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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

September 11, 2015

Remembering

Iíll never forget where I was or how I felt when news first broke that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. September 11th will always be a day of remembrance and reflection. I hope it is a small comfort to the families and friends who lost precious loved ones on that dark day to know they are not alone on this anniversary.

Iran

Today, the House completed consideration of H.R. 3461, To Approve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed at Vienna on July 14, 2015 relating to the nuclear program of Iran. This is one of the most significant and serious issues that I have considered as your Representative in Congress. After careful analysis and review, I voted in support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) plus Germany. The agreement is intended to prevent Iran from developing nuclear arms.

Iran and its terrorist proxies pose real dangers and could wreak almost unimaginable horrors. I have long hoped for a negotiated resolution to this threat, knowing full well that a perfect agreement, satisfying all sides, is an impossible standard. I have spent weeks reviewing the agreement, conducting numerous meetings and seeking out expert analysis, including from qualified scientists. Congress had no role in the negotiations and does not have the authority to amend the agreement. The sole responsibility of the House and the Senate is simply to accept or reject what is presented for a vote.

I know the agreement is not perfect, lacking some provisions that both the President and the Secretary of State felt should be included. For example, inspections can be delayed for as long as 24 days. In the final analysis, however, those provisions simply were not enough for me to vote against the agreement.

I believe if the United States were to walk away from this agreement, the rest of the world would just resume business as usual with Iran, as both Russia and China have already done and even our friends, Britain and France, appear eager to do. Iran would face no effective restraint to its development of nuclear weapons. Other nations in the region could follow Iranís path, themselves pursuing nuclear weapons. This prospect is chilling, and for me is a compelling argument that a negotiated agreement, however imperfect it may be, offers the strongest possibility of preventing a nuclear arms race and further military conflict in the Middle East. If Iran subsequently violates its commitments, it will not be because the United States and its allies refused to seek peace in good faith.

I want to acknowledge and thank everyone who reached out to me, sharing their thoughts on this agreement. I carefully considered all aspects of it before concluding that a vote in support of the deal represents a better chance for peace. I voted YES. H.R. 3461 failed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

0

244

1

0

DEMOCRAT

162

25

0

1

TOTAL

162

269

1

1

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

0

0

0

Before the Approval Vote on the JCPOA

Before the House debated H.R. 3461 (detailed above) Republicans developed a last minute plan to indefinitely delay consideration of the agreement. Leadership quickly brought H.Res. 411 to the floor, a Resolution Finding that the President has not complied with Section Two of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. You may recall that in July the House passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which gave Congress 60 days to consider the JCPOA. That timetable began on July 20th and ends on September 17th. With the September 17th deadline just days away, some Republicans tried to make the argument that the review period hasnít even started because the President has not submitted to Congress two separate agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). That is a false narrative because these agreements are not part of the JCPOA and under IAEA regulations they must remain confidential. The IAEA Director General emphasized recently that they ďdo not compromise our safeguard standards in any wayĒ. I voted NO. H.R. 3461 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

245

0

0

0

DEMOCRAT

0

186

0

2

TOTAL

245

186

0

2

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Sanctions

The House also considered H.R. 3460, the No Sanctions Relief Authority for President Obama Act. This legislation takes away Presidential authority to reduce or suspend sanctions relating to Iran until January 21, 2017 which just happens to be the end of the Presidentís term in office. I voted NO. H.R. 3460 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

245

0

0

0

DEMOCRAT

2

186

0

0

TOTAL

247

186

0

0

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

A Further Note on Iran

None of the bills the House considered this week will make it to the Presidentís desk. Yesterday the Senate failed to reach the 60 vote threshold required to move forward with a resolution of disapproval on the JCPOA. It is certainly possible that additional votes could occur next week, but at this point, the September 17th deadline will pass without Congressional action that has enough support to sustain a Presidential veto.

Whatís Up Next

Next votes are scheduled for Wednesday September 16th. The House is expected to consider H.R. 3134, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015.

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.


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