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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

March 14, 2014

“Enforcing” the Law

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 4138, the ENFORCE the Law Act of 2014. This legislation makes it possible to sue the President of the United States with a simple majority of ONE House of Congress. H.R. 4138 is not limited to the Chief Executive; it basically applies to all federal employees. So if a simple majority of the House of Representatives determines that the President or any other federal employee has not taken “Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” that person can be sued. The problems with H.R. 4138 are numerous, including the potentially massive impact on the federal budget. Can you imagine the potential for partisan abuse if this bill actually became law? Not surprisingly, the Administration has stated that H.R. 4138 will be vetoed. I voted NO. H.R. 4138 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

228

0

0

3

DEMOCRAT

5

181

0

13

TOTAL

233

181

0

16

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

“Executing the Law”

The House also weighed in this week on another issue about executing laws by considering H.R. 3973, the “Faithful Execution of the Laws Act”. This bill also was met with a veto promise by the Administration. This bill requires the Attorney General to review the actions of all agencies in the Executive Branch to ensure that everyone is enforcing all federal statutes and regulations. This too would place an enormous financial burden on the government. Especially in times when resources are limited, every agency must set enforcement priorities. House Republicans are using the Administration’s decisions to delay some provisions of the Affordable Care Act and to attack decisions such as not to deport children whose parents entered the country illegally (the DREAMers). They claim that the Administration is not enforcing the law and therefore should be subject to this scrutiny. The Supreme Court has already upheld Presidential authority to exercise discretion in enforcing the law so H.R. 3973 is meaningless. I voted NO. I am sure you are not surprised that H.R. 3973 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

226

1

0

5

DEMOCRAT

18

170

0

11

TOTAL

244

171

0

16

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Water Rights

Yesterday the House considered H.R. 3189, the Water Rights Protection Act. This bill would take away the ability of federal land management agencies to enforce existing regulations in place to protect water resources such as rivers and fish and aquatic animals. If these agencies don’t have the tools they need to monitor water resource use, then those resources could be easily depleted or diminished. I voted NO. H.R. 3189 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

226

0

0

6

DEMOCRAT

12

174

0

13

TOTAL

238

174

0

19

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

The Affordable Care Act

Today the House considered H.R. 4015, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014. The intent of this legislation is to implement a permanent solution for the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) in Medicare payments to doctors. On March 31st, Medicare reimbursement rates are scheduled for a 24% cut. In the past, Congress has found short term solutions to managing the SGR but a permanent fix has proven elusive. For quite some time, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress and their staffs, as well as stakeholders, have been exploring ways to permanently address the SGR. An agreement was close; one that would have offered a more equitable framework. This would have been an encouraging example of bipartisan accord on a perennial problem. Regrettably, House Republicans added a provision to H.R. 4015 to delay the individual mandate requirement of the Affordable Care Act for five years. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that this delay would increase by 13 million those without insurance and result in 10-20% higher premiums. The Administration has announced that H.R. 4015 will be vetoed. I voted NO. H.R. 4015 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

226

0

0

6

DEMOCRAT

12

181

0

6

TOTAL

238

181

0

12

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

What’s Up Next Week

A District Work Period has been scheduled. The next House votes are expected on Monday March 24th.

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

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DC Office Phone:

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