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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

September 8, 2017

Coming to a Short-Term Agreement

Today the House passed the Senate Amendment to H.R. 601, the Hurricane Supplemental, Debt Limit, Continuing Appropriations and Flood Insurance Package. Residents of Texas and Louisiana are just beginning to deal with the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Irma has already wreaked havoc as it barrels up the Atlantic, bearing down on Florida. There is no question that our fellow citizens will need the support of the federal government for a long time.

Democrats and Republicans largely put our differences aside today to pass $15.25 billion in emergency hurricane relief funding. This is just a down payment. Significantly more money and federal resources will be needed as officials assess the damage caused by these two catastrophic storms.

This legislation also addresses some must-pass measures. It includes a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through December 8th. It extends the National Flood Insurance Program authority, set to expire at the end of this month, through December 8th as well. Finally, the legislation extends the debt limit through December 8th.

I voted YES. The legislation passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

133

90

0

16

DEMOCRAT

183

0

0

11

TOTAL

316

90

0

27

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

0

0

0

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is shameful. It reveals not only a shocking lack of compassion for the young people it places in jeopardy but also profound misunderstanding of the responsibilities of American Presidents. If Trump honestly believed his predecessor had “over-reached” his authority, he should have proposed legislation to implement DACA. He could have done that in January. Instead, the young women and men who did nothing wrong are forced to live in fear because of a decision their parents made. Many of these young people were never taught the language of their birth country and know little about it. It is heartless and cruel to expect them to return now. I am co-sponsoring legislation in Congress that would restore DACA and give these deserving young people a path to citizenship. This week’s announcement also highlights the long overdue need for comprehensive immigration reform. While I don’t expect a comprehensive immigration bill to pass in the next six months, I am reasonably confident that we will take action to protect the DACA children. I know I won’t stop fighting until we are certain they won’t be ripped from the only homes they’ve ever known.

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 August 25, 2017 the Boston Globe reported that the White House National Marijuana Initiative, which is funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, has asked Massachusetts and several other states where marijuana use has been legalized, for personal information about medical marijuana patients. Requested information includes the medical condition of the patients as well as other identifying data. While the Administration claims the information is simply for research purposes, it raises a whole host of privacy concerns. Since Trump's Attorney General Jeff Sessions is an opponent of legalizing marijuana, it also raises suspicions about the real reasons behind this data collection effort.
  2. In August of 2017 the Trump Administration nominated Julian Schmoke Jr. to serve as the Department of Education’s Chief Enforcement Officer for the Student Aid Enforcement Unit. Its mission is to identify and terminate fraud and other practices that harm students at institutions of higher learning. Schmoke’s experience includes serving as a Dean at the for-profit DeVry University. The school’s parent company, Adtalem Global Education, paid $100 million as a result of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint that DeVry was not honest with students about employment opportunities and salary data. A settlement was also reached with the Department of Education over similar allegations. Yet Schmoke was just chosen to lead the office charged with protecting students from some of the very practices his previous employer engaged in.
  3. At the end of August 2017 the Department of Health and Human Services announced it was cutting the enrollment outreach budget for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by 90% - from $100 million to $10 million. This money is used to increase awareness of the enrollment period, which begins on November 1st. The Administration also cut funding to local organizations that help to support enrollment outreach by over 40%. This is a glaring example of the Trump Administration finding ways to undermine the ACA because so far they have not succeeded legislatively.
  4. In its August Significant Rulemaking Report, the Department of Transportation announced it was ending the Local Labor Hiring Pilot Program, an initiative that gave local agencies the ability to incorporate hiring preferences tied to geographic location in their transportation contracts. Before this initiative went into effect, contract requirements could only be related to construction issues and price. The intent of the program was to help ensure that quality jobs would be available in urban and low-income areas. Local agencies could require companies overseeing large transportation projects to hire a certain percentage of employees based on geographic location. The Local Labor Hiring Pilot Program was responsible for the creation of thousands of jobs.

Behind the Curtain – UPDATES

  1. UPDATE #2 for BtC #128: On August 31, 2017 the Department of Labor (DOL) reversed course, proposing to delay for a year part of the conflict of interest rule that prevents people who hold themselves out to be financial advisors from giving advice not in the best interests of their clients. Among the provisions that won’t take effect until July of 2019 is a requirement that financial advisers provide their clients with a written contract detailing their obligations as a fiduciary. In June, the DOL allowed part of the rule to take effect, including provisions requiring advisers to charge reasonable compensation and to avoid misleading statements. Unfortunately, these rules essentially went into effect with little threat of enforcement. The DOL has said it won't go after any firms working in good faith to comply during the transitional phase.

What’s Up Next

The next House votes are scheduled for Monday September 11th. The House is expected to consider Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations bills.

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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Stetson Hall Room 124, 6 South Main Street, Randolph

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