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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

January 8, 2016

New Year, Same Approach

The House began 2016 along same lines as most of last year — with hyper-partisan messaging bills rather than serious attempts to find common ground. I still hold out hope that Republican leadership will not ruin the record of the last week in session when the House passed two bipartisan, important bills after long and difficult negotiations that left everyone a little happy and a little angry – which is exactly how it is supposed to work. It’s still too early to tell if Paul Ryan will become a Speaker committed to at least giving the minority an opportunity to shape legislation or if he will revert to smalltime political bickering.

Repealing the Affordable Care Act

The House convened for the second session of the 114th Congress and repeated a legislative exercise that has already occurred more than 60 times — voting to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On Tuesday the House considered H.R. 3762, Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015. The Senate passed this legislation in December because, as a reconciliation bill, it only required a majority vote. With House passage this week, the legislation went straight to the President, who has already vetoed it.

H.R. 3762 repeals numerous provisions of the ACA, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates will result in the loss of health care coverage for more than 20 million Americans after 2017. H.R. 3762 also defunds Planned Parenthood for one year, which will leave many patients without access to cancer screenings, family planning and preventive care.

It’s worth noting that despite this obsessive focus on eliminating the ACA, the Republican-led House has still failed to propose any alternative legislation. I voted NO. H.R. 3762 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

239

3

0

4

DEMOCRAT

1

178

0

9

TOTAL

240

181

0

13

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

8

0

1

Reducing Regulations

On Thursday the House considered H.R. 1155, the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act. This legislation establishes a commission tasked with reviewing all agency rules and presenting a set of recommendations to Congress detailing which ones should be eliminated. The commission will have broad power, including the authority to issue subpoenas and scrutinize every aspect of every agency rule. Once the commission’s work is presented to Congress, only a vote on the overall package, not individual recommendations, will be permitted. H.R. 1155 also requires agencies to implement a new policy mandating the elimination of an existing rule of at least equal “cost” every time a new rule is issued. This is nothing more than an effort to inhibit the important work of our regulatory agencies, reducing oversight designed to protect consumers, the public health, the environment and much more. I voted NO. H.R. 1155 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

239

2

0

4

DEMOCRAT

6

172

0

10

TOTAL

245

174

0

14

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

8

0

1

Delaying Rulemaking

On Thursday the House also considered H.R. 712, Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2015. This legislation is simply an effort to delay the rulemaking process of federal regulatory agencies. It places additional requirements on all agencies relating to their rulemaking responsibilities. H.R. 712 requires agencies to post all proposed rules online for six months before they can take effect, which could delay implementation of rules protecting public health and safety. Every time an agency issues a new rule, this legislation arbitrarily requires the elimination of another rule. It also requires agencies to notify the public before any discussion can begin with outside entities about consent decrees or settlement agreements. This is an unnecessary barrier that will just delay the ability of federal agencies to hold polluters and other violators accountable. Transparency can be accomplished without delaying agency work. I voted NO. H.R. 712 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

241

0

0

4

DEMOCRAT

3

173

0

12

TOTAL

244

173

0

16

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

8

0

1

What’s Up Next

TNext votes are scheduled for Monday January 11th. The House is expected to consider H.R. 3662, the Iran Terror Transparency Act and H.R. 1644, the STREAM Act.

Mike


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

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