skip to main contentskip to popular page linksskip to main navigation links
Office Hours Program Social Security Calculator Translate this page into another language
photo of Mike Capuano Michael E. Capuano representing the 7th district of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives Go to the House of Representatives homepage
Visit Mike's video channel on YouTube Like Mike on Facebook

 

 Mike's Schedule Voting Record District Maps Register To Vote FAQ Site Map e-Updates

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

January 10, 2014

Social Security

Last year I filed legislation to prohibit the Social Security numbers of deceased individuals from being made publicly available through the Federal government’s Death Master File (DMF). The Social Security Administration publishes the DMF, which includes the full name, social security number, date of birth, county, state, and zip code of deceased individuals. It is updated regularly. For fees as small as $10, anyone can access the database. In a 2011 report to Congress, the IRS Taxpayer Advocate pointed out that easy access to the DMF is a major contributor to recent increases in tax related identity theft.

We made some progress with this last year when a provision limiting access to the DMF was included in the budget agreement that passed Congress in December. The provision strikes a balance by making it more difficult for potential identity thieves to access the DMF, while still maintaining access for those who legitimately need it. There is really no reason why the Social Security number of someone who has passed away should be available to anyone for a few dollars. The IRS has identified this as a problem and I am pleased that Congress is acting to close this loophole.

Cell Phones on Planes

Many of you may have spent time on an airplane during the holiday season, traveling to visit loved ones. Imagine if your seatmate spent the bulk of the flight talking on his or her cell phone. As a frequent traveler myself, I am very concerned about a recent announcement that federal agencies are considering allowing cell phone use during flights. An airplane is a confined space with no ability to move into another compartment or switch seats if someone is talking loudly and at length. Unlike trains, airlines cannot offer “quiet cabins”. We’ve all been in the presence of someone who is not considerate of others when engaging in conversation on a cell phone. That nuisance is significantly greater in a confined space. No one wants to be stuck sitting next to someone talking loudly on their phone for an hour or more when they have nowhere to go for some quiet. Checking email, texting or visiting websites is not the same as making a phone call. Those activities are far less intrusive and do not impose on other passengers. They are not currently allowed in flight either. I think easing restrictions on those activities while still prohibiting telephone calls is a good compromise. If you have questions or concerns about this proposed change, I strongly encourage you to express your opinion with the Department of Transportation. A number of different federal agencies are involved in this, but the Department of Transportation may have final say under its “Aviation Consumer Protection” authority. We have provided a link if you are interested: https://ntl.custhelp.com/app/ask

Recent Votes

The House convened this week for the second session of the 113th Congress. On Thursday the House considered H.R. 2279, Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013. H.R. 2279 combines three environmental bills that were considered in the Energy and Commerce Committee last year. It weakens the hazardous waste cleanup of Superfund sites by giving states rather than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority over this work. H.R. 2279 prohibits the EPA from establishing responsibility for payment of Superfund cleanup if states already have requirements in place. Currently the EPA requires companies at high risk of polluting to purchase insurance or post bonds so that funds are available in the event of contamination. H.R. 2279 eliminates that requirement. H.R. 2279 also eliminates an existing requirement that the EPA review the regulations covering hazardous waste every three years. It also takes away the EPA’s ability to quickly address any immediate contamination threats. Under H.R. 2279 the EPA must first consult with the state where the contamination has occurred before taking action. I voted NO. H.R. 2279 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

220

4

0

8

DEMOCRAT

5

184

0

11

TOTAL

225

188

0

19

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

On Friday the House considered H.R. 3811, the Exchange Security and Transparency Act. This legislation implies that the health care Marketplace websites are somehow riddled with security issues. It requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to notify a consumer within two business days of learning that their personal information has been stolen or subject to unauthorized viewing. No other government websites or private websites are subject to this requirement. Although H.R. 3811 is narrowly drawn to just impact the websites associated with the Affordable Care Act, the idea behind it has merit. Consumers should be alerted if their personal information is subject to a data breach. In fact, H.R. 3811 should be applied more broadly. I voted YES. H.R. 3811 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

224

0

0

8

DEMOCRAT

67

122

0

11

TOTAL

291

122

0

19

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

4

4

0

1

What’s Up Next Week

The House is expected to consider a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government. Next votes will take place on Monday January 13th.

Mike


Congressman Mike Capuano
7th District, Massachusetts
Committee on Ethics
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
Roxbury Community College Campus Library, Room 211, Boston
Stetson Hall Room 124, 6 South Main Street, Randolph

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

You have received this e-mail because you subscribed to Rep. Capuano's E-Mail Updates authorizing Rep. Capuano to send your inbox periodic e-mail updates from his Congressional office.

UNSUBSCRIBE: if you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, you may do so at this address: http://www.house.gov/capuano/e-updates/unsubscribe.shtml.

PRIVACY POLICY: Your e-mail address will not be shared with anyone else or sold in any way. To read the complete privacy policy, visit: http://www.house.gov/capuano/privacypolicy.shtml.

E-Updates are sent from an unattended mailbox. Please do not reply directly to this e-mail. Instead, if you wish to e-mail us, please go to http://www.house.gov/capuano/contact/.
 
NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

 

Privacy Policy

To protect your privacy, subscriptions to Rep. Capuano's E-Updates are subject to our Privacy Policy.

 

Bill Search

Use the THOMAS search engine to search bills from the 113th Congress.

 

i.e "hres 142"

 

i.e "health care"

 

Newspapers

 

News Services

Here are some informative online news services to help you find reports from Boston and the region, as well as national and international news stories.

 

Home | About | Biography | Contact | Issues | Links | News | Schedules | Services

E-Updates | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Accessibility

110 First Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
P: (617) 621-6208
F: (617) 621-8628
Hours

Roxbury Community College
Campus Library
Room 211
Boston
Hours

Stetson Hall
Room 124
6 South Main Street
Randolph
Hours

  Constituent Services Click to close menu
  Casework and Constituent Assistance
  Citizenship/Naturalization Information
  Immigration Casework
  Ordering Flags Flown Over The Capitol
  Presidential Greetings
  Tours
  U.S. Service Academy Nominations
  Internship Programs
  Washington, D.C. Attractions
  Grants and Federal Domestic Assistance
  FAQs
  News and Multimedia Center Click to close menu
  e-Updates
  Recent Votes
  Press Items
  Video and Audio
  Photo Gallery
  Legislative Issues Click to close menu
  Mike on the Issues
  Recent Votes
  Mike's Voting Record
  Scorecards for Mike's Votes in Congress
  Legislation Sponsored by Mike
  Earmark Requests
  Committees and Caucuses
  Ethics Task Force
  Congressional Schedules Click to close menu
  Mike's Schedule
  House Floor Summary
  Weekly House Schedule
  Annual House Calendar
  Weekly Senate Schedule
  About The 7th District Click to close menu
  Maps
  Cities
  Demographics
  The 7th District Over the Years
  Nobel Prize Winners
  Interesting facts about Massachusetts
  Massachusetts Links
  Links Click to close menu
  Massachusetts Links
    State Government
    About the 7th District
    Arts, Culture and Attractions
    Chambers of Commerce
    Colleges and Universities
    Exploring Massachusetts
    Hospitals and Health Organizations
    Newspapers
    Sports

  Federal Government Links
    USA.gov - Official Government Portal
    Legislative Branch
    Executive Branch
    Judicial Branch
    Federal Agencies
    Kids' Pages
    Register to Vote
    Washington, D.C. Attractions
    Business Opportunities with the Government

  Links For Students
 
  Contact Mike Click to close menu
  District Office
  Washington, D.C. Office
  Office Hours Program
  Community Meetings
  E-mail Mike's Office