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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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April 20, 2007

My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones during the violence that struck the Virginia Tech campus this week. Students have a right to feel secure at their schools and in their dorms. This tragedy shattered that sense of security and took so many innocent lives. I offer my condolences and deepest sympathies.

Recent Votes

Last night, the House appointed conferees on the Iraq supplemental appropriations bill. Republicans offered a Motion to Instruct Conferees. These measures are routinely offered on bills as a way for House Members to go on record regarding specific issues relating to the bill going to conference. Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) offered a Motion to Instruct Conferees to insist that the withdrawal timelines contained in the House bill are not removed in conference. This was offered as a way to create the appearance of opposition to the idea of troop withdrawal timelines. Republicans opposed their own motion and were hoping that some Democrats who want to get out of Iraq faster than outlined in the House bill would also oppose the motion. Their efforts failed and the House once again went on record supporting firm timelines for troop withdrawal. I voted YES. The entire vote is recorded below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

214

9

1

8

REPUBLICAN

1

190

0

10

TOTAL

215

199

1

18

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

10

0

0

0

The House also considered H.R. 1905, the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007. This legislation increases the size of the House by two members, with one slot going to Washington, D.C. and the other going to Utah - the next state in line for a congressional seat based on the most recent census. Currently, Washington, D.C. has an elected delegate who is not granted a vote on the floor of the House. This legislation reverses that injustice. I voted YES. The entire vote is recorded below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

219

6

0

7

REPUBLICAN

22

171

1

7

TOTAL

241

177

1

14

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

10

0

0

0

The House also considered H.R. 1495: the Water Resources Development Act of 2007. This legislation authorizes funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to address issues related to flood damage, environmental restoration and shoreline protection. I vote YES. The entire vote is detailed below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

227

0

0

5

REPUBLICAN

167

25

0

9

TOTAL

394

25

0

14

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

10

0

0

0

On Friday the House considered H.R. 1257: Shareholder Vote on Executive Compensation. This legislation gives shareholders a non-binding vote on the executive compensation packages of public companies. It does not limit compensation. Rather, it is a way to give shareholders a voice on the level of compensation provided to the chief executives of public companies. I votes YES. The entire vote is recorded below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

214

5

0

13

REPUBLICAN

55

129

0

17

TOTAL

269

134

0

30

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

10

0

0

0

Joseph E. Keane Federal Employees Freedom Act

This week I introduced legislation to increase the attendant care allowance so that our most severely disabled federal employees can continue to live independently in their own homes. The bill is named in honor of the late Joe Keane, a Somerville resident severely injured in a 1962 training exercise while he was enrolled at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. As a result of his injuries, Mr. Keane was paralyzed from the chest down at the age of twenty and confined to a wheel chair until he passed away in February of 2005.

Joe was an inspiration. He fought to maintain his independence despite significant physical challenges. In 1990 he was instrumental in getting Congress to increase the attendant care allowance, something that had not happened since 1974. Personal care attendants provide assistance with needs such as getting out of bed, shaving, bathing, meal preparation, and other daily tasks.

My legislation increases the allowance only for those who demonstrate that their attendant care needs exceed the current limit. It sets a new cap of $4,000 per month. The bill also establishes a biennial update, to ensure that this small group of affected individuals will not have to return to Congress every time inflation outpaces the cost of care.

Special Task Force on Ethics Enforcement

This week the Special Task Force on Ethics Enforcement held the first of two public hearings. Earlier this year, Speaker Pelosi asked me to serve as chair of this bipartisan task force, which is charged with considering whether to create an independent ethics enforcement entity and reporting its conclusions back to the House.

At Thursday's hearing, we heard testimony from Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21, Meredith McGehee of the Campaign Legal Center, Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch and Don Wolfensberger from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. They each provided thoughtful insight into the debate over the creation of an independent ethics enforcement mechanism.

The Task Force is in the process of scheduling a second public hearing and hopes to complete its report by mid-May.

What's Up Next

Next week the House is expected to consider the Conference Report for the Iraq supplemental appropriations bill.


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

District Offices:

110 First Street, Cambridge, MA 02141
and
Roxbury Community College, Campus Library, Room 211

District Office Phone:

(617) 621-6208

DC Office:

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DC Office Phone:

(202) 225-5111

Website and e-mail:

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