0

11

TOTAL

241

173

0

18

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

10

0

0

Appropriations

The House continued work on appropriations bills with consideration of H.R. 2551, the FY 2012 Legislative Branch Appropriations. Not surprisingly, the bill represents a reduction in funding from previous fiscal years. That is expected and necessary. However, I could not support this bill because some of the cuts are too steep and don’t make sense. For example, funding for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is reduced by 6.4%. Every dollar invested in the GAO results in $4 of taxpayer savings. That’s because many GAO reports identify best practices and point out inefficiencies in government programs, which saves money. Furthermore, the GAO has a great deal of projects competing for resources, including many new requests that have been included in the 2012 appropriations bills that the House is debating. I voted NO. H.R. 2551 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

213

16

0

10

DEMOCRAT

39

143

0

11

TOTAL

252

159

0

21

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

3

7

0

0

Ethics

An amendment was offered to the Legislative Branch appropriations bill that would have cut 40% of the budget for the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). The amendment failed by a vote of 102-302 so it was not added to the overall bill. You may recall that this was the entity established in 2008 after a year of work by the Special Task Force on Ethics Enforcement. I served as Chair of that Task Force. I spoke against the amendment because it would have significantly limited the OCE’s ability to do its job. The OCE is the first independent entity in the history of the House to review ethics matters of Members and staff. It is too important, for practical and for symbolic purposes, to weaken or abolish.

What's Up Next Week

Negotiations will continue over how to address the debt ceiling.


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

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

You have received this e-mail because you subscribed to Rep. Capuano's E-Mail Updates authorizing Rep. Capuano to send your inbox periodic e-mail updates from his Congressional office.

UNSUBSCRIBE: if you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, you may do so at this address: http://capuano.house.gov/e-updates/unsubscribe.shtml.

PRIVACY POLICY: Your e-mail address will not be shared with anyone else or sold in any way. To read the complete privacy policy, visit: http://capuano.house.gov/privacypolicy.shtml.

E-Updates are sent from an unattended mailbox. Please do not reply directly to this e-mail. Instead, if you wish to e-mail us, please go to http://capuano.house.gov/contact/.
 


8,333 subscribers

 

 

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

 

Privacy Policy

To protect your privacy, subscriptions to Rep. Capuano's E-Updates are subject to our Privacy Policy.

 

Bill Search

Use the THOMAS search engine to search bills from the 113th Congress.

 

i.e "hres 142"

 

i.e "health care"

 

Newspapers

 

News Services

Here are some informative online news services to help you find reports from Boston and the region, as well as national and international news stories.

 

Home | About | Biography | Contact | Issues | Links | News | Schedules | Services

E-Updates | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Accessibility

110 First Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
P: (617) 621-6208
F: (617) 621-8628
Hours

Roxbury Community College
Campus Library
Room 211
Boston
Hours

Stetson Hall
Room 124
6 South Main Street
Randolph
Hours

  Constituent Services Click to close menu
  Casework and Constituent Assistance
  Citizenship/Naturalization Information
  Immigration Casework
  Ordering Flags Flown Over The Capitol
  Presidential Greetings
  Tours
  U.S. Service Academy Nominations
  Internship Programs
  Washington, D.C. Attractions
  Grants and Federal Domestic Assistance
  FAQs
  News and Multimedia Center Click to close menu
  e-Updates
  Recent Votes
  Press Items
  Video and Audio
  Photo Gallery
  Legislative Issues Click to close menu
  Mike on the Issues
  Recent Votes
  Mike's Voting Record
  Scorecards for Mike's Votes in Congress
  Legislation Sponsored by Mike
  Earmark Requests
  Committees and Caucuses
  Ethics Task Force
  Congressional Schedules Click to close menu
  Mike's Schedule
  House Floor Summary
  Weekly House Schedule
  Annual House Calendar
  Weekly Senate Schedule
  About The 7th District Click to close menu
  Maps
  Cities
  Demographics
  The 7th District Over the Years
  Nobel Prize Winners
  Interesting facts about Massachusetts
  Massachusetts Links
  Links Click to close menu
  Massachusetts Links
    State Government
    About the 7th District
    Arts, Culture and Attractions
    Chambers of Commerce
    Colleges and Universities
    Exploring Massachusetts
    Hospitals and Health Organizations
    Newspapers
    Sports

  Federal Government Links
    USA.gov - Official Government Portal
    Legislative Branch
    Executive Branch
    Judicial Branch
    Federal Agencies
    Kids' Pages
    Register to Vote
    Washington, D.C. Attractions
    Business Opportunities with the Government

  Links For Students
 
  Contact Mike Click to close menu
  District Office
  Washington, D.C. Office
  Office Hours Program
  Community Meetings
  E-mail Mike's Office