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


8,333 subscribers

January 17, 2014

Omnibus Appropriations

On Wednesday the House considered the Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3547, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014. This is the budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2014. I voted YES, along with the entire Massachusetts delegation. It is certainly not the budget that I would have prepared and it is far from perfect, but it does finally begin to ease some of the drastic cuts that so many programs have endured in the last few years. The bill provides $1 billion over the 2013 sequester levels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), funding that will be used for health care programs, research and much more. Funding for the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) is also increased. I was encouraged to learn that the bill reversed recent funding cuts to Head Start and increased funding for programs that will expand early childhood education opportunities for children.

Other programs also had sequester cuts restored, including LIHEAP, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and a host of science research programs directed by the Department of Energy. The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program includes a contingency fund that will keep current recipients from losing services and 10,000 new veteransí housing vouchers are being funded.

I was pleased to learn that the House and Senate Appropriations committees responded to numerous requests from me and my Massachusetts colleagues by including funding for MITís fusion program in the Omnibus Appropriations bill. This means more than 100 jobs will be saved and the United States wonít lose ground when it comes to this important scientific research. The Administration attempted several times to end the research so this funding keeps the program going.

I decided to support this bill because, after too many years of indiscriminate, deep budget cuts, finally a more sensible approach was taken. This legislation certainly does not restore all necessary funding, but it does finally begin to turn off the sequester and that is a very important step. If you would like additional information, here are links to the Democratic and Republican House Appropriations Committee summaries:

I voted YES. The legislation passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

166

64

0

3

DEMOCRAT

193

3

0

4

TOTAL

359

67

0

7

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

0

0

0

The House also considered H.R. 3362, the Exchange Information Disclosure Act. This legislation places a difficult and unnecessary burden on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding reporting requirements for health insurance. It requires HHS to issue extremely detailed weekly reports on health insurance enrollments, including information on how many web chats have taken place and a breakdown on enrollees by zip code. HHS already provides monthly data, just as it does for the Childrenís Health Insurance Program and other federal initiatives. H.R. 3362 simply places an unnecessary burden on HHS, wasting time and resources. I voted NO. H.R. 3362 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

226

0

0

6

DEMOCRAT

33

154

0

13

TOTAL

259

121542

0

19

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Public Private Partnerships

This week I was named Ranking Member on the Transportation Committeeís Panel on Public Private Partnerships. This is one of a series of special panels that the committee is establishing to more fully explore certain aspects of our nationís infrastructure. This panel will focus on the nature of public private partnerships in the field of transportation. Our communities are facing pressing transportation needs, with limited resources available to address them. The challenges of rehabilitating aging infrastructure must always be balanced with the desire to create new transportation opportunities for commuters. This panel will explore the role that the private sector can and should play in improving the nationís infrastructure and I look forward to serving on it.

Whatís Up Next Week

A District Work period has been scheduled. Next votes will take place on Monday January 27th.

Mike


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

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District Offices:

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Roxbury Community College Campus Library, Room 211, Boston
Stetson Hall Room 124, 6 South Main Street, Randolph

District Office Phone:

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DC Office:

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DC Office Phone:

(202) 225-5111

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