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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


8,321 subscribers

December 13, 2013

Rep. Clark

It was a pleasure to welcome Rep. Katherine Clark to the Massachusetts Congressional delegation. She was sworn in on the floor of the House yesterday and cast her first votes as a Member of Congress. I look forward to working with her on behalf of the residents of the Commonwealth.

Budget

Yesterday the House considered an amendment to H.J. Res. 59, the Bipartisan Budget Agreement. While far from perfect, this is encouraging. It represents a compromise, which has been elusive in this Congress when it comes to budget agreements. It sets fiscal year 2014 spending levels at $1.012 trillion. Without an agreement, FY 2014 spending would have been reduced to $967 billion. The most important aspect of this agreement for me is that it addresses sequestration for the next two years. As you know, I never supported this approach to spending reductions because it slashes funding indiscriminately. The next round of sequester cuts were scheduled to go into effect on January 15th. This legislation replaces some of the sequester cuts with targeted spending reductions and revenue increases.

I think itís important to note that the Bipartisan Budget Agreement reverses the troubling trend of budget cuts that have been legislated since 2011. It actually increases spending by $25 billion over the last fiscal year. While this is certainly a victory, it is not enough to keep pace with inflation or restore recent cuts. Passage of this legislation does not eliminate the possibility of another government shutdown next month, but it significantly reduces its likelihood. I am also disappointed that an extension of expiring unemployment insurance was not included. This means than 1.3 million Americans will get their last check at the end of this month. I am hopeful that Congress can quickly address this lapse in January. I voted YES. The legislation passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

169

62

0

1

DEMOCRAT

163

32

0

6

TOTAL

332

94

0

7

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

9

0

0

0

Pediatric Research

This week the House considered H.R. 2019, the Kids First Research Act. This legislation ends public funding for the Democratic and Republican Presidential nominating conventions, instead making that money available to pediatric research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). H.R. 2019 could have been used to appropriate money for pediatric research. Instead it simply authorizes funding, which is an important distinction. While I would have preferred that money had been made more directly available, I do think it is appropriate that research like this is prioritized over convention funding, particularly during tough fiscal times. I voted YES. H.R. 2019 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

223

1

0

7

DEMOCRAT

72

102

0

26

TOTAL

295

103

0

33

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

5

3

0

0

Defense

Today the House considered an amendment to H.R. 3304, the National Defense Authorization Agreement for FY 2014. This legislation authorizes $632 billion in funding for the Department of Defense and its programs, which is an increase over current spending. It includes $80 billion in funds for the war in Afghanistan. This legislation contains some provisions that I support, such as easing restrictions on the transfer of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba to foreign countries, after a thorough security review. It is an important step towards reducing the number of prisoners who are held indefinitely without being charged.

In the final analysis however, I could not support this bill. The overall funding level is higher than the previous authorization, which will mean larger cuts in other areas such as transportation, education and health care. I voted NO. The legislation passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

208

19

0

4

DEMOCRAT

142

50

0

9

TOTAL

350

69

0

13

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

5

4

0

0

Whatís Up Next Week

The House has adjourned for the year. Next votes are expected to take place on January 7, 2014.

Mike


Congressman Mike Capuano
7th District, Massachusetts
Committee on Ethics
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Financial Services

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Roxbury Community College Campus Library, Room 211, Boston
Stetson Hall Room 124, 6 South Main Street, Randolph

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