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An update from the office of
U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
8th Congressional District of Massachusetts

Congressman Capuano's
E-UPDATE

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March 17, 2006

Recent House Votes

This week, the House spent two days debating H.R. 4939: the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006. My amendment increasing peacekeeping funding for the Darfur region of Sudan by $50 million passed in the House and was included in the bill.

The supplemental appropriations bill originally contained $123 million for the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS). However, this funding would only sustain the AU's mission at its current level, it is not enough to strengthen the AU forces on the ground to a level where they could more effectively protect civilians and bring security. During my recent trip to Darfur, AU members told me that they needed more resources. My amendment brought the total for AMIS to $173 million.

Innocent civilians are dying because the AU forces are too few and hampered by insufficient command and control, communications and logistical capacity. We cannot sit back and allow more men, women and children to die when there is more that we can do to protect them. This additional funding will strengthen the AU's ability to protect civilians until a UN force arrives, which could take over a year.

I want to extend a special thanks to the many advocacy groups who supported this amendment and worked tirelessly to help ensure its passage. We have provided a list of supporters on our website.

I voted YES on the amendment. The entire amendment vote is recorded below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

25

201

0

4

DEMOCRAT

187

7

0

7

INDEPENDENT

1

0

0

0

TOTAL

213

208

0

11

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

10

0

0

0

I also voted YES on final passage of H.R. 4939 because of the additional money for Darfur, but also because it contained funding for hurricane relief and for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The entire vote is recorded below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

204

19

0

7

DEMOCRAT

143

52

0

6

INDEPENDENT

1

0

0

0

TOTAL

348

71

0

13

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

3

7

0

0


H. Res. 635

I recently signed on as a co-sponsor of H.Res. 635, which seeks to establish a select committee with subpoena power to investigate the Bush Administration's actions with respect to pre-war intelligence and the war in Iraq. The committee would then determine if grounds exist to pursue impeachment. This resolution creates a bipartisan investigative vehicle to ask questions and hopefully get answers, it does not simply call for impeachment. I have resisted calls to support other resolutions that propose going farther because I do not think that they are reasonable.


Silver Line

Last fall, MBTA General Manager Dan Grabauskas removed Silver Line Phase III from federal funding consideration. At the time, he explained that this move was merely a delay while the MBTA worked to build community support for the final phase of the project. Silver Line Phase III will connect Phase I (bus rapid transit along the Washington Street corridor) with Phase II (bus rapid transit from South Station to the South Boston Seaport District and Logan Airport). At the time, there was concern that the MBTA's announcement was really an attempt to kill this transit project. While I do understand the difficulties facing the MBTA in building Phase III, I firmly support its construction. Transit must link Dudley Square directly to the Seaport District.

Therefore, I was pleased when the MBTA recently unveiled a new proposal to link the two completed stages of the Silver Line in Boston. This proposal, which includes a new portal and alignment plan, is by no means a done deal. It must be fully assessed for meeting transportation needs, and it must also undergo rigorous public scrutiny. This is essential. At the same time, I am satisfied that Phase III will now be able to get back in line for New Starts federal funding.


Community Meeting in Chinatown

A reminder that we have scheduled a community meeting in Chinatown on Wednesday March 22nd from 6:00 - 7:30 PM at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, located at 38 Ash Street. Hope you'll consider joining us.


What's Up For Next Week

A district work period has been scheduled for next week in the House. Members will return to Washington, D.C. for votes on Tuesday March 28th.


Congressman Mike Capuano
8th District, Massachusetts
House Committee on Financial Services
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

District Offices:

110 First Street, Cambridge, MA 02141
and
Roxbury Community College, Administration Building, Room 110

District Office Phone:

(617) 621-6208

DC Office:

1232 Longworth Building, Washington, DC 20515

DC Office Phone:

(202) 225-5111

Website and e-mail:

www.house.gov/capuano



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