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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

January 13, 2017

This week’s floor activities give us warning about the ways that the strengthened Republican majority, working without the threat of a Presidential veto, will govern. They will claim to “cut bureaucracy and red tape” while weakening regulations that, in fact, offer significant protections to individuals, small investors, workers, consumers, and to the environment we share. They have also begun to attack universal access to health care.

Startups

On Tuesday the House considered H.R. 79, the Helping Angels Lead Our Startups (HALOS) Act. This legislation updates the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act which made it easier for certain small businesses to generate capital by easing existing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules regarding how they can raise money from investors. It also required businesses to make a good faith effort to verify that those purchasing securities were in fact accredited investors under SEC rules. H.R. 79 removes this verification requirement under certain circumstances. I voted NO. H.R. 79 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

236

0

0

4

DEMOCRAT

108

73

0

13

TOTAL

334

73

0

17

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

4

5

0

0

Regulations

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017. This is a collection of regulatory bills that drastically remake the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). H.R. 5 imposes over 70 new requirements that federal rule-making agencies must take into account as they develop rules. These requirements include reviewing all alternatives to the rules being considered, a detailed analysis of the problem or issue being addressed and all costs associated with the rule-making. There are numerous problems with this expanded scope. Requiring that federal agencies thoroughly analyze every alternative proposal means industries opposed to a particular rule can simply propose unlimited alternatives. The practical impact of this is lengthy delays in rules being finalized and a significant increase in administrative cost associated with the rule-making process. I voted NO. H.R. 5 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

233

0

0

7

DEMOCRAT

5

183

0

6

TOTAL

238

183

0

13

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Yesterday the House considered H.R. 238, the Commodity End-User Relief Act. This legislation reauthorizes the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for 5 years. It represents yet another effort by Republicans to weaken the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. It places some significant burdens on the work the CFTC does to oversee swaps. This diminishes its oversight of the overseas derivatives transactions that financial institutions based in the U.S. engage in. Over 50% of derivatives transactions occur overseas. You may recall that it was AIG’s London office that engaged in rampant abuse of the swaps market and almost critically damaged the world economy. H.R. 238 requires the CFTC to conduct additional cost-benefit research without additional staffing or funding. I voted NO. H.R. 238 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

232

1

0

7

DEMOCRAT

7

181

0

6

TOTAL

239

185

0

13

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

SEC Regulatory Action

Yesterday the House also considered H.R. 78, The SEC Regulatory Accountability Act, one more attempt to weaken the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. H.R. 78 requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to conduct detailed cost-benefit analysis of all proposed regulations, gauging how they would impact a range of entities from local governments to businesses and individuals. The SEC must also determine what the proposed regulations would mean for the markets, investors and the business community. H.R. 78 also requires the SEC to review every existing regulation going back to the 1930’s within one year and revise any that appear overly burdensome or ineffective. Current law already requires the SEC and other federal regulators to periodically review their regulations. All of these additional responsibilities will be required without providing the SEC with any additional staff or funding. On the contrary, Republicans annually cut funding to the financial regulators through the appropriations process. I voted NO. H.R. 78 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

234

1

0

5

DEMOCRAT

9

183

0

2

TOTAL

243

184

0

7

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

The Affordable Care Act

Today the House took the first step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with S. Con. Res. 3, the Fiscal Year 2017 Republican Budget Resolution. As you know, House Republicans have been voting for years to repeal or weaken the ACA but have never proposed a replacement. They still don’t have a replacement plan but that didn’t stop them from once again acting on repealing the law. S. Con. Res. 3 is nothing more than a framework that directs four House and Senate Committees to draft legislation using a process called reconciliation to reduce the deficit by $2 billion over ten years. By using reconciliation, legislation will need just a simple majority in order to pass the Senate. Without the reconciliation process, 60 votes are required in the Senate.

This is the legislative vehicle that Republicans will use to repeal the ACA. It also will INCREASE the deficit, adding more than $9 trillion in debt over ten years. Repealing the ACA without a replacement would result in 30 million Americans losing health care coverage. It would jeopardize coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions and prohibit young people from remaining on their parents’ insurance until they are 26. Despite this reality, Congressional Republicans are unconcerned about repealing the entire ACA without any plan to replace it. I voted NO. S. Con. Res. 3 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

227

9

0

5

DEMOCRAT

0

189

0

5

TOTAL

227

198

0

10

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Sudan

The Obama Administration’s recent decision to lift Sudan trade sanctions is an effort to move away from current policies in place and an attempt to open a door to the country. The executive order includes a six month review period. I will reserve my judgement until that is complete to see if the choice was a step in the right direction. The mission of the Congressional Sudan and South Sudan Caucus has remained the same — to protect the people of Sudan from being attacked by their own government and provide safe access to humanitarian aid to those in need. As the new Administration comes into power, I will continue to stay vigilant and work with the other co-chairs to take effective action to address the continuing humanitarian crisis in Sudan and establish peace in the region.

What’s Up Next

A District Work Week is scheduled. The next House votes are expected on Monday January 23rd.

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:

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DC Office Phone:

(202) 225-5111

Website and e-mail:

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