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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 26, 2009

Climate Change

On Friday the House considered H.R. 2454: the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. This landmark legislation seeks to address global climate change and significantly increase our energy independence. It sets a series of caps on greenhouse gas emissions, targeting 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83% below 2005 levels by 2050. This will encourage businesses to invest in clean technologies and increase energy efficiencies. H.R. 2454 also encourages energy efficiency by updating national building codes to require 50% more energy efficiency by 2016.

It establishes programs for home and business weatherization as well as a grant program for non-profit community development organizations to assist low-income individuals increase energy efficiency. Some of the revenue generated through this bill is dedicated to assisting low-income families and protecting consumers from energy price increases.

I worked hard to try and strengthen this bill but as you can imagine, getting a measure that could pass the House was not an easy task. I do have a concern that the market-based approach taken by this legislation could allow some in the financial industry to abuse the process to increase energy prices without actually improving the environment. As this legislation moves forward I will work to address those concerns and to further strengthen the bill.

I voted YES. H.R. 2454 passed in the House and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

211

44

0

1

REPUBLICAN

8

168

0

2

TOTAL

219

212

0

3

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0

Homeland Security

The House continued consideration of FY 2010 appropriations bills with H.R. 2892: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. This legislation increases overall funding for a variety of security needs. It provides $10 billion for border protection, including additional funding for the southwest border, which has experienced a rise in criminal activity due to drug smuggling. It enhances aviation security with funds to help airports implement the latest explosive detection systems. It also provides $123 million to help achieve 100% screening of all air cargo by August of 2010. H.R. 2892 improves security at our ports by providing funding for additional cargo screening in the United States and at overseas ports. It provides $250 million for rail and transit grants to implement security initiatives and $950 million in grants for our nationŐs first responders. Funds can be use for training, hiring and equipment purchases.

A family commitment required my presence in Massachusetts so I was unable to cast a vote on H.R. 2892. If I had been on the floor of the House, I would have voted YES. H.R. 2892 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

I voted YES. H.R. 2847 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

250

0

0

5

REPUBLICAN

139

37

0

2

TOTAL

389

37

0

7

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

0

0

1

Interior Appropriations

The House also considered H.R. 2996: Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. This legislation appropriates funds for a number of initiatives, including $3.9 billion for communities so that they may make improvements to their wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, and $1.5 billion for toxic waste site cleanup.

H.R. 2996 also includes funding to help address climate change and implement some aspects of the Energy Independence and Security Act. $420 million is included for global climate change efforts, such as funds for renewable fuels, energy efficiency programs and research. The National Park Service will receive $2.7 billion to upgrade our national parks and funds will also be available for overdue maintenance at the Smithsonian Institute.

I voted YES. H.R. 2996 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

237

14

0

4

REPUBLICAN

17

159

0

2

TOTAL

254

173

0

6

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0

Transportation

This week the House Transportation Committee's Subcommittee on Highways and Transit passed the Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009. This is the first step in what I anticipate will be a lengthy process to reauthorize existing transportation legislation, set to expire at the end of September. I am encouraged that this authorization bill includes my legislation to establish a national highway tunnel inspection program.

Long time readers of my newsletter may recall that Congress passed the last transportation bill in the summer of 2005 after a delay of more than a year and a half. Although I am hopeful that Congress can complete work on this important bill by the end of the fiscal year, there are still many questions that must be resolved. I will keep you posted as we work to advance this measure.

What's Up Next

A district work period has been scheduled for next week. The House is expected to return to session on July 7th.


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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