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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 18, 2008

President Bush and the Olympics

I recently filed a resolution calling on President Bush to boycott the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing unless China takes stronger action against the Sudanese government's genocide in Darfur.

More than 450,000 have lost their lives from violent attacks, disease or starvation and 2.8 million more have been displaced in this campaign of murder and devastation at the hands of the Sudanese government. Instead of denouncing these atrocities, China continues its relationship with Sudan, effectively turning a blind eye to the suffering and death.

The People's Republic of China is Sudan's principal supplier of weapons and weapons technology. Between 60 and 70 percent of Sudan's total oil production is exported to China, Sudan's most important economic trading partner. In fact, according to the 2006 CIA Factbook, China accounts for approximately 31 percent of Sudan's exports.

The resolution states in part that: "China has not in any meaningful way used its relative economic or diplomatic influence with Sudan to force the Government to abandon its policy of genocide in Darfur."

I hope that President Bush will decline to attend the Opening Ceremony in Beijing. This will send a message to China and the world that we must take every opportunity to speak out against human suffering.

International Debt Relief

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 2634: the Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation. This bill represents an effort to provide debt relief for the world's poorest countries as a way to help alleviate severe poverty. It directs the Secretary of the Treasury to begin negotiations within international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to cancel debt for up to 24 of world's poorest countries. Countries would be excluded from debt cancellation efforts if they have an excessive level of military expenditures, support acts of international terrorism, have failed to cooperate on international narcotics control matters or consistently engage in human rights violations. I voted YES. H.R. 2634 passed in the House and the entire vote is recorded below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

216

6

0

12

REPUBLICAN

69

126

0

3

TOTAL

285

132

0

15

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

10

0

0

0

Student Loans

Because of the recent turmoil in U.S. credit markets, some lenders have reduced their student loan lending activity. Thursday the House considered H.R. 5715: The Ensuring Access to Student Loans Act of 2008 as a way to address the current difficulties borrowers are facing in today's market. This bill increases the annual loan limits for federal student loans, giving borrowers access to additional funds. It increases the grace period for parents who take out federal PLUS college loans, giving them more time to make payments. H.R. 5715 also temporarily classifies home mortgage delinquencies as an extenuating circumstance for up to 180 days, therefore making it easier for parents to obtain an education loan for their children. I voted YES. H.R. 5715 passed in the House and the entire vote is recorded below:

 

YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

222

0

0

11

REPUBLICAN

161

27

0

10

TOTAL

383

27

0

21

 

 

 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS

9

0

0

1

What's Up Next

Next week, the House is scheduled to consider legislation to improve the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and a Coast Guard Authorization 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:

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DC Office Phone:

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