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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


12,426 subscribers

June 2, 2017

Community Meetings

Thanks to everyone who joined us this week at our Everett and Roxbury community meetings. As usual, there were lots of great questions from constituents on a wide range of topics. If you couldn’t make it to a meeting and would like to check out some of the exchanges, you may view them here and here.

U.S. Coast Guard

During this district work week I spent some time at the Coast Guard Sector/Base Boston in the North End. I toured the DOMEX Lab, which is a joint collaboration between the Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies. In the DOMEX lab, work is done to pull data from personal devices such as mobile phones, iPads and computers which can be used in investigating criminal cases. The primary focus of this research is on drug interdiction.

I also toured the Sector Boston Command Center which oversees all maritime movement from Cape Cod to Cape Ann, with particular attention paid to Boston Harbor. Command Center personnel are responsible for maritime safety and security by tracking activity, identifying vessels and other efforts. They also take point on search and rescue operations. This was a particularly interesting aspect of my visit – observing how personnel monitor all maritime broadcast radio frequencies and can identify very difficult to hear communication.

I met with a number of civilian and U. S. Coast Guard personnel, including Rear Admiral Steven Poulin who is First Coast Guard District commander which runs from New Jersey to the Maine-Canadian border and Captain Claudia Gelzer, Commanding Officer, Sector/Base Boston. I thank them for their time and hospitality.

The Impact of the Trump Budget on the NIH

Yesterday I joined Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Senator Ed Markey, and Reps. Katherine Clark and Joe Kennedy for a discussion about the impact that the Trump budget will have on National Institutes of Health (NIH) research and programming here in Massachusetts. Dana Farber Cancer Institute hosted the event which brought together doctors and researchers from Boston’s great hospitals and medical schools. Everyone present understood that the NIH funds basic research in which no private company would invest, and that its research produces results of immense and really incalculable value. Not only does biomedical research save lives, it is a crucial economic engine, yielding new therapies, new devices and new jobs. The President’s budget called for drastic funding cuts for the NIH as well as for health care, both prevention and treatment. All the elected officials urged scientists to reach out to their colleagues and counterparts in other states and encourage them to call their Members of Congress and Senators, to explain the real importance — scientific, clinical, and economic — of NIH-funded research.

Behind the Curtain — More House and Trump Administration Actions You Don’t Want to Miss

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 May 22, 2017 the Trump Administration and the Republican-led House of Representatives requested an additional 90 days to resolve a lawsuit related to Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies. These subsidies help reduce premiums for people who are on the ACA exchanges. Insurers must submit rates in June for next year and this three month delay will raise questions about the continued availability of the subsidies. With the repeal and replacement of the ACA still not resolved, the Trump Administration is using this subsidy issue to create uncertainty for insurers and consumers. In fact, Trump has stated on numerous occasions that destabilized exchanges could help bring Democrats to the negotiating table.
  2. Businessman turned President-elect Donald Trump pledged that the Trump Organization would donate all profits his hotels made from foreign governments to the United States Treasury. Because the President has refused to divest his ownership in the Trump Organization, this was an important step to ensure he was not in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution – which bars federal government officials from taking gifts from foreign governments. On May 24, 2017, Rep. Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent a letter to the Trump Organization, raising concerns about their responsiveness in identifying profits made from foreign governments. The Trump Organization has basically argued that it’s too hard to identify every instance and that it would “diminish the guest experience of our brand.” Instead, the Trump Organization plan essentially seems to be that any foreign government representative spending money in a Trump hotel should simply identify him or herself and report expenses. This is, of course, wholly inadequate and raises more questions about ethical aspects of Trump’s business interests.
  3. On May 30, 2017 the Office of Management and Budget posted a draft rule reversing an Affordable Care Act requirement that employer offered health care plans must cover all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, as well as patient education and counseling. The posted rule would allow any employer citing a religious objection to opt out of offering coverage for birth control. There is already a limited exemption in place for certain religious organizations and some qualified private employers. If enacted, this expanded exemption would put millions of women at risk of losing access to contraception. More than half of non-elderly Americans have employer-sponsored health insurance. While not finalized, this is one of the ways that the Administration can weaken the ACA without Congress.
  4. On June 1, 2017 President Trump announced he was withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. Once again, he is demonstrating a shocking unwillingness to even acknowledge the scientific reality of climate change. Further, he reveals an equally shocking refusal to recognize that rule of law nations abide by their international commitments. This agreement represents the resolve of 195 countries to protect the health of our planet and its people. With this reversal, the U.S. joins only Syria and Nicaragua in opting out of the accord. I am deeply troubled that the President is refusing to acknowledge the collective responsibility we all have, as citizens and as a nation, to address the underlying causes of climate change.

What’s Up Next

Next votes will occur on Tuesday June 6th. A list of bills under consideration is not available.

Mike


Congressman Mike Capuano
7th District, Massachusetts
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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