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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


11,964 subscribers

July 25, 2014

Education

This week the House considered H.R. 3136, Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act of 2014. This legislation gives the Department of Education the authority to establish a demonstration project that would measure learning rather than credit hours or actual time spent in class. Under these demonstration projects, students would be eligible for federal financial aid. H.R. 3136 could help reduce the amount of time it takes to earn a degree, which would bring down cost. I voted YES. H.R. 5021 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

225

0

0

8

DEMOCRAT

189

0

0

10

TOTAL

414

0

0

18

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

0

0

0

Student Loans

On Thursday the House considered H.R. 4984, Empowering Students Through Enhanced Counseling Act. This legislation would require colleges and universities to provide regular financial counseling to students taking on federal student loans and Pell Grants. Students would start receiving the counseling before they take on the loans. This counseling will help students and their parents better understand exactly how much principle and interest they will owe on the loans. The counseling would be ongoing. I voted YES. H.R. 4984 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

214

11

0

8

DEMOCRAT

191

0

0

8

TOTAL

405

11

0

16

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

0

0

0

Tax Credits

On Thursday the House also considered H.R. 3393, the Student and Family Tax Simplification Act. This legislation makes the American Opportunity Tax Credit for higher education expenses permanent. However, it also eliminates several education related tax credits such as the Lifetime Learning Credit which is available to students pursuing graduate education and other non-traditional students. Another problem with this bill is that, like other tax bills the House has passed in recent weeks, the cost of these tax credits is not offset and that will increase the deficit. I voted NO. H.R. 3393 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

195

26

0

12

DEMOCRAT

32

161

0

6

TOTAL

227

187

0

18

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

1

8

0

0

More Tax Credits

Today the House considered H.R. 4935, the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act. This is another tax bill that isnít offset and as a result will increase the deficit by almost a billion dollars. There are other serious problems with this legislation as well. H.R. 4935 does not extend an important tax provision that improved the benefit of the tax credit for lower income families. That provision expires in 2017 and is not addressed in this bill. If this provision does expire, a single parent working full time making minimum wage would not be eligible for any portion of this tax credit. In contrast, H.R. 4935 raises the upper limit on the amount of money families can make in order to qualify for the Child Tax Credit. Under this bill, the value of the tax credit is enhanced for families making between $150,000 and $205,000. This legislation does nothing for those who need it the most and adds significantly to the deficit. I voted NO. H.R. 4935 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

212

5

0

16

DEMOCRAT

25

168

0

6

TOTAL

237

173

0

22

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

8

0

1

Sudan

Ten years ago this week Congress declared the horror in Darfur a genocide. Yet brutality against civilians by Omar al-Bashirís regime continues in Sudan. My colleagues on the Congressional Caucus on Sudan and South Sudan as well as the co-chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission spoke out this week about the ongoing crisis. We remain concerned about the welfare of innocent lives and remain committed to supporting sustainable peace in Sudan and the region. Hundreds of thousands of lives are at risk in Sudan while a brutal conflict now rages in South Sudan. The prospect of famine and more violence is staring us in the eyes. A decade after the world stood up for human rights and dignity, we once again call on the U.S. to be a leader in support of the cause of peace in both Sudan and South Sudan.

Whatís Up Next Week

Next votes are scheduled for Monday July 28th. The House is expected to consider a group of bills related to endangered species. The House is also expected to consider H.Res. 676, providing for authority to initiate litigation for actions by the President or other executive branch officials inconsistent with their duties under the Constitution of the United States.

Mike


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

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