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Congressman Capuano's
E-UPDATE
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
7th Congressional District of Massachusetts


8,285 subscribers

January 4, 2013

The 113th Congress

Yesterday the 113th Congress convened and it was my great honor to be sworn in as the Representative for Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District. Our district number changed from 8 to 7 with the loss of a House seat after the recent Census. We also welcome some new communities and neighborhoods into the district. I look forward to meeting more folks in Everett, Milton and Randolph and spending some more time in Boston with the addition of several neighborhoods.

We have many significant challenges facing us, including the looming issue of sequestration and the coming debate over raising the debt ceiling. Congress must also address federal spending for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2013. Many more issues will compete for time and attention.

I am determined and energized as the new Congress gets to work. There are many tough roads ahead, but I am committed to seeking bipartisan solutions where possible and standing firm when too much is at risk. We must reduce spending and address the deficit, but any approach to solving these difficult challenges should be balanced. I am committed to seeking that balance.

Since we first started sending out this communication, our number of subscribers has grown to more than 7500. I thank you for your support over the years and for your interest in this newsletter. I will continue to keep you informed as the 113th Congress gets to work. Happy New Year.

Recent Votes

The first significant vote of the 113th Congress was on H.Res. 5: Adopting the Rules of the 113th Congress. H.Res. 5 sets forth the rules by which the new Congress will operate. It is also an opportunity for the majority party to make a statement on issues it feels merit inclusion in the rules. In this instance, the House Rules include language that allows for the use of taxpayer funds to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. So far, the House has spent more than $1.7 million essentially defending discrimination.  The Supreme Court in December announced that it would take up a decision involving California’s Proposition 8, which made same sex marriage illegal in the state. There should be no place in the House Rules for any action that defends the discriminatory DOMA.

One item that the rules do include is the reauthorization of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).  Several years ago, I was asked to chair the Special Task Force on Ethics Enforcement, which resulted in passage of my legislation establishing the OCE. This represented the involvement of non-Members of the House in ethics matters for the first time in history. That office has been at risk from time to time, and I am pleased it has been reauthorized for another Congress. Although extension of the OCE is good news, it wasn’t enough to earn my vote on the House Rules. I voted NO. H.Res. 5 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

228

1

0

3

DEMOCRAT

0

195

0

2

TOTAL

228

196

0

5

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Today the House finally considered disaster relief funding for those impacted by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in late October. This funding was included in H.R. 41, which increases the ability of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to borrow funds for the purposes of implementing the National Flood Insurance Program. H.R. 41 essentially gives FEMA the ability to spend $9.7 billion to help fund flood insurance claims.

The path to passage was not smooth. Although Hurricane Sandy struck more than 2 months ago, until today the House had not acted. In late December the Senate passed a bipartisan $60 billion Sandy Disaster Relief Package. On January 1st, House Leadership indicated that a $27 billion aid package would be considered, and it would be amended to include an additional $33 billion in funds. Late into the evening on the 1st, that package was pulled from the floor and House Leadership announced that votes were cancelled for the next day.

After a backlash over the delay of this desperately needed aid package, it was added to today’s schedule. H.R. 41 is just a portion of the funds necessary to address the damage of Hurricane Sandy. The remaining $50 billion is scheduled to be considered in the House on January 15th. I voted YES. H.R. 41 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

161

67

0

4

DEMOCRAT

193

0

0

4

TOTAL

354

67

0

8

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

0

0

0

What’s Up Next

The House is not session. Next votes are expected on Monday January 14th.

Mike


Congressman Mike Capuano
7th 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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