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

12,456 subscribers

January 5, 2018


I hope everyone is staying safe during the latest blast of winter weather and preparing for the next round of bitter cold. The House was scheduled to return to session on the 3rd but Republican leadership cancelled votes for the week. Many pressing issues must be addressed in short order, including funding the federal government beyond January 19th, reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), addressing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and so much more. I imagine that 2018 will be as tumultuous as 2017 but I will make sure your voice is heard in Washington and will keep fighting for the issues that are important to us. I’ll also continue keeping you informed through this newsletter and Behind the Curtain. As always, we welcome any feedback you have. We’ll host additional community meetings this year and I’ll share details as they are finalized. I enjoyed last year’s exchanges and hope to see you at one this year. I hope you had a Happy New Year with the opportunity for some rest and relaxation.

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. ProPublica reported in December 2017 that the Department of Justice would like the 2020 census to include questions related to citizenship. The purpose of the census is to determine as accurately as possible how many people are living in the United States. Respondents have not been asked whether they are citizens since 1960. Census numbers are used to distribute certain categories of federal money such as in transportation and health care. The money is used to help communities build schools, invest in health care programs, repair roads and provide many other essential public goods. If a state or community has more residents, it will receive more money, as it should. Census data are also used to draw congressional and legislative districts so that they have roughly the same number of people. The Constitution calls for a census every ten years to insure equal representation, “one person, one vote”. Adding back a question that hasn’t been asked in 60 years creates the very real possibility that some immigrants will not respond to the questionnaire. This will reduce population counts in some communities – impacting their state and federal representation as well as their share of federal funds.
  2. A December 2017 analysis by the Wall Street Journal found that 40% of the comments submitted to the Department of Labor (DOL) on the Fiduciary Rule were fake. You may recall there was a similar problem with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and net neutrality comments. The Fiduciary Rule, proposed during the Obama Administration, requires investment advisors to act in the best interests of their clients. The vast majority of fake comments posted were in opposition to the rule. Despite the obvious problems with the comment process, the Trump Administration still delayed implementing a rule that essentially required investment advisors to put their clients first until 2019. Just as with the FCC, the Trump Administration has done nothing to investigate the sources of these fraudulent comments.
  3. The New York Times reported in December 2017 that the Trump Administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is changing its approach to fining nursing homes who do not adequately protect their residents from injury. Fines will no longer be imposed under some circumstances and it seems reasonable to fear that lower fines and reduced oversight will put elderly patients at risk.
  4. In December 2017 President Trump fired every person appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS without explanation. While it is common practice for Presidents to appoint their own staff to commissions and councils, Trump has been in office for a year and should have had time to find competent advisors. Moreover, some of the individuals terminated were sworn back in after their terms expired. The move leaves dormant an advisory council on an important public health issue.

Behind the Curtain – UPDATES

  1. , 119. , and 127. : President Trump disbanded the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Although he transferred its mission to the Department of Homeland Security, it is not clear what actions they will be taking.

What’s Up Next

The next House votes are scheduled for Monday January 8th. At this writing, a list of legislation to be considered is not available.


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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