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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

May 1, 2015

Nepal

I extend my deepest sympathies to everyone affected by the devastating earthquake in Nepal. My thoughts are with those who lost precious loved ones or suffered injuries as a result of this tragedy. The loss of life is heartbreaking. Many homes, businesses and villages have been destroyed. Nepal will need many resources to recover. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has responded quickly to this disaster, including allocating funds for humanitarian assistance. In the days and weeks ahead, our government will play a role in helping the citizens of Nepal rebuild. I am also supporting legislation that will grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Nepalese citizens who were lawfully in the United States on April 25th. This will allow them to remain here for a specified period of time. The recovery in Nepal is expected to last for many months. Congress has a history of granting TPS after other natural disasters, such as the 2001 earthquakes in El Salvador and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. I hope that Congress can act quickly on this measure.

Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriations

This week the House began consideration of the Fiscal Year 2016 House Appropriations bills. All of the appropriations bills are being drafted based on funding levels set forth in the Budget Control Act of 2011. Those levels are simply not adequate. Furthermore, defense is being funded in a way that is exempted from this framework, violating the spirit of the agreement and placing added pressure on all other spending.

First, the House considered H.R. 2029, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2016. This legislation does contain a number of provisions I do support, such as funding to help reduce wait time for veterans with claims awaiting processing. There are too many initiatives, however, that are not adequately funded such as information technology and medical facilities. H.R. 2029 also includes Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds to pay for some military construction. This is nothing more than a way to direct additional money toward these projects without adhering to the overall budget limit.

I could not support this legislation. The Administration has indicated the President will veto this bill. I voted NO. H.R. 2029 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

236

4

0

3

DEMOCRAT

19

159

0

10

TOTAL

255

163

0

13

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

8

0

1

The House also considered H.R. 2028, Energy and Water Appropriations Act of 2016. This legislation includes funding for the Department of Energy and the Army Corps of Engineers. Renewable energy and alternative energy programs are significantly cut. The legislation also includes provisions that will make it harder for the Army Corps of Engineers to enforce the Clean Water Act when working to reduce water pollution. The Administration has indicated that the President will veto H.R. 2028. I voted NO. The legislation passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

230

7

0

6

DEMOCRAT

10

170

0

8

TOTAL

240

177

0

14

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

1

8

0

0

Budget

This week the House considered the Conference Report to S. Con. Res. 11, the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget. In many ways, it is worse than the House Republican budget that passed earlier this year. It lowers taxes on the wealthiest Americans by reducing some corporate and individual tax rates by a third. At the same time, this budget eliminates the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which helps reduce the cost of college tuition. It also lets some provisions in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit expire. As a result, a nonpartisan review of S. Con. Res.11ís tax policies show that taxes on an average family would go up by $2,000 while millionaires would enjoy a $200,000 tax cut.

Of course, this budget also repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but still uses the savings and revenue from that legislation ($2 trillion) to achieve budget balance. The Conference Report changes the way Medicaid is administered, transitioning it into a block grant program. This gives states more flexibility in how that money is used and officials could then limit program eligibility or reduce benefits.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is slashed and veterans programming funding reduced. Head Start funding, scientific research, job training and education are all significantly underfunded. Cuts in transportation over a ten year period will equal 26%. I voted NO. The Conference Report passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

226

14

0

4

DEMOCRAT

0

183

0

5

TOTAL

226

197

0

9

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Whatís Up Next

A District Work period has been scheduled. The next House votes are expected to take place on Tuesday May 12th.

Mike


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

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Stetson Hall Room 124, 6 South Main Street, Randolph

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DC Office Phone:

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