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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

February 7, 2014

As you read this week’s newsletter, I wanted to point out that the Administration has already promised to veto all three of the bills described below. Despite knowing the Administration had significant objections to aspects of the legislation, House Republicans still refused to consider reasonable amendments. They also refused to address some of the important issues of the day, such as the debt ceiling, immigration reform or an extension of emergency unemployment insurance.

Public Land Use

On Tuesday the House considered H.R. 3590, The Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act. This legislation is a combination of 8 bills. Some of them are controversial because of the negative impact that they have on conservation efforts while others have passed easily out of committee. H.R. 3590 gives hunting and fishing priority over all other federal land uses. It allows the use of motorized vehicles in wilderness areas when filming is involved. The legislation also loosens existing conservation laws if someone is hunting on federal lands. I voted NO. The legislation passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

227

0

0

4

DEMOCRAT

41

154

0

5

TOTAL

268

154

0

9

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Water Resources

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 3964, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act. This legislation is being described as an effort to alleviate severe drought in California. In fact, it does nothing to address this problem. H.R. 3964 repeals existing water use laws in California, a troubling precedent for states. For almost 100 years, the federal Bureau of Reclamation has deferred to the states when it comes to the use of irrigation water. This legislation ends that practice. It also makes water for agriculture a priority over all other uses, such as municipal or environmental or conservation purposes. Finally, the legislation would completely waive the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act, while preventing California from implementing any further environmental protections on their own. I voted NO. H.R. 3964 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

222

2

0

7

DEMOCRAT

7

189

0

4

TOTAL

229

191

0

11

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Yesterday the House considered H.R. 2954, the Public Access and Lands Improvement Act. This legislation combines ten bills, almost all of which are controversial and weaken existing conservation laws. It conveys land to several states, including Florida, eliminating the requirement that the land must be available for public use. Removing this requirement could result in development of that public land and damage to fragile natural resources. The land in Florida being conveyed is currently part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, which is a National Park Service Park. H.R. 2954 also eases restrictions on beach use of off-highway vehicles in North Carolina. Those restrictions were put in place to protect endangered species such as sea turtles. Other provisions greatly increase the length of time that a grazing permit is valid and exempts them from environmental review. I voted NO. H.R. 2954 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

214

6

0

11

DEMOCRAT

6

188

0

6

TOTAL

220

194

0

17

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

What’s Up Next Week

Next votes will take place on Monday February 10th. The House is expected to consider H.R. 3193, the Consumer Financial Protection and Soundness Improvement Act.

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.


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