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MICHAEL CAPUANO Printer Friendly Page
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  • Democratic member of Congress
  • Member of the Progressive Caucus
  • Co-sponsored a bill to ease trade restrictions against the Communist dictatorship in Cuba
  • Supports partial-birth abortion
  • Opposes oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Michael Capuano is a Democratic member of Congress who represents the Eighth District of Massachusetts, described by the Almanac of American Politics as "by far the most Democratic district in Massachusetts, and one of the nation's most reliable."

Capuano was born in January 1952 in Somerville, Massachusetts. He earned his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1973 and a Juris Doctorate from Boston College in 1977. He worked as Chief Legal Counsel for the state legislature's Joint Committee on Taxation from 1978-84. He also was a Somerville alderman from 1977-79 and 1985-89, and was Somerville’s mayor from 1989-98.

In 1998, after Rep. Joseph Kennedy announced that he would not run for reelection in the Eighth District, ten Democrats ran in the primary seeking to replace him. Capuano won with 23 percent of the ballots.

Organized labor is Capuano's biggest interest-group campaign contributor, supplying 42 percent of his political action committee (PAC) donations. One of Capuano's largest contributors is the American Association for Justice, formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

In 2007, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi appointed Capuano as Chairman of the Speaker's Task Force on Ethics Enforcement.

Capuano belongs to the Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives. Americans for Democratic Action rates his voting record as 95 percent on the left side of legislation. During his legislative career, Capuano has voted:
  • against the development of a national missile-defense system;

  • against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001;

  • against the post-9/11 anti-terrorism measure known as the Patriot Act;

  • against allowing the U.S. government to use electronic surveillance to investigate suspected terrorist operatives;

  • against a bill permitting the government to combat potential terrorist threats by monitoring foreign electronic communications which are routed through the United States;

  • against an October 2002 joint resolution authorizing U.S. military action in Iraq;

  • against the establishment of military commissions to try enemy combatants captured in the war on terror;

  • in favor of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq immediately and by a preordained date;

  • against President Bush’s 2007 decision to deploy some 21,500 additional U.S. soldiers in an effort to quell the violent insurgents in Iraq;

  • in favor of a proposal to expedite the transfer of all prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay detention center;

  • against requiring hospitals to report (to the federal government) illegal aliens who receive emergency medical treatment;

  • against the Real ID Act, which proposed to set minimal security requirements for state driver licenses and identification cards;

  • against one proposal calling for the construction of some 700 miles of fencing to prevent illegal immigration along America's southern border, and in favor of another;

  • against a proposal to grant state and local officials the authority to investigate, identify, and arrest illegal immigrants;

  • against major tax-cut bills in February 2000March 2000July 2000May 2001May 2003October 2004, and May 2006;

  • in favor of prohibiting oil and gas exploration in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR);

  • against a proposal to fund offshore oil exploration along the Outer Continental Shelf;

  • in favor of easing trade restrictions with Communist Cuba.


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