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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


8,321 subscribers

February 10, 2012

STOCK Act

Yesterday the House considered the House amendment to S. 2038, The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act. This legislation essentially clarifies that Members of Congress, staffers, executive branch employees and judicial branch employees are subject to the same rules against insider trading as all others. It increases transparency by requiring that Members disclose their stock transactions within 30 days and make that information publicly available. The measure implements similar disclosure requirements for federal employees in the executive branch.

The Senate passed its version of the STOCK Act by a 96-3 vote. The House amendment weakens the Senate bill by removing some provisions, including one requiring political intelligence consultants to register and disclose client lists. Political intelligence consultants essentially analyze the work of Congress and prepare reports that hedge funds and others can use when making decisions on investments.

I support the intent of this bill, particularly its transparency requirements so I voted YES. The House and Senate will now work to resolve the differences between the two bills. The amendment passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

232

2

0

7

DEMOCRAT

185

0

0

7

TOTAL

417

2

0

14

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0

Line Item Veto

The House this week also considered H.R. 3521, which would grant the President line item veto power. The legislation gives the President the authority to veto specific aspects of spending bills. The President would have 10 days to notify Congress when exercising the line item veto and Congress would have to vote again on the item. I didnít support H.R. 3521 because it invests too much power in the Presidency when it comes to discretionary spending decisions — power that constitutionally belongs to Congress. Furthermore, the Supreme Court ruled in 1998 that the line item veto is unconstitutional. I voted NO. H.R. 3521 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

197

41

0

3

DEMOCRAT

57

132

0

3

TOTAL

254

173

0

6

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

1

9

0

0

Budget and Accounting Transparency

This week the House considered H.R. 3581: The Budget and Accounting Transparency Act. This bill changes the way that federal loan programs are scored, which would make them more costly and harder to pay back. Furthermore, the proposed change has not been fully reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), so I believe that it is premature to proceed at this point. The House should at least wait for OMBís analysis before taking action. I voted NO. H.R. 3581 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

238

2

0

1

DEMOCRAT

7

178

0

7

TOTAL

245

180

0

8

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

1

No Child Left Behind

Yesterday President Obama announced that 10 states, including Massachusetts, were granted waivers from the No Child Left Behind law. This is recognition that, although certainly well intentioned, the legislation has fallen far short of its goals. I voted against this legislation in 2001 because in the final analysis, I was concerned about the overreliance on standardized tests. I also doubted the ability and willingness of the federal government to fund the mandates it imposed. It is long past time to direct our educational system away from a dependency on static testing and focus on developing truly effective methods to prepare our children for the future.

What’s Up Next Week

Next week the House is expected to consider H.R. 7, The American Energy and Infrastructure Act. This is the long awaited transportation reauthorization bill that I wrote you about last week. It passed in committee and awaits floor action.


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

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and
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DC Office Phone:

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