Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) in his weekly emails gives his perspective on action in Congress. Here he discusses “H.R. 2577, “Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act” and H.R. 2685, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act.”
H.R. 2577, “Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act
The House continued consideration of Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriations bills with H.R. 2577, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. While H.R. 2577 represents a funding increase over FY 2015, it is much less than the President requested and imposes specific cuts on a number of programs. This legislation cuts Amtrak by more than $250 million and rejects the President’s request to include additional funding for the installation of Positive Train Control. The freight and passenger industry faces a December 31st deadline to install this safety feature, which monitors speed and can automatically stop a train to prevent an accident. It was not yet in place at the site of the tragic Amtrak crash last month. H.R. 2577 also cuts the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant Program, money used by states and municipalities to improve transit availability. Housing programs also experience deep cuts, including the Public Housing Capital Fund and HOME grants. I voted NO. H.R. 2577 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:
The vote was close: 216 to 210; Rep. Reed voted AYE.
Department of Defense Appropriations Act
The House also considered H.R. 2685, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act. While I support some of the provisions in this bill, I could not vote for it because it is structured to avoid the spending caps mandated through sequestration. I have always opposed sequestration and think it should certainly be reconsidered, exempting one department while subjecting the others to even steeper funding reductions is not responsible budgeting. I voted NO. H.R. 2685 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:
Rep. Reed voted AYE.