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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


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June 10, 2016

First Responders Day

This week I re-introduced legislation to establish a legal public holiday known as National First Responders Day on a date designated by the President. Iíve been working with the family of Officer Sean Collier, who was killed in April of 2013 by those responsible for the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon. This legislation was first filed in 2013. When Officer Collierís family first approached us with this request, they explained that they wanted the legislation to honor all of the men and women who have protected us over the years, not just focus on what happened in Boston. That is the reason we are leaving the choice of a date up to the President. First responders put their lives on the line every day. They enter burning buildings, pursue armed suspects and rush into danger without regard for their own safety. Seemingly routine calls can quickly turn dangerous. A simple patrol or a traffic stop can bring great peril. I will work to advance this legislation and I am grateful for the generosity of the Collier family. They have channeled their grief for Sean into a determination to recognize all who serve as he did.

Air Quality

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 4775, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016. This legislation is nothing more than an attempt to undermine the Clean Air Act. Last year the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for a variety of pollutants including ozone. The current deadline for implementing the NAAQS is 2017 but H.R. 4775 extends it for 8 years. This unnecessary extension simply delays air quality improvement. It poses serious health risks, particularly for those with existing respiratory conditions. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to review the NAAQS every five years, taking into account updated scientific and health information on air pollutants. This legislation extends the required review to every ten years. The practical impact of this extended time frame is that updated scientific information wonít be incorporated into the NAAQS in a timely fashion, unnecessarily jeopardizing public health. The Administration has stated that H.R. 4775 will be vetoed. I voted NO. The legislation passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

227

10

0

8

DEMOCRAT

7

167

0

14

TOTAL

234

177

0

22

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Pipelines

Also on Wednesday the House considered the House Amendment to S. 2276, the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016 as amended. This bipartisan legislation reauthorizes the Department of Transportationís Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) which has oversight of our nationís energy pipeline network. The legislation contains some important safety provisions, including giving PHMSA authority to act quickly to address industry-wide safety hazards as soon as they are discovered. It also increases grant funding to help states enhance pipeline safety and minimizes conflicts of interest within the PHMSA research and development programs. As Ranking Member of the Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee, I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues on the committee in advancing this legislation which will enhance overall pipeline safety and oversight. The legislation passed by voice vote and the Senate is expected to pass it soon.

Puerto Rico

On Thursday the House considered H.R. 5278, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act. Puerto Rico is a United States territory and its residents are citizens. It is currently facing a significant financial crisis, deep in debt with many essential services being reduced or eliminated. On July 1st, $2 billion in bond payments are due and Puerto Rico is at risk of defaulting on them. H.R. 5278 is far from perfect but it represents a bipartisan compromise drafted in consultation with the White House and Treasury Department. This legislation establishes a process for Puerto Rico to restructure 100% of its debt. It creates a Financial Oversight and Management Board which will have authority over annual budgets. H.R. 5278 places Puerto Rico on the path to stability instead of its current uncertain status. I voted YES. H.R. 5278 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

139

103

0

5

DEMOCRAT

158

24

0

6

TOTAL

297

127

0

11

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

8

1

0

0

Appropriations

Today the House continued consideration of Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations bills with H.R. 5325, Legislative Branch Appropriations Act. This legislation funds House of Representative offices, the Capitol Police, the Library of Congress and other legislative agencies. While overall funding for legislative offices is increased slightly for FY 2017, some of it will be used for partisan efforts such as the Benghazi Committee. That entity, which has been active for many months, has consumed over $6.5 million in taxpayer money so far. Funds are also allocated for suing the President because of the Affordable Care Act and continuing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. I voted NO. H.R. 5325 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

233

14

0

9

DEMOCRAT

108

161

0

17

TOTAL

233

175

0

26

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

8

0

1

Whatís Up Next

The next House votes are scheduled for Monday June 13th. The House is expected to continue consideration of FY 2017 appropriations bills.

Mike


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

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