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Congressman Capuano's
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
7th Congressional District of Massachusetts

12,456 subscribers

January 25, 2013

Debt Limit

This week the House considered H.R. 325: Temporary Debt Limit Suspension. This bill suspends the debt limit for three months. After that, the debt limit will be reinstated. This is just another example of putting off dealing with difficult problems. This bill ensures that Congress will have to raise the debt limit again later this year to avoid defaulting on our obligations. Continuing to delay action doesnít solve anything and only creates additional uncertainty for the economy.

H.R. 325 also withholds the paychecks for Members of Congress unless a budget resolution is passed. This may seem like a tempting approach given the dysfunction often on display in Washington. However, itís basically a meaningless gimmick because even if no budget passes, all of the withheld money will be given back to Members of the House and Senate at the end of the Congress, with interest. I also think this sets a troubling precedent for future legislation. I fully expect that Republican leadership will attach this paycheck provision to other bills. Who knows, we may see legislation withholding pay unless cuts are made to programs like Social Security or withholding pay unless Roe v. Wade is repealed.

I voted NO. H.R. 325 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:





















Committee Assignment

I was asked to serve on the House Committee on Ethics, and the Democratic Caucus approved that recommendation Wednesday. This committee oversees all matters related to the Code of Official Conduct for House Members and their staff. It is the only House committee composed equally of Democratic and Republican Members. It is my honor to accept this new assignment. I will approach all aspects of this responsibility with care and diligence.

You may recall that in 2007, I chaired the Special Task Force on Ethics Enforcement. That bipartisan task force was charged with exploring the establishment of an independent ethics enforcement entity. In March of 2008, my resolution establishing the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) passed, involving non-Members of the House in ethics matters for the first time in history. The OCE reviews cases and forwards matters requiring further review to the Ethics Committee. It will be interesting to view ethics matters from the perspective of the Ethics Committee after being involved in the establishment of the OCE.

Inaugural Tickets

This week I refiled my bill establishing penalties for counterfeiting or selling tickets to the Presidential Inaugural. I first filed it in 2008, after reports surfaced that Inaugural tickets were being put up for sale. Members of Congress receive a limited number of Inaugural tickets that they make available at no cost to interested constituents.

In 2008 and again this time, my office received many more requests for tickets than we could accommodate. These tickets should not be sold to the highest bidder. Anyone obtaining them and then seeking to profit should be penalized. The Presidential Inaugural is an opportunity for people from all backgrounds to come together and witness history. It is a day to put aside partisanship and celebrate democracy. That opportunity should be available to everyone.

Four years ago the Senate passed similar legislation. I am hopeful that, because this problem has surfaced again, it will be illegal to profit from these tickets before our next President takes the oath of office.

Somerville Community Access Television

Last night I was happy to join Somerville Community Access Television (SCAT) members at their Annual Meeting. I talked with attendees about the importance of local access television and offered my thanks for the contributions that they are making to the community. Local access television gives anyone with an idea and some time the ability to broadcast their message. It helps local organizations spread the word about the work they are doing and gives people the chance to learn about television production. I have been a fan of local access programming since I was Mayor of Somerville. SCAT is the oldest access center in Massachusetts and is celebrating its 30th year of operation.

Whatís Up Next

A District Work Period is scheduled for next week. House Members will return for votes on Monday February 4th.


Congressman Mike Capuano
7th District, Massachusetts
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Financial Services

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Roxbury Community College, Campus Library, Room 211

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