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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

May 27, 2016

Appropriations

Yesterday the House continued consideration of appropriations bills with H.R. 5055, Energy and Water Appropriations. This legislation significantly underfunds research on clean energy development as well as the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy initiative while increasing funding for fossil fuels. Numerous provisions in H.R. 5055 are damaging to the Clean Water Act. The legislation also allows for the possession of firearms on all Army Corps of Engineers lands. The Administration has stated that H.R. 5055 will be vetoed.

You will notice in the chart below that this appropriations bill failed in the House, with more than 100 Republicans voting against it. The process quickly collapsed over controversy surrounding the addition of an amendment supporting President Obama’s Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against their employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. You may recall last week that a similar amendment was offered to a different bill but was voted down. That bill eventually passed. I voted NO. H.R. 5055 failed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

106

130

0

9

DEMOCRAT

6

175

0

7

TOTAL

112

305

0

16

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Zika Virus

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 897, the Zika Vector Control Act. Despite its misleading title, the legislation really has nothing to do with controlling the spread of the Zika virus. Democrats are describing this legislation as the “Pesticide Trojan Horse Bill”. H.R. 897 is essentially the same bill as H.R. 935, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2014 which was considered by the House two years ago. What H.R. 897 really does is weaken the Clean Water Act by freeing commercial pesticide use from regulation. A 2009 court ruling defined commercial pesticides as pollutants if they are being used near bodies of water. The Clean Water Act also provides for specific emergency use to stem the spread of a disease, which would include the Zika virus. Under this exemption, pesticide use is allowed as long as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is notified within 30 days. Not only is H.R. 897 misleading, it is unnecessary. I voted NO. H.R. 897 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

235

0

0

10

DEMOCRAT

23

156

0

9

TOTAL

258

156

0

19

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

8

0

1

Chemical Safety

On Tuesday the House considered the House Amendment to Senate Amendment to H.R. 2576, Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. This bipartisan legislation updates the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA), enhancing oversight of various chemicals. The legislation requires the EPA to include the specific impact of all chemicals on children, seniors and pregnant women when it conducts a review. It establishes updated deadlines for review of certain chemicals and increases transparency so the public has access to more information about their use. I voted YES. The legislation passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

232

3

0

10

DEMOCRAT

171

9

0

8

TOTAL

403

12

0

18

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

0

0

0

Washington D.C. Budget Authority

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 5233, Repealing Budget Autonomy for the District of Columbia. This legislation nullifies the Local Budget Autonomy Amendment Act that the Washington, D.C. City Council passed, which gives the D.C. government the authority to spend its own money without first receiving Congressional approval. Courts have upheld the D.C. government’s local budget authority. There is just no reason to add an unnecessary layer of federal oversight over local decisions to spend money on items such as street sweeping or park maintenance. I voted NO. H.R. 5233 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

238

0

0

7

DEMOCRAT

2

179

0

7

TOTAL

240

179

0

14

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Energy Policy

On Wednesday the House also considered the House Amendment to S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016. The House Amendment adds 36 bills to the Senate bill. The result is legislation that advances a host of troubling policies such as such as weakening environmental reviews of mining company activity, speeding up the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)’s timeline for reviewing pipeline applications and weakening the National Environmental Policy Act. I voted NO. The legislation passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

233

6

0

6

DEMOCRAT

8

172

0

8

TOTAL

241

178

0

14

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

What’s Up Next

A District Work period has been scheduled next week. The House will go back into session on Tuesday June 7th.

Mike


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

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