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Congressman Capuano's
E-UPDATE
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
8th Congressional District of Massachusetts
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September 24, 2010

Fair Elections

Yesterday the House Administration Committee, of which I am a member, passed the Fair Elections Now Act by voice vote. This landmark campaign finance reform legislation establishes a system where House candidates would raise small donations from a specific number of contributors in their state, which would then qualify them for matching funds. Fair Elections would be funded through the sale of unused broadcast spectrum, not tax dollars. Running for Congress can be prohibitively expensive, putting it out of reach of many worthy candidates, and this bill levels the playing field by giving qualified candidates access to funding. With committee passage of the Fair Elections Now Act, we move one step closer to reducing the influence that money is all too often perceived to have in politics. I am hopeful that the full House will soon vote on this measure.

Sudan

This week the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that I requested along with Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. Barbara Lee entitled "Sudan Divestment: U.S. Investors Sold Assets but Could Benefit from Increased Disclosure Regarding Companies' Ties to Sudan." In December 2007, Congress enacted the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act (SADA) which safeguards states and investment companies that choose to divest from companies with business ties to Sudan.

The GAO report, which can be viewed at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10742.pdf, examines steps taken since the passage of SADA by private investment companies and states with Sudan-related investments and discusses the factors they considered when making these decisions.

SADA was a major milestone for those who want to ensure their investments do not fund genocide or mass atrocities. We say 'never again' but we must take the necessary actions to ensure that our investments aren't inadvertently financing criminal behavior and this includes making it easier for investors to divest in cases of extreme violence or crisis. The GAO's work on this subject will help inform responsible policy-making and show us where further transparency and clarity are needed. I look forward to addressing this in a Financial Services Committee hearing later this session.

Stimulus at Work

This week I participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for two housing facilities in Cambridge : Jackson Gardens and Lincoln Way . The revitalization of these properties is made possible through $26 million in federal stimulus funds and is a tangible example of the impact that stimulus funds are having on our local communities. This project is creating jobs and improving the lives of the residents who call these properties home. I appreciated the invitation to join local officials and residents at the ceremony.

Small Business

The House took several votes this week, including a vote on Senate amendments to H.R. 5297: Small Business Lending Fund Act. This legislation includes $12 billion in small business tax cuts, expands access to financing and provides funding to states for small business lending programs. H.R. 5297 will help small businesses expand and will create up to 500,000 new jobs.

I voted YES. The entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

236

13

0

6

REPUBLICAN

1

174

0

3

TOTAL

237

187

0

9

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0

What's Up Next Week

Next week the House will consider a continuing resolution to fund federal programs beyond September 30th.


Congressman Mike Capuano
8th District, Massachusetts
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Financial Services
Committee on House Administration

P.S. I welcome your feedback on our e-Updates. Please let me and my staff know what you think of this service by e-mailing our office.


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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