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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 15, 2016

Mining

On Tuesday the House considered H.R. 1644, the Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining (STREAM) Act. This legislation is, unfortunately, a transparent effort to delay the implementation of rules protecting streams from mining debris. Byproducts of coal stripped from mountaintops have caused significant environmental damage, resulting in the disappearance or deterioration of more than 2,000 miles of streams. The impact on wildlife habitats and drinking water has been significant and the risk of flooding has increased. H.R. 1644 delays action on a rule proposed this summer to protect streams at risk from coal mining waste. It requires the Secretary of the Interior to make public all scientific material that was used to develop the rule at least 90 days before it can be implemented. It also requires the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to study the impact of every rule related to stream protection going back to 1983. No action can be taken on implementing or updating any rules until the NAS has completed its analysis and that report is publicly available for one year. The Administration has stated that H.R. 1644 will be vetoed. I voted NO. H.R. 1644 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

231

10

0

4

DEMOCRAT

4

178

0

6

TOTAL

235

188

0

10

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

8

0

1

Iran

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 3662, the Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act. The real intent of this legislation is to block the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear agreement. It prevents the United States from fulfilling some of its commitments under the JCPOA, effectively impeding its implementation. H.R. 3662 prohibits the administration from lifting sanctions on some 400 financial institutions and individuals, without first certifying that they were never involved in any prohibited activities. Many of the entities in question will continue to be monitored, but the lifting of these sanctions is a requirement of JCPOA. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to soon verify that Iran is meeting its obligations under the JCPOA. The Administration has stated that H.R. 3662 will be vetoed, explaining that “By preventing the United States from fulfilling its JCPOA commitments, H.R. 3662 could result in the collapse of a comprehensive diplomatic arrangement that peacefully and verifiably prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

In an unusual move, Speaker Ryan closed the vote on H.R. 3662 after 15 minutes, which is the minimum time allotted under the rule for Members to cast their votes. Such votes are usually kept open for 20-30 minutes so Members have time to stop whatever they are doing when the vote is called, walk over to the Capitol and vote. The Speaker recently expressed concern that votes were being kept open long after the allotted time to accommodate a handful of Members who are consistently tardy. Because the vote closed after 15 minutes, well over 100 Members did not vote. Since so many missed the vote and because this strict adherence to the time allotment is a new approach, both parties agreed to vacate the vote and re-vote the matter at the end of January.

Even though the vote was vacated, I include the tally so you can see how it is likely to develop. When the vote closed, the tally was 191 in favor and 106 against. I will vote NO on the re-vote, as I did Wednesday.

Clean Water Act

On Wednesday the House also considered S.J. Res. 22, a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to disapprove the Administration’s Clean Water Act rule issued in June 2015. This measure prevents the implementation of the Clean Waters Act Rule, which clarifies the definition of “waters of the United States” under that Act. As a result of Supreme Court decisions from 2001 and 2006, confusion has surrounded which waterways the Clean Water Act has jurisdiction over. This has endangered protections for waterway and impeded permitting for work such as municipal storm sewers. I voted NO. S.J. Res. 22 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

241

1

0

3

DEMOCRAT

12

165

0

11

TOTAL

253

166

0

14

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

6

0

3

What’s Up Next

A district work week has been scheduled. The next House votes will take place on Monday January 25th.

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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Roxbury Community College Campus Library, Room 211, Boston
Stetson Hall Room 124, 6 South Main Street, Randolph

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DC Office Phone:

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