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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

April 4, 2014

Farewell to Two Heroes

This week Lieutenant Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy were laid to rest. These two brave men perished in last week’s deadly Back Bay fire. There has been a tremendous outpouring of support and appreciation for them, and we have all been reminded of the risks our first responders take every day for all of us. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with their families.

Fort Hood

The Fort Hood family endured more deadly violence when a shooter took the lives of three individuals and wounded sixteen. Just five years ago, thirteen members of the Fort Hood community lost their lives to gun violence. The investigation into what happened yesterday is just beginning and there are many unanswered questions. My deepest sympathies to the families who lost their precious loved ones.

The Affordable Care Act

On Thursday the House considered H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act. This vote represents the 52nd time that the House has voted to repeal or weaken the Affordable Care Act (ACA). H.R. 2575 changes the definition of a full-time work week for purposes of the ACA from 30 hours to 40 hours. Someone working 30 hours or more is considered a full-time employee. Employers with 50 or more employees must offer health care under the law. Proponents of H.R. 2575 claim it is necessary because one of the consequences of the ACA has been a shift from full-time to part-time employment, to reduce the number of employees who count toward the 50 person threshold. The problem with this claim is that there isn’t any evidence to support it. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated in February that “in CBO’s judgment there is no compelling evidence that part-time employment has increased as a result of the ACA. In fact, over the past year the number of full-time employees has gone up and the number of part-time employees has gone down. The CBO has also concluded that H.R. 2575 would increase the deficit by $74 billion and cause 1 million people to lose their employer sponsored health insurance. I spoke on the floor about this bill and you can watch here. The Administration has stated that H.R. 2575 will be vetoed. I voted NO. H.R. 2575 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

230

0

0

2

DEMOCRAT

18

179

0

2

TOTAL

248

179

0

4

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

8

0

1

The Budget

Today the House considered H.R. 1874, the Pro-Growth Budget Act. This legislation will require the CBO to utilize “dynamic scoring” in determining the impact of all major legislation other than appropriations bills. This is nothing more than an effort to obscure the impact of tax cuts on the deficit. I voted NO. H.R. 1874 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

220

0

0

12

DEMOCRAT

4

182

0

13

TOTAL

224

182

0

25

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

8

0

1

Campaign Finance Reform

This week the Supreme Court further weakened campaign finance law. In a 5-4 ruling, it held that the overall limit on how much an individual can contribute to political campaigns is unconstitutional. The current limit is $123,200 per person. Before this ruling, individuals could donate the maximum amount permitted by law to as many candidates and committees as they wished per year up to $123,200. Now that limit is gone. As with the Citizens United decision, the court ruled that political spending is a form of free speech and cannot be restricted. This means that wealthy individuals will have even more influence on the political process because there is no limit on how much money they can contribute. I am deeply troubled by this. I have been filing legislation since 2006 to lower the amount of money someone can donate to an individual candidate. Currently the allowed contribution limit is $5200 per candidate, per election cycle, divided between the primary and general. My legislation reduces this amount to $2,000 equally divided between the primary and the general election. It is a commonsense way to address the issue of money in politics.

What’s Up Next Week

The next House votes are scheduled for Monday April 7th. The House is expected to consider the Fiscal Year 2015 budget resolution.

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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DC Office:

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DC Office Phone:

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