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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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June 17, 2011

Libya

This week I signed onto a bipartisan lawsuit that would stop military action in Libya because this war has not been approved by Congress, as required by the Constitution.

Article I, section 8 of the Constitution, and the War Powers Act of 1973, states that unless a crisis threatening our security requires immediate action, only Congress may authorize the use of force. I firmly believe that the Constitution entrusts Congress - not the President acting alone — to decide when to put U.S. troops in harm's way. The President has not yet fulfilled his obligation to seek Congress' approval to continue military operations in Libya .

This decision was not easy, but I feel very strongly about this matter and I don't expect that the Administration will decide to seek Congressional approval at this point. I also want to make it very clear that my concerns go beyond one President and one war. In fact, I am more concerned about future Presidents who may wish to bring this country to war based on insufficient facts. There is no more important matter than war and peace, and the Constitution is very clear on this matter. I appeared on CNN earlier week to talk about the lawsuit; you may watch the interview here.

Appropriations

The House continued consideration this week of FY 2012 appropriations bills with H.R. 2055: the Military Construction/VA Appropriations bill. This bill proposes less funding than last year in recognition of the fact that financial sacrifices must be made to address the deficit. Despite a budget reduction, H.R. 2055 still makes a significant commitment to our veterans and military personnel, providing $72.5 billion in funding for veterans' health care services, casework assistance, military equipment and military construction programs. I voted YES. H.R. 2055 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

229

5

0

5

DEMOCRAT

182

0

0

11

TOTAL

411

5

0

16

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0

The House also considered H.R. 2112: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations. This bill represents a reduction in funding from the last fiscal year as well. H.R. 2112 contains significant cuts to important programs. WIC, a nutrition program for pregnant women, infants and children, is cut by $650 million, which means that up to 350,000 low-income women and children won't be able to participate in the program. The bill cuts the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by 12%. This will impact food safety initiatives and make it difficult for the FDA to fully implement the Food Safety Act, which directs the FDA to implement a more comprehensive food safety system focused on stopping food contamination.

H.R. 2112 greatly reduces the budget for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is responsible for implementing some key Wall Street reforms after the financial collapse. The bill cuts proposed funding by 44% making it very difficult for the Commission to effectively regulate the industry. I voted NO. H.R. 2112 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

217

19

0

3

DEMOCRAT

0

184

0

9

TOTAL

217

203

0

12

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

7

0

0

3

Bruins

Finally, congratulations to our Boston Bruins, who proved that they are the best hockey team in the National Hockey League, characterized by determination, grit and talent. They also demonstrated a steely resolve throughout the playoffs and were a pleasure to watch. Thank you for bringing the Stanley Cup back to Boston.

What's Up Next Week

Next week the House is expected to consider the Defense Appropriations bill.


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

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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:

1414 Longworth Building, Washington, DC 20515

DC Office Phone:

(202) 225-5111

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