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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


8,321 subscribers

July 20, 2012

Colorado

My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives as a result of the horrific shooting spree at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado early this morning. Please know that you are not alone in your grief today. A nation grieves with you, and you are in our hearts as we absorb the details of this senseless tragedy. For all those who were injured during this violent outburst, we pray for a speedy recovery and offer support to your loved ones.

Sequestration

This week the House considered H.R. 5872: Sequestration Transparency Act. This legislation calls on the Administration to prepare a report providing details on how the automatic spending cuts will impact specific programs and agencies. These cuts are coming in January, as required by the Budget Control Act (BCA) from last summer. You may recall that the BCA included automatic across-the-board budget cuts of 10% each year for ten years unless the Super Committee (established under the BCA) could reach agreement on an alternative approach. The Super Committee couldn’t, and as of now, the automatic cuts are coming.

H.R. 5872 seeks additional information on how the automatic cuts will actually affect federal programs. As you can see by the vote, Democrats and Republicans were in rare agreement on this matter. We all seek more information and believe that sequestration is not the way to tackle our deficit. We disagree, however, on how to replace sequestration. The President’s budget and the House Democrats’ budget both replace sequestration with a balanced approach that includes spending cuts and revenue. I strongly believe that the most responsible way to address our deficit is to recognize that, in addition to spending cuts, we must identify new revenue. I voted YES. H.R. 5872 passed and the entire vote is recorded below: 

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

237

0

0

3

DEMOCRAT

177

2

0

12

TOTAL

414

2

0

15

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0

Defense Appropriations

The House yesterday passed H.R. 5856: FY 2013 Defense Appropriations. This legislation provides $3.1 billion more than the President asked for and $1.1 billion more than last fiscal year for the Department of Defense. I voted against H.R. 5856 for basically the same reason I have voted against all the other appropriations bills this year. Republicans in Congress are basing this year’s appropriations bills on an overall number that is less than what was agreed to in last year’s Budget Control Act (BCA). Despite this approach, H.R. 5856 is not subject to funding cuts. Rather, it is funded at a higher level than last year. This means that there will be even less money available for the remaining appropriations bills, such as measures that fund health care, housing and education. Many of these programs have already suffered significant budget cuts. This approach guarantees that they will endure even steeper cuts. The Administration has issued a veto message on H.R. 5856. I voted NO. H.R. 5856 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

225

11

0

4

DEMOCRAT

101

79

0

11

TOTAL

326

90

0

15

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

2

8

0

0

North Bank Bridge

I recently had the chance to participate in the grand opening of the North Bank Bridge, a pedestrian walkway connecting North Point Park and Paul Revere Park.  Bikers, rollerbladers and joggers can also enjoy use of the bridge. Before the opening of this bridge, it would take up to 25 minutes to travel by foot from one park to the other. Now, it will take about 5 minutes. Federal stimulus money was used to help fund the project. The completion of this bridge connecting Cambridge and Charlestown gives users easier access to some wonderful recreational opportunities – bike and pedestrian paths, a playground and even some water access. The North Point Park contains two small islands with a waterway for small boats. I am glad to see this project completed and open to full community use.

CONNECT

On Monday I participated in a roundtable discussion about the CONNECT program in Chelsea. The Department of Labor has awarded $3 million through its Workforce Innovation Fund to Massachusetts’ Metro North Regional Employment Board for the CONNECT program. This initiative combines six Chelsea organizations in partnership: Bunker Hill Community College, Career Source, Centro Latino, Metro Credit Union, Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership and the Neighborhood Developers. The goal of CONNECT is to combine resources in one location so that those in need of services will have access to a range of opportunities. Participants can receive assistance with housing, financial literacy, computer literacy, employment searches and many other programs.

CONNECT’s clients will be better positioned to obtain employment because not only will they have access to job training and career guidance, they can also receive support for services that can help them find and keep a job, such as child care and transportation. I enjoyed meeting with all of the CONNECT partners and hearing the stories of those who have benefitted from its programming.

What’s up Next Week

Next week the House is expected to consider several suspension bills as well as H.R. 4078: Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act.


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.


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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