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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

September 23, 2016

Iran

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 5461, the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act. This legislation requires the Treasury Department to document the assets that senior Iranian officials hold, including information detailing how the assets were obtained and how they are being used. Treasury must update this research and regularly submit reports on it to Congress. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control and Office of Intelligence and Analysis would be responsible for preparing these reports.

One of the problems with this is that these offices are also responsible for overseeing the sanctions program. Without additional resources to conduct this extensive research, Treasury staff will have less time to investigate financial crimes, including terrorist financing. H.R. 5461 represents another legislative effort to weaken the Iran Nuclear Agreement. The stated intent of this bill was to help financial entities comply with the sanctions law. However, since the most important parts of the reports will be classified, it won’t really help them at all. The legislation could also create confusion for financial entities as they comply with U.S. sanctions. The Administration has stated that H.R. 5461 will be vetoed. I voted NO. H.R. 5461 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

240

2

0

3

DEMOCRAT

42

141

0

3

TOTAL

282

243

0

6

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

1

8

0

0

Regulatory Delays

The House Wednesday also considered H.R. 3438, the Review Act of 2016. This legislation requires all federal agencies to delay implementing “high-impact” rules, which carry an overall cost of $1 billion per year, until every legal action relating to them has been resolved. This simply allows those with resources to tie up proposed regulations in court, potentially for years. The effect of H.R. 3438 would be to postpone regulatory actions, many of which have a direct impact on public health and safety. I voted NO. H.R. 3438 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

240

1

0

4

DEMOCRAT

4

179

0

3

TOTAL

244

180

0

7

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Stocks

On Thursday the House considered H.R. 5719, the Empowering Employees through Stock Ownership Act. Many companies offer their employees stock options as part of their compensation. Employees must pay a tax on those options, reflecting the difference between the price of the stock when it was acquired and its fair market value. Employees of publicly traded companies can sell some of their stocks to account for the taxes. If the company is not publicly traded, employees must find other ways to satisfy the tax bill on their shares. H.R. 5719 gives employees working at privately held companies seven years to satisfy the tax bill. This legislation began as a bipartisan effort to help smaller companies and start-ups attract and retain employees. However, it was brought up for consideration without any means of making up the lost revenue. The Joint Committee on taxation has estimated that this measure will increase the deficit by $1 billion over 10 years. I regret that bipartisanship did not extend to finding ways to make this proposal work. I voted NO. H.R. 5719 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

232

1

0

12

DEMOCRAT

55

123

0

8

TOTAL

287

124

0

20

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

4

5

0

0

More Iran

Also on Thursday the House considered H.R. 5931, the Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act. It was reported in August that the United States gave $400 million to Iran. Immediately, many Republicans attacked this as a ransom payment for 4 American hostages. This characterization of the payments is just one more attempt to try and weaken the Iran Nuclear Agreement. The $400 million payment dates back to 1979 when Iran paid the United States that sum in exchange for fighter jets. Due to fall of the Shah, the jets were not delivered. For decades, this has been an ongoing legal dispute between the two countries. The President announced in January that the matter had been resolved through a legal settlement. The Administration has stated that this legislation will be vetoed. I voted NO. H.R. 5931 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

238

1

0

6

DEMOCRAT

16

162

0

8

TOTAL

254

163

0

14

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

What’s Up Next

Next votes are scheduled for Monday September 26th. The House is expected to consider legislation to fund the federal government beyond September 30th.

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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