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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


8,333 subscribers

October 28, 2011

Telephone Community Meetings

On Wednesday, November 2nd from 6:55 - 7:55 PM and on Thursday, November 17th from 7:00 - 8:00 PM, I am hosting telephone community meetings. Anyone interested in participating may dial 1-877-229-8493 and use pin 13034 at the scheduled time to join the call. If you’d like to ask me a question, just press *3 after joining the meeting.

There are so many important issues facing our country, from the economy and jobs to federal spending priorities. I am very interested in hearing what you think about the Super Committee, charged with putting forth a plan to reduce the federal deficit. That plan must be submitted to Congress by November 23rd and voted up or down by December 23rd. The impact of their work will be felt by all of us, whether the Super Committee can come to an agreement or not. If they can’t reach agreement, automatic across-the-board cuts will go into effect. Either way, pursuant to a plan or across-the-board, America will soon feel the impacts of $1.5 Trillion in budget reductions.

If you have some time on either day, I hope you can call in. We plan to schedule some additional meetings soon and will be posting the audio recording of meetings on our website in case these November dates don’t work for you.

Also, we are in the process of scheduling some community meetings in the 8th district. As those dates and locations are finalized, I will get them to you.

Votes This Week

This week the House considered H.R. 1904: the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act. This bill authorizes an exchange of land between the federal government and the Resolution Copper Company in Arizona. The reason for this transfer is that the federal land Resolution Copper will be receiving is believed to be rich with deposits of copper ore. This transfer will allow the company to bypass parts of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). There will be little requirement for mitigation, no comprehensive review of the possible impact on the land in question, and no discussion with local tribes whose lives will be affected. I voted NO. H.R. 1904 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

228

8

0

5

DEMOCRAT

7

178

0

7

TOTAL

235

186

0

12

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

10

0

0

The House also considered H.R. 674: Repealing 3% Withholding on Government Vendors. This legislation repeals a rule put in place in 2006 by the Bush Administration and the Republican-led Congress. It requires that government agencies hold back 3% of the payments to businesses they contract with for goods and services. The intent was to improve tax compliance. This regulation has never taken effect and Democrats have worked to delay and repeal it. The 2009 Recovery Act delayed its implementation until January of 2012 and the IRS further delayed the implementation date until 2013. Businesses, as well as state and local governments, have expressed concern over the administrative issues that this regulation will cause. I support ending this rule, and I voted YES on H.R. 674. The entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

235

0

0

6

DEMOCRAT

170

16

0

6

TOTAL

405

16

0

12

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

1

0

0

The House also considered H.R. 2576: to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the calculation of modified adjusted gross income for purposes of determining eligibility for certain healthcare related programs. This legislation is the way that H.R. 674 will be funded. It changes the definition of Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) in the Affordable Care Act by requiring taxpayers to include Social Security benefits in calculating their modified adjusted gross income when determining eligibility for certain tax credits as well as Medicaid. The MAGI definition used in the Affordable Care Act excludes nontaxable Social Security benefits because that is the standard income definition used historically to determine who is eligible for tax benefits. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this change could result in over 500,000 people losing access to Medicaid. The rule adopted for this bill and for H.R. 674 merges both bills and sends them to the Senate as one. I voted NO. H.R. 2576 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

235

21

0

6

DEMOCRAT

27

157

0

8

TOTAL

262

157

0

14

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

10

0

0

Haiti

This week I sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano asking that the DHS expedite the processing of approved Haitian immigration petitions. Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown, as well as Representatives Edward Markey, Barney Frank, John Olver, Jim McGovern and Stephen Lynch joined me in sending the letter.

We are asking that the DHS grant entry into the U.S. for beneficiaries of already approved family based immigration petitions. Although these individuals have already been approved, they remain in Haiti because Legal Permanent Residents, who have the right to petition for spouses and children, face a delay of as long as five years before families can be reunited. Conditions in Haiti are still extremely difficult in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake and so many are very concerned about their families. This action would mirror a program that is already in place for Cuban families.

East Boston Bypass Road

This morning I joined officials from Massport and members of the East Boston community at a groundbreaking ceremony for the East Boston bypass road. Massport should be commended for advancing this project and finally making it a reality. The bypass road will take trucks off residential streets, improve air quality and enhance local neighborhoods. I have been fighting for the bypass road since I took office, and I was very pleased to attend today’s event. I look forward to its completion.

What’s Up Next Week

At this writing, the legislative schedule has not been released.


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.


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and
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