skip to main contentskip to popular page linksskip to main navigation links
photo of Mike Capuano Michael E. Capuano representing the 7th district of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives Go to the House of Representatives homepage
Like Mike on Facebook Visit Mike's video channel on YouTube Like Mike on Facebook

 

 My Schedule My Voting Record District Maps Register To Vote FAQ Site Map e-Updates

Congressman Capuano's
E-UPDATE
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
7th Congressional District of Massachusetts


11,853 subscribers

March 3, 2017

AG Sessions

I am deeply disturbed by reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath about communicating with Russian officials. There is just no question that the AG’s decision to recuse himself from investigations into Trump associates’ contacts with the Russians is not enough. AG Sessions should resign and an independent investigation into the larger question of President Trump and his associates’ ties to and communication with Russia should commence immediately.

Community Meetings

We continue working to finalize community meetings and have three scheduled so far. Details are below:

  • Monday March 13th, Somerville High School auditorium from 7:00 – 8:30 PM, 81 Highland Avenue.
  • Wednesday April 12th, Stetson Hall, Randolph from 7:00 – 8:30 PM, 6 S. Main Street.
  • Thursday April 13th, East Boston High School auditorium from 6-7:30 PM, 86 White Street.

As additional meetings are added we will share the details with you. Hope to see you at one of the meetings.

Trump and His Taxes

We have an update on efforts to access President Trump’s tax returns using a 1924 law authorizing the Chairs of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation to obtain the tax return of any individual.

On Monday night, New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell tried to offer what is known as a “privileged resolution” which must be considered within two legislative days. If approved, it would have launched the process of reviewing those tax returns in an Executive Session, closed to the public and subject to secrecy requirements. After that review a vote would be taken on whether to proceed with efforts to release the taxes to the public.

House Republicans objected, arguing that the resolution shouldn’t be considered “privileged”. The Republican Chair agreed with that assessment and tabled the resolution. Democrats appealed the Chair’s ruling and a vote was held. Every Republican (except two who voted “present”) voted to “table the appeal of the ruling of the chair”. What that means in non-legislative terms is that House Republicans stood together in keeping Trump’s tax returns secret, from the House itself and also from the American people.

Regulation: a New Entry for Comedian George Carlin’s Famous List of Dirty Words?

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 998, the SCRUB Act. You’ve no doubt noticed that the new Administration and House Republicans are spending an awful lot of time laying the groundwork to eliminate federal regulations. H.R. 998 is one more way they are trying to accomplish that. It creates a nine member commission appointed by the President to review all federal regulations and identify those that should be repealed. The commission will have subpoena power and wide raging authority to review and eliminate regulations related to the environment, public health, consumer protection and so much more. In fact, the way the legislation is written will give this commission more power than federal Inspectors General. I voted NO. H.R. 998 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

229

5

0

2

DEMOCRAT

11

180

0

2

TOTAL

240

185

0

4

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

If You Don’t Report the Injury to OSHA Then it Didn’t Happen

On Wednesday the House considered H.J. Res. 83, Disapproving of the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to “Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness.” That long title translates into a resolution weakening the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) authority requiring employers to retain records of serious injuries, illnesses and deaths for 5 years. Since 1972, OSHA has directed employers to report injuries on the “OSHA Log” and post a yearly summary in the workplace. In 2012 a court sided with a construction company that failed to record hundreds of violations, noting that if OSHA had not investigated the incident within six months of it occurring, it could not then go back and fine a company for not reporting the incident. Rather than continue to argue in courts, OSHA issued a rule making it clear that if a company did not properly maintain records of an incident for 5 years, OSHA could impose a fine even after six months. This legislation repeals that rule. If it were to become law, OSHA could no longer require public disclosure or impose fines on a company if action is not taken within 6 months. I voted NO. The resolution, which should be called the Don’t Report Those Workplace Injuries, You Might Get Lucky Act passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

227

6

0

3

DEMOCRAT

4

185

0

4

TOTAL

231

191

0

7

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

“Deconstructing the Administrative State” as Steve Bannon Would Say

Also Wednesday the House considered H.R. 1009, the OIRA Insight, Reform and Accountability Act. This legislation applies to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). This office reviews major rules from agencies while they are still in draft form. The OIRA can sign off on the rules without changes, propose revisions, or recommend that the draft rules be withdrawn. H.R. 1009 gives the OIRA significantly more authority, extending its reach to independent agencies. H.R. 1009 is so shockingly broad that it would apply to regulatory actions taken by independent federal financial regulators like the Federal Reserve, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

The practical impact of this legislation is that the Trump Administration could undermine the work of all these agencies. Politics should not interfere with independent regulatory agencies established by law to be independent. Presidents appoint their members, subject to Senate confirmation, but once serving, the members should not be subject to political influence. The SEC is designed to protect investors as well as target insider trading, fraud, and other financial crimes. The FDIC protects the deposit insurance fund. The CFTC regulates the derivatives market which Warren Buffett described as the “financial weapons of mass destruction” that nearly brought down the economy. H.R. 1009’s definition of regulation also appears to apply to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy guidance and the statements it issues on interest rates. This would be unprecedented interference in the Fed’s monetary policy independence. I voted NO. The resolution passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

234

0

0

2

DEMOCRAT

7

184

0

2

TOTAL

241

184

0

4

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Let’s Bury Them in Paperwork

On Thursday the House considered H.R. 1004, the Regulatory Integrity Act of 2017. The stated intent of this legislation is to create additional transparency in the regulatory process. What it really does is establish such a broad definition of public communication that agencies would be significantly impeded from doing the work required to implement regulations. H.R. 1004 prohibits agencies from communicating any information with the public about a proposed rule if that communication could be perceived as trying to build support for the agency’s efforts. However, it also requires agencies to make public every pending regulation, including timing, a description of it and all public communication about it. The legislation also requires that agencies submit to Congress a record of every public communication related to the top 5 regulations every year. This includes records of every phone call, electronic communication and oral conversation. It should be apparent that no possible notion of transparency could justify these overly burdensome demands. This legislation should be called the Let’s Bury Them in Paperwork Act. I voted NO. H.R. 1004 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

231

1

0

4

DEMOCRAT

15

175

0

3

TOTAL

246

176

0

7

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Behind the Curtain

Here are this week’s additions. If you need to catch up or share with friends, you can find the full list here.

  1. On February 28, 2017 President Trump issued an Executive Order requiring the EPA to start repealing “Waters of the United States”. This provided clarity on the bodies of water subject to Clean Water Act protections, including restoring those protections for small streams. More than 117 million Americans currently get their drinking water from small streams, including a million people in Massachusetts. With this action, small streams could now be more vulnerable to pollution, which would in turn have a negative impact on the drinking water of millions of people.
  2. The Department of Labor is proposing to delay for 60 days the effective date of a fiduciary rule that directs financial advisors to place the best interests of their clients before profits they may make when recommending an investment. The rule would have gone into effect on April 1th. The DOL is only offering a 15 day comment period on the 60 day extension, until March 17th. If you would like to submit comments on this, you may do so here.
  3. During the week of February 27, 2017 the Department of Justice announced that the federal government would no longer challenge a 2011 Texas voter ID law on the grounds that it discriminates against minorities. That particular law has been described as one of the most restrictive voting laws in the country.
  4. On March 2, 2017 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set aside a rule regarding personal data collection by internet service providers (ISPs). That rule required ISPs to obtain explicit customer permission before collecting personal customer data information such as websites visited or browsing habits. The FCC argues now that providers overseen by the Federal Trade Commission, such as Google, do not have to obtain permission before collecting customer data so ISPs shouldn’t be burdened either. Of course, that logic completely sets aside the customer, who may not want their ISP to use their personal information for advertising purposes.
  5. H.J. Res. 83 as described above
  6. H.R. 1004 as described above

What’s Up Next

The next House votes will take place on Tuesday March 7th. The House is expected to consider the Department of Defense Appropriations bill.

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.


District Offices:

110 First Street, Cambridge
Roxbury Community College Campus Library, Room 211, Boston
Stetson Hall Room 124, 6 South Main Street, Randolph

District Office Phone:

(617) 621-6208

DC Office:

1414 Longworth Building, Washington, DC 20515

DC Office Phone:

(202) 225-5111

Website and e-mail:

http://capuano.house.gov

You have received this e-mail because you subscribed to Rep. Capuano's E-Mail Updates authorizing Rep. Capuano to send your inbox periodic e-mail updates from his Congressional office.

UNSUBSCRIBE: if you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, you may do so at this address: http://capuano.house.gov/e-updates/unsubscribe.shtml.

PRIVACY POLICY: Your e-mail address will not be shared with anyone else or sold in any way. To read the complete privacy policy, visit: http://capuano.house.gov/privacypolicy.shtml.

E-Updates are sent from an unattended mailbox. Please do not reply directly to this e-mail. Instead, if you wish to e-mail us, please go to http://capuano.house.gov/contact/.
 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

 

Privacy Policy

To protect your privacy, subscriptions to Rep. Capuano's E-Updates are subject to our Privacy Policy.

 

Bill Search

Search Congress.gov for legislative information.

Tip: enter bill numbers without spaces, i.e. "h.res.26" or "hres26"

 

Newspapers

 

News Services

Here are some informative online news services to help you find reports from Boston and the region, as well as national and international news stories.

 

Home | About | Biography | Contact | Issues | Links | News | Schedules | Services

E-Updates | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Accessibility

110 First Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
P: (617) 621-6208
F: (617) 621-8628
Hours

Roxbury Community College
Campus Library
Room 211
Boston
Hours

Stetson Hall
Room 124
6 South Main Street
Randolph
Hours

  Constituent Services Click to close menu
  Casework and Assistance
  Citizenship/Naturalization
  Immigration Casework
  Grants and Federal Domestic Assistance
  Presidential Greetings
  Flags
  Tours
  Washington, D.C. Attractions
  U.S. Service Academy Nominations
  Internships
  FAQs
  Media Center Click to close menu
  e-Updates
  Press
  Recent Votes
  Video and Audio
  Photos
  Legislative Work Click to close menu
  Issues
  Recent Votes
  Voting Record
  Sponsored Legislation
  Earmark Requests
  Committees and Caucuses
  Ethics Task Force
  Schedules Click to close menu
  My Schedule
  House Floor Summary
  Weekly House Schedule
  Annual House Calendar
  Weekly Senate Schedule
  Our District Click to close menu
  Maps
  Cities
  Demographics
  The 7th District Over the Years
  Nobel Prize Winners
  Interesting facts about Massachusetts
  Massachusetts Links
  Links Click to close menu
  Massachusetts Links
    State Government
    About the 7th District
    Arts, Culture and Attractions
    Chambers of Commerce
    Colleges and Universities
    Exploring Massachusetts
    Hospitals and Health Organizations
    Newspapers
    Sports

  Federal Government Links
    USA.gov - Official Government Portal
    Legislative Branch
    Executive Branch
    Judicial Branch
    Federal Agencies
    Kids' Pages
    Register to Vote
    Washington, D.C. Attractions
    Business Opportunities with the Government
  Contact Click to close menu
  District Office
  Washington, D.C. Office
  Office Hours Program
  Community Meetings
  E-mail Me