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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


8,321 subscribers

February 28, 2014

First Responders

Yesterday I filed legislation with Rep. Dan Maffei (D-NY) to establish a legal public holiday known as National First Responders Day on a date designated by the President. My office has been working with the family of Officer Sean Collier, who was killed on April 18th by those responsible for the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon.

When Officer Collierís family first approached us with this request, they explained that they wanted the legislation to be about all of the men and women who have protected us over the years, not just about what happened in Boston last April. That is the reason we are leaving the choosing of a date up to the President. I appreciate the activism of the Collier family in advocating for this legislation.

First responders put their lives on the line every day. They enter burning buildings, pursue armed suspects and rush into danger without regard for their own safety. Seemingly routine calls can quickly turn dangerous. A simple patrol or a traffic stop can bring great peril.

None of us will forget where we were when news of the bombings reached us. We have all been impacted by that act of evil in ways large and small. The families of Officer Sean Collier, Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell and Lu Lingzi lost their loved ones in an unthinkable way. They will always be in our hearts.

The Internal Revenue Service

This week the House considered H.R. 3865, the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act of 2014. This is another one of those bills with a misleading title. H.R. 3865 has to do with the controversy over whether the IRS was unfairly targeting tax-exempt organizations based on their perceived political leanings. As a result of this controversy the Department of the Treasuryís Inspector General issued a series of recommendations on how the IRS can improve its management of tax exempt applications. H.R. 3865 doesnít do anything to advance reform, in fact it does just the opposite. This legislation DELAYS the IGís recommendations for one year. During the last election cycle, 501 (c) (4) applications, which is a tax exempt designation that keeps donor identity a secret from the public, almost doubled. H.R. 3865 delays rules clarifying when these groups are engaged in political activity. Itís worth noting that these groups could maintain their tax exempt status and still be involved in the political process by forming a 527 (a Political Action Committee), but they would then have to disclose their donors. The Administration has stated that it will veto H.R. 3865. Numerous organizations such as Common Cause and U.S.PIRG oppose the bill because it does nothing to increase transparency. I voted NO. H.R. 3865 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

229

0

0

2

DEMOCRAT

14

176

0

9

TOTAL

243

176

0

11

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Regulation

The House also considered H.R. 2804; the All Economic Regulations are Transparent Act of 2014. This is a combination of four bills that focus on weakening the regulatory process. The Obama Administration has already announced it will veto this bill. H.R. 2804 adds 60 onerous requirements to the agency rulemaking process, which will delay action, add cost and increase uncertainty for businesses. It vastly increases the number of agencies subject to a peer review of proposed regulations, which will result in delays in implementation. I voted NO. H.R. 2804 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

226

0

0

5

DEMOCRAT

10

179

0

10

TOTAL

236

179

0

15

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Yesterday the House considered H.R. 3193, the Consumer Financial Protection and Soundness Improvement Act. This is yet another example of legislation that basically does the opposite of what its title suggests. You may recall that the Dodd Frank Financial Regulatory Reform legislation included a provision to establish a consumer advocacy entity, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Republicans generally have not been supportive of the CFPB, holding up confirmation of the bureauís director for many months and voting to weaken its scope. H.R. 3193 is simply another way to undermine the work of the CFPB. It makes the bureau subject to the annual appropriations process, placing yearly uncertainty over its finances. It replaces the Executive Director with a 5 person commission, which will make it more difficult for the CFPB to act quickly and effectively on consumer protection and enforcement. Since its establishment, the CFPB has worked to address more than 270,000 consumer issues. The Administration has stated it will veto this bill too. Many organizations also oppose H.R. 3193, such as the Consumer Federation of America, the NAACP and Public Citizen. I voted NO. H.R. 3193 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

222

0

0

9

DEMOCRAT

10

182

0

7

TOTAL

232

182

0

16

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Unfunded Mandates

Today the House considered H.R. 899, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act. This legislation sounds good but it really imposes additional obligations on agencies when they are drafting rules. For example, H.R. 899 requires agencies to consult with private businesses before drafting rules that would impact their industry. There is nothing wrong with seeking input from these entities, but the bill doesnít require the same level of consultation for other impacted interests. So if an agency is drafting rules that would impact the coal or oil industry, they must consult with these businesses but not environmental or energy experts. It also expands the scope of judicial review over agency rulemaking, giving businesses more time and opportunity to challenge rules. Businesses could easily take advantage of this expanded scope to delay every proposed rule. The Administration has also threatened a veto of this bill. I voted NO. H.R. 899 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

217

0

0

14

DEMOCRAT

17

176

0

6

TOTAL

234

176

0

20

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Whatís Up Next Week

The next House votes are scheduled for Monday March 3rd. The House is expected to consider flood insurance legislation as well as H.R. 4076 Ė Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transportation Act.

Mike


Congressman Mike Capuano
7th District, Massachusetts
Committee on Ethics
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:

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

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DC Office:

1414 Longworth Building, Washington, DC 20515

DC Office Phone:

(202) 225-5111

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