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Congressman Capuano's
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
7th Congressional District of Massachusetts

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September 25, 2015

His Holiness Pope Francis of the Holy See

In a nationally televised address before a Joint Meeting of Congress, His Holiness Pope Francis compassionately and simply reminded all of us to care for each other as we would want to be cared for. That message applies to the way we treat our friends, family and the strangers we encounter every day. It most certainly applies to elected leaders on all levels because the policies and philosophies we advocate for and against affect real people in serious ways. They aren’t just words on paper or a speech delivered in a government chamber. They have an impact on our communities and our constituents. It was an historic day on Capitol Hill and an inspiring message from the Holy Father.

Speaker Boehner

We learned today in a surprising announcement that House Speaker John Boehner was resigning from Congress at the end of October. I almost never agreed with him, but I respected him and believe Speaker Boehner understood that legislating was about compromise. I have no idea what his resignation will mean for the direction of our country. The next Speaker could come from the extreme conservative wing of the Republican Caucus. Congress is facing so many significant challenges. I hope that the next Speaker can govern effectively, end the gridlock in the House and exercise some measure of control over the extremists in the majority party.

Chelsea Chamber of Commerce

I had the opportunity Tuesday morning to spend some time with members of the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. After opening remarks, I engaged in a lively discussion with attendees about a range of both local and national topics. As always, I appreciate the opportunity to hear directly from local business leaders, learning about the issues that they are most closely following. We talked about our concern over the growing refugee crisis. We also talked about the Iran nuclear agreement and the prospects for progress on federal transportation funding.

Groundwork Somerville

Also on Tuesday I joined dozens of young people on the banks of the Mystic River in Somerville at the invitation of Groundwork Somerville. This local organization focuses on preserving our environment through educational programming, urban gardening, composting, open space enhancement and many other initiatives. Groundwork Somerville is participating in a National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, the Canoemobile. This program helps make waterways such as the Mystic River more accessible and highlights their importance to the environment. Participants spend time out on the river in a canoe learning firsthand about its ecology. Canoemobile programming also includes onshore lessons about the Mystic River’s history and its water quality. I’ve visited other Groundwork Somerville initiatives. The staff does great work and I am pleased that they were chosen to participate in this federal program. The Canoemobile also traveled to Boston’s Neponset River this week.

Prime Minister Neves

I met this week with Cabo Verde Prime Minister Jose Maria Neves at the State House with Governor Baker and other elected leaders. Massachusetts is home to many Cape Verdeans, many already U.S. citizens and others more recent newcomers. We spoke about the important relationships between our countries. Our conversation also focused on ways to enhance that relationship. I expressed my appreciation to Prime Minister Neves for meeting with us this week.

Community Health

I recently participated in the opening celebration for the “Let’s Get Healthy, Boston” project. With help from a Partners in Community Health federal grant, the focus of the program is on reducing smoking, encouraging exercise and improving nutrition. It was great to join program advocates, neighborhood volunteers and other leaders on a beautiful Saturday. Attendees enjoyed healthy food as well as bike repairs, free bike helmets and physical activities. Thanks to the Roxbury YMCA for hosting Saturday’s event.


Today the House considered H.R. 348: the Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development Act (RAPID). This is the same bill the House passed last year. It did not advance in the Senate because the bill is anything but responsible. Supporters claim H.R. 348 simply streamlines the National Environmental Policy Act’s environmental review process. In reality, the bill makes it more difficult for federal agencies to conduct thorough environmental reviews. Currently, every federal agency with jurisdiction over a particular project must conduct an environmental review that focuses on their particular area. H.R. 348 designates one lead agency to conduct the environmental review and requires that agency to establish 30 day deadlines for the other agencies. The Administration has issued a veto message on this bill as well. I voted NO. H.R. 348 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:




















What’s Up Next

Next House votes are scheduled for Monday September 28th. The House is expected to consider legislation to fund the federal government beyond September 30th.


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

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