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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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February 6, 2009

Health Insurance for Children

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 2: Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009. This is an important and long overdue measure that will have a direct impact on millions of children all across the country. H.R. 2 reauthorizes the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), continuing health care coverage for 7 million children and extending eligibility to an additional 4 million children who currently lack coverage.

Twice in the last Congress, former President Bush vetoed this legislation and there were not enough votes for an override. I voted YES. H.R. 2 passed and has already been signed into law by President Obama. The entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

250

2

0

3

REPUBLICAN

40

133

0

5

TOTAL

290

135

0

8

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0

Digital Television

This week the House also considered S. 352: Digital TV Delay. This legislation extends the deadline for the transition to digital television through June 12, 2009. The previous deadline was February 17th. Although many households already have the necessary equipment to accommodate the transition to digital, there are many people all across the country who need a converter box to prepare for this change. In order to defray the cost of the converter box, coupons are available at https://www.dtv2009.gov/. However, there is currently a waiting list for the coupons, which is why the delay is necessary.

S. 352 provides the additional time needed to distribute the coupons. It has already passed the Senate and is expected to be signed by the President. I voted YES. The entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

241

10

0

3

REPUBLICAN

23

148

0

7

TOTAL

264

158

0

10

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0

Madoff Hearing

On Wednesday the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises held a hearing on the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme. We heard from representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as from Harry Markopolos, the whistleblower who investigated and uncovered the scandal. Mr. Markopolos provided the subcommittee with a very sobering account of his efforts to draw attention to the Ponzi scheme he had uncovered that was jeopardizing the savings of so many people.

Despite his best efforts over the years, he simply could not get the SEC to take his concerns seriously. When it was time for the SEC to answer the subcommittee's questions, they shed absolutely no light on the circumstances surrounding their handling of Mr. Madoff. Instead, they essentially deferred all substantive questions because the matter is under investigation.

I was outraged by their bureaucratic responses. It is abundantly clear to me that the SEC simply did not do its job in this instance and there are many questions that demand answers. I am looking forward to working with the new Administration to implement real regulatory reform so that oversight is strengthened.

What's Up Next

Next week the House is expected to work out differences with the Senate on the American Recovery and Investment Act.


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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