skip to main contentskip to popular page linksskip to main navigation links
Office Hours Program Social Security Calculator Translate this page into another language
photo of Mike Capuano Michael E. Capuano representing the 7th district of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives Go to the House of Representatives homepage
Visit Mike's video channel on YouTube Like Mike on Facebook

 

 Mike's Schedule Voting Record District Maps Register To Vote FAQ Site Map e-Updates

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

Congressman Capuano's
E-UPDATE

Thanks for signing up to receive this periodic correspondence. We hope you find the information useful. As always, let us know if you have any questions, comments or concerns. Office contact information is provided at the end of this e-mail.

This is an unattended mailbox. Please do not reply directly to this e-mail. Instead, if you wish to e-mail us, please use the Write Your Rep account at http://www.house.gov/capuano/contact.


August9, 2007

FISA

On Saturday the House passed S. 1927: Protect America Act. This legislation amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), expanding and clarifying the federal government's ability to conduct electronic surveillance without a court warrant. It clarifies that a court order is not needed if communication occurs between two individuals on foreign soil, even if their interaction passes through communication routing stations in the U.S. The bill also allows surveillance to begin while the FISA Court is still reviewing a warrant request. I am deeply disappointed that the House considered this legislation, which I believe diminishes our cherished civil liberties. It is set to expire in six months and I hope that when Congress revisits this issue, we are able to update FISA in a manner that protects and respects our civil liberties. I voted NO. S. 1927 passed the House and the entire vote is recorded below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

41

181

0

9

REPUBLICAN

186

2

0

14

TOTAL

227

183

0

23

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

0

8

0

1

Interstate I-35 Bridge

My deepest sympathies to those who lost loved ones due to the collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minnesota. Last week's tragedy is serving as a grim reminder of what can happen if we do not take care of our basic infrastructure needs. On Friday August 3rd the House unanimously authorized $250 million in funds for repair and reconstruction of the bridge. Additionally, the House Transportation Committee began efforts to create a fund that states could access exclusively for repairs of aging bridge infrastructure. I will report back on the progress we make.

Tunnel Inspection Program

My legislation (H.R. 409) amending the Nationwide Bridge Inspection Program to include the mandatory inspection of all highway tunnels passed on August 2nd in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Since the tragic July 2006 death of Milena Del Valle as a result of a falling ceiling panel in one of the Big Dig tunnels, many questions have been rightfully raised about the short-term and long-term safety of this project. When the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) met on July 10, 2007 to discuss their yearlong investigation into the accident, they issued a series of recommendations, including the establishment of a nationwide tunnel inspection program. My legislation, which was filed in January, creates a program modeled after the nationwide bridge inspection program.

Currently there are no national standards or requirements for inspecting highway tunnels. Instead, this responsibility lies with the tunnel owners, who have complete authority to determine how their tunnels should be inspected. At a minimum, tunnel owners must follow the requirements included in their bonding agreements relating to the structure.

H.R. 409 requires the Secretary of Transportation to establish minimum inspection requirements for tunnels, include the maximum amount of time permitted between inspections and the manner in which inspections will be carried out. The Secretary will also establish the qualifications necessary for those conducting inspections, establish a national certification program for highway tunnel inspectors and implement a program to train inspectors. States will be required to maintain an inventory of all highway tunnel inspection reports, including information detailing any follow up actions relating to inspections.

Recent Votes

Last week the House passed H.R. 3159: Ensuring Military Readiness Through Stability and Predictability Deployment Policy Act. This legislation guarantees that all active duty forces are given as much time home with their family and friends as they give to their country during deployment. It also requires that all National Guard and reservists are home with their families for three times the amount of time that they are deployed. Our military is already overburdened, with approximately 250,000 soldiers in the Army and Marine Corps serving more than one tour of duty in Iraq. Those tours of duty are also getting longer. In the spring, the Defense Secretary announced that the tours of all active duty Army soldiers would be extended from 12 months to 15 months. The average length of deployment of the National Guard and the Reserves is 18 months. Our men and women in uniform are sacrificing so much for our country and their families are sharing that burden. This legislation simply gives them more time together and some predictability. I voted YES. H.R. 3159 passed in the House and the entire vote is recorded below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

223

4

0

3

REPUBLICAN

6

190

0

3

TOTAL

229

194

0

6

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

9

0

0

0

Last week, the House also completed consideration of H.R. 3161: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and related agencies appropriations. This legislation increases funding for grants and loans to rural communities so that they may make improvements to health care, education and other facilities. The President's budget proposes to eliminate these grants. The bill also increases funding for telemedicine and distance learning grants and provides $5.1 billion in grant and loan funding for affordable housing and home ownership opportunities in rural areas. H.R. 3161 fully funds the Food Safety and Inspection Service at the USDA and sets a timeline for the implementation of country of origin labeling for meats. The legislation increases funding for nutrition programs, including programs to help combat childhood obesity by teaching our young people about healthy eating. I voted YES. H.R. 3161 passed in the House and the entire vote is recorded below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

226

3

0

2

REPUBLICAN

11

15

13

163

TOTAL

237

18

13

165

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

9

0

0

0

Over the weekend, the House considered H.R. 3221: New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security and Consumer Protection Act. This legislation establishes an Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Worker Training Program to prepare people for “green” jobs -- such as solar panel manufacturers and green building construction workers and increases loan limits to help small businesses develop energy efficient technologies and purchases. H.R. 3221 also creates an Energy Department agency to coordinate energy technology research and development that private industry is not likely to pursue on its own (ARPA-E). It calls for the federal government to be carbon neutral by 2050. Federal agencies would have to inventory their greenhouse gas emissions and reduce them by at least 2% a year. It prevents companies who don't pay royalties on their oil and gas drilling from being issued new leases unless they renegotiate those leases and agree to pay royalties. The legislation also sets standards to increase the efficiency of appliances such as refrigerators and freezers. H.R. 3221 also authorizes $750M grants to transit agencies so that they may increase access to transit options in urban areas. Although there are a number of important provisions in this legislation, I am disappointed that a requirement to increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards did not have enough support to be included in this bill. I am hopeful that this can be worked out in conference in the Senate. I voted YES. H.R. 3221 passed in the House and the entire vote is recorded below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

215

9

0

7

REPUBLICAN

26

163

0

13

TOTAL

241

172

0

20

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

9

0

0

0

The House also passed H.R. 2776: Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007. This legislation authorizes $3.6 billion in energy conservation bonds for states and local governments to fund conservation projects. It also authorizes $2.4B in residential energy-efficiency tax-credit bonds and $2B in new clean renewable energy bonds for renewable energy facilities. H.R. 2776 extends various tax credits for solar energy, fuel cells, and hybrids. The legislation repeals approximately $16 billion in tax breaks for oil and gas companies to finance these initiatives. I voted YES. The legislation passed in the House and the entire vote is recorded below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

212

11

0

8

REPUBLICAN

9

178

0

15

TOTAL

221

189

0

23

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

8

0

0

1

I think that the House could have gone further with the energy bills we considered over the weekend. Regardless, both bills are important steps in the right direction and I hope that we will have an opportunity to do more soon.

Also on Saturday the House passed H.R. 3222: FY 2008 Defense Appropriations. This legislation funds the Department of Defense's basic budget for the upcoming fiscal year. It does not contain any funding for the war in Iraq, which will be addressed in an upcoming supplemental appropriations bill. This legislation increases funding for the National Guard and Reserve so that they may address equipment shortfalls. H.R. 3222 increases funding for military training and health care. It funds a 3.5% pay increase for our men and women in uniform, and provides $558.4 million more than the President's budget to fund services for military families like child care centers, education and advocacy programs. I voted YES. H.R. 3222 passed the House and the entire vote is recorded below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

208

12

0

10

REPUBLICAN

187

1

0

TOTAL

395

13

0

24

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

7

1

0

1


What's Up Next

The House is currently in a District Work period. The next votes are scheduled for September 4, 2007.


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:

1414 Longworth Building, Washington, DC 20515

DC Office Phone:

(202) 225-5111

Website and e-mail:

www.house.gov/capuano


We welcome feedback on our e-updates. Please let us know what you think of this service by e-mailing the office via our website at http://www.house.gov/capuano.


You have received this e-mail because you subscribed to Rep. Capuano's E-Mail Updates authorizing Rep. Capuano to send your inbox periodic e-mail updates from his Congressional office.

PRIVACY POLICY: Your e-mail address will not be shared with anyone else or sold in any way. To read the complete privacy policy, visit: http://www.house.gov/capuano/privacypolicy.shtml.

UNSUBSCRIBE: if you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, you may do so at this address: http://www.house.gov/capuano/e-updates/unsubscribe.shtml.



8,321 subscribers

 

 

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

 

Privacy Policy

To protect your privacy, subscriptions to Rep. Capuano's E-Updates are subject to our Privacy Policy.

 

Bill Search

Use the THOMAS search engine to search bills from the 113th Congress.

 

i.e "hres 142"

 

i.e "health care"

 

Newspapers

 

News Services

Here are some informative online news services to help you find reports from Boston and the region, as well as national and international news stories.

 

Home | About | Biography | Contact | Issues | Links | News | Schedules | Services

E-Updates | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Accessibility

110 First Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
P: (617) 621-6208
F: (617) 621-8628
Hours

Roxbury Community College
Campus Library
Room 211
Boston
Hours

Stetson Hall
Room 124
6 South Main Street
Randolph
Hours

  Constituent Services Click to close menu
  Casework and Constituent Assistance
  Citizenship/Naturalization Information
  Immigration Casework
  Ordering Flags Flown Over The Capitol
  Presidential Greetings
  Tours
  U.S. Service Academy Nominations
  Internship Programs
  Washington, D.C. Attractions
  Grants and Federal Domestic Assistance
  FAQs
  News and Multimedia Center Click to close menu
  e-Updates
  Recent Votes
  Press Items
  Video and Audio
  Photo Gallery
  Legislative Issues Click to close menu
  Mike on the Issues
  Recent Votes
  Mike's Voting Record
  Scorecards for Mike's Votes in Congress
  Legislation Sponsored by Mike
  Earmark Requests
  Committees and Caucuses
  Ethics Task Force
  Congressional Schedules Click to close menu
  Mike's Schedule
  House Floor Summary
  Weekly House Schedule
  Annual House Calendar
  Weekly Senate Schedule
  About The 7th District Click to close menu
  Maps
  Cities
  Demographics
  The 7th District Over the Years
  Nobel Prize Winners
  Interesting facts about Massachusetts
  Massachusetts Links
  Links Click to close menu
  Massachusetts Links
    State Government
    About the 7th District
    Arts, Culture and Attractions
    Chambers of Commerce
    Colleges and Universities
    Exploring Massachusetts
    Hospitals and Health Organizations
    Newspapers
    Sports

  Federal Government Links
    USA.gov - Official Government Portal
    Legislative Branch
    Executive Branch
    Judicial Branch
    Federal Agencies
    Kids' Pages
    Register to Vote
    Washington, D.C. Attractions
    Business Opportunities with the Government

  Links For Students
 
  Contact Mike Click to close menu
  District Office
  Washington, D.C. Office
  Office Hours Program
  Community Meetings
  E-mail Mike's Office