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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


12,360 subscribers

January 16, 2015

College Ratings

This week I re-introduced a resolution with my Republican colleague, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), opposing the Presidentís plan to establish a college ratings system. The Administration first proposed such a system over a year ago and in December unveiled a draft framework. The ratings would be based on criteria such as the percentage of students receiving degrees and the average salaries of graduates. Given the diversity of our higher education system in everything from size to academic offerings and specialties, I think it will be extremely difficult to craft a one size fits all ratings system that can accurately determine a schoolís value. While I do appreciate the Administrationís commitment to making higher education more accessible and affordable, establishing a system to rate schools using imperfect criteria that cannot be accurately measured or equally applied is not the answer. I am especially concerned about using this ratings system to determine financial aid, which could unfairly burden students and further reduce their access to higher education. I will be working with Rep. Goodlatte to build support for our resolution.

A Focus on Regulation

On Tuesday the House considered H.R. 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act. This legislation is described by supporters as an effort to reduce regulatory burdens when in reality it does the exact opposite. H.R. 185 adds dozens of new regulatory requirements across numerous agencies. It significantly expands the scope of the cost-benefit analysis required on all administrative rulemaking and applies that cost-benefit analysis to every single rule, not just those with economic significance. H.R. 185 would apply cost-benefit analysis requirements to more than 3,000 rules every year. You can imagine how much more this will cost taxpayers. The Administration has stated that the President will veto this bill. I voted NO. H.R. 185 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

242

0

0

3

DEMOCRAT

8

175

0

5

TOTAL

250

175

0

8

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Financial Services

On Wednesday the House again considered H.R. 37, the Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act. You may recall that this bill was brought up last week under suspension of the rules which requires a 2/3 majority to pass. It didnít receive that much support so it was brought up this week under regular order. This legislation is a combination of 11 different bills considered previously, some of which have actually passed with bipartisan support. However, H.R. 37 still contains some troubling provisions, including the provision delaying implementation of part of the Volcker Rule. The Volcker Rule prohibits banks from using its depositorsí funds to make risky investments. H.R. 37 gives banks two more years to divest from Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLOs). This is on top of the two extra years federal regulators have already granted banks to divest from non-conforming CLOs, which are risky investments that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently investigating. The SEC is determining how these instruments are used and traded and whether they are creating new avenues for fraud. The SEC is also reviewing whether banks and companies are using complicated bond deals to hide certain risks illegally. Itís worth noting that only three of Wall Streetís largest banks control almost 70% of CLO transactions. I again voted NO and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

242

1

0

2

DEMOCRAT

29

153

0

6

TOTAL

271

154

0

8

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Homeland Security

Last month Congress passed legislation funding the federal government through the end of the current fiscal year with the exception of Homeland Security Appropriations. Those programs were only funded through the end of February to give the new Congress the opportunity to take legislative action opposing the Presidentís executive orders on immigration. The President acted because House Republican leadership has refused for years to consider comprehensive immigration reform or even to allow a vote on a bipartisan Senate passed bill. On Wednesday the House added several amendments to H.R. 240, Homeland Security Appropriations. They prohibit the use of funds to enforce the executive actions that the President took to set immigration enforcement priorities and expand opportunities for DREAMers Ė young people who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents, many as infants. Rather than proactively proposing their own ideas on how to reform our immigration system, House Republicans are instead working to stop the President from exercising his own authority to act by cutting off funding. I voted NO. H.R. 240 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

234

10

0

1

DEMOCRAT

2

181

0

5

TOTAL

236

191

0

6

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Whatís Up Next

Next votes will take place on Tuesday January 20th. President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening.

Mike


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

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