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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


8,285 subscribers

July 13, 2012

Repealing the Affordable Care Act

This week, as promised, the House considered H.R. 6079: To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This vote marked the 31st time that the House has voted to repeal all or part of health care reform. In fact, the House took up this very bill in January of 2011. It passed and was defeated in the Senate but that didn’t stop Republican leadership from trying again.

I want to emphasize that Republicans don’t have their own version of health care reform to offer. They just want to do away with the current law. This is what a repeal of the Affordable Care Act would mean for Americans: insurance companies would once again be able to deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition and they could once again impose lifetime coverage limits. So if you develop a serious illness requiring long term care, your insurance company could decide that they’ve spent enough money on you and end your coverage. Young people under the age of 26 who have been able to stay on their parents’ insurance would be out of luck. Seniors would pay more for prescription drugs. Repealing the Affordable Care Act also increases the deficit by $124 billion over ten years and another trillion in the decade after that. These figures come from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) most recent analysis, which was done last year.

Once again, the Republican-led House wasted time on an empty gesture – a bill that the President has, not surprisingly, said he will veto. I voted NO. H.R. 6079 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

239

0

0

1

DEMOCRAT

5

185

0

1

TOTAL

244

185

0

2

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

10

0

0

Mining Legislation

The House also considered H.R. 4402: National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act. The title of this bill suggests that its intent is to increase U.S. access to minerals that play an important role in our national security. In fact, the way that “strategic and critical minerals” are defined would create such a broad new standard that it seems to include even plentiful resources such as sand. H.R. 4402 designates all mines that produce this broad category of minerals as “infrastructure projects” and applies a March Executive Order regarding improving the federal permitting process for such projects. H.R. 4402 contains numerous additional provisions that reduce environmental review as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. The bill is so wide ranging that it reduces and in some cases even eliminates comprehensive environmental review when it comes to virtually all mines on public lands. H.R. 4402 also weakens existing law by giving mining operations preference over all other uses on public lands, including recreational activities or fishing. I voted NO. H.R. 4402 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

234

0

0

6

DEMOCRAT

22

160

 

9

TOTAL

256

160

0

15

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

10

0

0

Sudan

July 9th marked the one year anniversary of South Sudan’s independence. South Sudan had to struggle for its freedom, and millions of its people paid with their lives to reach this milestone. One year later, a country has been established, but its stability and prosperity are far from assured.

Conflict rages near the border between Sudan and South Sudan. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have streamed into South Sudan. Many have been cut off from humanitarian supplies due to fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N). Near constant bombing by the SAF has forced families to seek refuge in caves and travel hundreds of miles, sometimes by foot, to reach safety.

Internally, South Sudan has its own problems that need attention. Violence and ethnic conflict have ebbed and flowed in Jonglei state over the past few years. Although the Government of the Republic of South Sudan has taken steps to address this, real concerns remain. Demobilization and disarmament must continue judiciously.

The United States must continue to pay strict attention to the needs of South Sudan. This means supporting responsible policies put forth by the RSS government and telling hard truths to our friends when necessary. We must stress the importance of finding a solution to the oil crisis. We must maintain strides made thus far in South Sudan and encourage further progress through proper governance, capacity-building, investment, and promotion of agriculture. The American people have invested too much in the success of South Sudan to turn back now.

So, on this anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, I join in celebrating the initial achievement, but I also pledge my commitment to seeing South Sudan emerge as a fully competent, robust, and vibrant democracy in the years ahead.

What’s up Next Week

Next week the House is expected to continue consideration of Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations bills.


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

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.


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and
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