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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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June 13, 2008

Unemployment Extension

On Thursday the House considered H.R. 5749: the Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 2008. This legislation was first considered on Wednesday under suspension of the rules but was three votes short of the 2/3 necessary for passage. It was brought up again under regular order, which requires a simple majority for House passage. However, this time, the House did manage to secure a veto-proof vote of 2/3. H.R. 5749 provides up to 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits for workers who have already used their 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits. In states where the unemployment level is 6% or higher, an additional 13 weeks of benefits would be available. Despite the fact that the unemployment rate recently went from 5.0% to 5.5%, the largest one month increase in over two decades, President Bush is still threatening a veto. I voted YES. H.R. 5749 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

225

0

0

10

REPUBLICAN

49

137

0

13

TOTAL

274

137

0

23

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0

Amtrak

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 6003: the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act. This legislation reauthorizes Amtrak through FY 2013. It calls for $4.2 billion in grants to fund needed capital improvements such as bridge rehabilitation, passenger car replacement and network maintenance. It also establishes a new State Capital Grant program, giving states access to funds for improving or expanding intercity passenger rail service. I voted YES. H.R. 6003 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

224

0

0

10

REPUBLICAN

87

104

0

8

TOTAL

311

104

0

18

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0

Darfur

This week I introduced a resolution urging the international community to provide the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) with additional helicopters to facilitate peacekeeping in Darfur. The resolution also calls on President Bush to take a leadership role in securing these helicopters.

It has been almost a year since the United Nations Security Council authorized UNAMID and still the force is struggling to carry out its mandate to protect civilians in Darfur. Only a fraction of the authorized force has been deployed and they are encountering great difficulty getting troops and supplies where they are needed. By simply increasing the number of helicopters available more lives can be saved.

What's Up Next

Next week, the House may consider a supplemental appropriations bill for war funding and certain domestic initiatives.


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


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