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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

September 30, 2016

Shimon Peres

I join all peace-loving people in tribute to Shimon Peres (1923-2016). He was a man of great courage, vision, and resolve. In his long life, he had two dreams: the first, the creation of an independent Jewish state, Israel, the nation he served as Prime Minister and President. The other dream, that his people could live in peace with all their neighbors and coexist with an independent Palestine, he did not live to see. His efforts won him the Nobel Peace Prize and our Presidential Medal of Freedom. I feel sure he would have preferred a lasting peace to all the honors conferred upon him, and we honor him best by striving to carry on his work.

Wells Fargo

You may have noticed that Wells Fargo has been in the news lately. Employees created fake bank accounts for existing customers in order to satisfy performance benchmarks. Those customers were then charged fees, interest and even late fees on accounts they didnít open. Some customers were harassed by collection agencies when they did not pay fees owed on the fake bank accounts. In response to this outrageous activity, executives fired 5,300 employees and regulators imposed a fine of $185 million. That is a great deal of money to you and me, but itís merely the cost of doing business for Wells Fargo which has $1.6 trillion in assets and generated $86 billion in revenue last year.

When I questioned CEO John Stumpf, I highlighted the frustration that I think many of us feel about the bankís lack of accountability. Sure, some employees were fired for opening fraudulent accounts but what about their bosses and other high level executives? And, how is all this deception NOT illegal activity? It sure looks to me like conspiracy to commit identity theft, conspiracy to commit fraud and more.

I am also dissatisfied with the regulators who are supposed to be overseeing these financial institutions. The Financial Services Committee also held a hearing this week on the Federal Reserve. I had the opportunity to ask Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen about Wells Fargo. I emphasized that regulators need to do much more to hold big banks accountable for their actions.

Health Care

On Tuesday the House considered H.R. 954, the Co-Op Consumer Protection Act. This legislation is one more attempt to weaken the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which established the Consumer Operated and Oriented (CO-OPs) health care plans as local coverage options. H.R. 954 allows individuals whose CO-OP plans have been discontinued mid-year to bypass the requirement that they have health care coverage or pay a penalty. This legislation is completely unnecessary because the ACA establishes a Special Enrollment Period that addresses situations like this. If an individual loses health care coverage due to a program termination or other qualified circumstances, the ACA allows them to obtain coverage outside of the traditional open enrollment period. The Administration has stated that this legislation will be vetoed. I voted NO. H.R. 954 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

242

0

0

3

DEMOCRAT

16

165

0

5

TOTAL

258

165

0

8

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

1

8

0

0

Water Infrastructure

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 5303, the Water Resources Development Act of 2016. This legislation reauthorizes and updates U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects. It also contains a provision authorizing funding to address the water infrastructure crisis in Flint, Michigan. I voted YES. H.R. 5303 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

223

21

0

1

DEMOCRAT

176

4

0

6

TOTAL

399

25

0

7

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

0

0

0

Overtime Rules

Also on Wednesday the House considered H.R. 6094, the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act. This legislation delays for six months a Department of Labor (DOL) rule updating overtime requirements. The new rules increase the percentage of salaried employees eligible for overtime. Previously, only employees making $23,660 or less could receive overtime pay. The new DOL rules increase that threshold to $47,476. The Administration has stated that this legislation will be vetoed. I voted NO. H.R. 6094 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

241

0

0

4

DEMOCRAT

5

177

0

4

TOTAL

246

177

0

8

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Funding the Government

Late on Wednesday the House passed H.R. 5325, the Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution. This legislation funds the federal government through December 9th. It also contains more than $1 billion in funding for Zika virus response efforts. The funding can be used for research on vaccines and treatment as well as mosquito management and to assist local public health agencies. I voted YES. H.R. 5325 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

170

75

0

1

DEMOCRAT

172

10

0

4

TOTAL

342

85

0

5

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

0

0

0

Whatís Up Next

The House has begun a District Work period.

Mike


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

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