Michael Capuano

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Michael Capuano
Michael Capuano.jpg
U.S. House, Massachusetts, District 7
In office
January 3, 1999-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 16
PredecessorEd Markey (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 1998
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$8,774,088
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Mayor, Somerville, MA
Somerville Board of Aldermen
High schoolSomerville High School (1969)
Bachelor'sDartmouth College (1973)
J.D.Boston College (1977)
Date of birthJanuary 9, 1952
Place of birthSomerville, MA
ProfessionAttorney, union leader
Net worth$1,414,512
Office website
Campaign website
Michael Capuano campaign logo
Michael Capuano (b. January 9, 1952, in Somerville, Massachusetts) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing Massachusetts' 7th congressional district. Capuano was first elected to the House in 1998 for Massachusetts' 8th congressional district, but due to redistricting won re-election in district 7 on November 6, 2012. He is currently serving his eighth consecutive term. [1]

Capuano is running for re-election in Massachusetts' 7th congressional district in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Prior to his congressional career, Capuano served on the Somerville Board of Aldermen, as the chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts General Court Joint Committee on Taxation as well as the mayor of Sommerville, Massachusetts. [2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Capuano is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.


Born in Somerville, Massachusetts, Capuano attended Somerville High School and graduated in 1969. He earned an A.B. degree from Dartmouth College in 1973 and in 1977 received a law degree from Boston College. [3]


The following is a bulleted list of Capuano's career:[3]

  • 1977-1979: Alderman of Somerville, Massachusetts
  • 1978 to 1984: Chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts General Court Joint Committee on Taxation.
  • 1985-1989: Alderman
  • 1990-1998: Mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Capuano serves on the following committees:[4]


Capuano served on the following committees and subcommittees:[5]


Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[6] For more information pertaining to Capuano's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[7]

National security

American response in Syria

See also: United States involvement in Syria

More than 100 House lawmakers signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to call Congress back into session if he planned to use military force in Syria.[8]

Rep. Scott Rigell wrote in the letter in August 2013, “engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.”[8][9]

The members of Congress believed that Obama should have asked Congress for permission before engaging in Libya. The letter asked, “If the use of 221 Tomahawk cruise missles, [sic] 704 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 42 Predator Hellfire missiles expended in Libya does not constitute ‘hostilities,’ what does?”[9]

The letter stated, “If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request. We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict."[9]

A total of 98 Republicans signed the letter. Capuano was one of 18 Democratic members to sign the letter.[9]

National Defense Authorization Act

Voted "No" Capuano voted in opposition of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[10]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "No" Capuano voted in opposition of HR 2217 - the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[10]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "Yes" Capuano voted in favor of House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[10]

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

Neutral/Abstain Capuano did not vote on HR 624 - the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[11] The bill was largely supported by Republicans but divided the Democratic Party.[10]


Farm Bill
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Voted "No" Capuano voted against the Farm Bill on July 11, 2013. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[12] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[13]

King Amendment

Capuano signed a letter sent to Collin Peterson in August 2013, asking him to keep Steve King's amendment out of the final Farm Bill.[14] The "Protect Interstate Commerce Act" amendment prevents states from applying their own laws on agricultural products to agricultural products from another state.[15]. King introduced the amendment in response to a law in California, requiring a larger size cage for egg-producing chickens. King represents Iowa, which is a large egg producer.

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "No" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[16] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[17] Capuano voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[18]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[19] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Capuano voted for HR 2775.[20]


Morton Memos Enforcement Prohibition

Voted "No" Capuano voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[21] The vote largely followed party lines.[22]


Repealing Obamacare

Voted "No" Capuano has voted against all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[23]

Social issues


Voted "No" Capuano voted against HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[24]

Previous congressional sessions


According to his campaign website, Capuano is an "outspoken opponent" of the Iraq war. He voted against the Congressional Resolution to authorize the use of force and works to bring the troops home.[25]


Capuano voted against the PATRIOT Act as well as against the extension of the law.[25]

Some of the bills Capuano introduced in the 112th Congress include:

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Capuano voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was 1 of 172 Democrats that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257-167 vote on January 1, 2013.[26]

Campaign themes


On his campaign website, Capuano listed twelve issues. They are:[27]

  • Civil Liberties and Human Rights

Excerpt: "He believes we must remain a government of laws. The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts has honored him with their Champion of the Constitution award."

  • Economy

Excerpt: "Mike has been deeply involved in efforts to stabilize our nation's economy as a member of the House Committee on Financial Services."

  • Education

Excerpt: "Mike believes that the federal government should adequately fund education in our cities and towns, and that it honors its legislative mandates by providing requisite resources to meet them — including proper funding for students with disabilities."

  • Energy and the Environment

Excerpt:"Mike Capuano strongly believes that we must address climate change before it is too late."

  • Ethics

Excerpt: "Mike has worked to increase the transparency of government and accountability of elected officials, both as a Mayor and as a Member of Congress."

  • Health Care

Excerpt: "Mike has worked tirelessly to help Massachusetts retain its preeminence in health care education and innovation during his six terms in Congress."

  • Iraq and Afghanistan

Excerpt: "Mike voted against the Congressional Resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq in October 2002; and has been an outspoken critic of that war. Mike remains gravely concerned about the conduct and the prospects of our operations in Afghanistan, and about the future of neighboring Pakistan."

  • Middle East

Excerpt: "Mike Capuano is deeply committed to the state of Israel, a staunch ally of the United States and a country that shares our democratic values."

  • Rights of Women

Excerpt: "Congressman Mike Capuano has always been an effective advocate for advancing women's rights, and sensitive to issues of concern to women."

  • Sudan

Excerpt: "In 2002 the Boston Anti-Slavery Group brought a victim of slavery from Sudan into Mike’s office. Upon hearing his story, Mike was compelled to act and brought a resolution condemning slavery in Sudan to the floor, where it passed unanimously on July 16, 2003."

  • Transportation

Excerpt: "As the only member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from Massachusetts, Mike was instrumental in securing $3.658 billion in funding over 6 years during the last reauthorization for Massachusetts’s highways and bridges, and $1.576 billion over the same time period for transit projects. This investment in our critical infrastructure needs totaled $5.23 billion, and was a 25 percent increase over the previous multi-year transportation bill."

  • Veterans' Affairs

Excerpt: "Mike Capuano is an outspoken and passionate supporter of our country’s veterans and their families." [27]



See also: Massachusetts' 7th congressional district elections, 2014 and Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2014

After seriously considering a bid to replace retiring incumbent Deval Patrick as Governor of Massachusetts in the 2014 election, Capuano announced September 27, 2013 that he had decided against entering the race, and would instead run for re-election to the U.S. House, representing the 7th congressional district of Massachusetts.[28][29][30] He sought the Democratic nomination in the primary election. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: Redistricting in Massachusetts and United States House of Representatives elections in Massachusetts, 2012

Capuano ran for re-election in 2012. He was redistricted and sought re-election in the 7th congressional district of Massachusetts. He faced no opposition in the Democratic primary. [31]

U.S. House, Massachusetts District 7 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMichael Capuano Incumbent 73.9% 210,794
     Independent Karla Romero 14.4% 41,199
     N/A All Others 0.3% 843
     N/A Blank Votes 11.3% 32,298
Total Votes 285,134
Source: Massachusetts Secretary of State "Return of Votes"


Capuano was endorsed by the organizations below for the 2012 election.[32]

  • Boston Carmen's Union Local 589 of the Amalgamated Transit Union
  • American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts
  • Boston Teachers Union
  • Boston Metro Area Local 100 of American Postal Workers Union
  • Sierra Club of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Capuano is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Capuano raised a total of $8,774,088 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[40]

Michael Capuano's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 7) Won $909,487
2010 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8) Won $3,699,635
2008 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8) Won $1,087,336
2006 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8) Won $836,728
2004 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8) Won $839,302
2002 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8) Won $753,404
2000 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8) Won $648,196
Grand Total Raised $8,774,088


Below are Capuano’s FEC reports.[41]


Breakdown of the source of Capuano's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Capuano won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Capuano's campaign committee raised a total of $909,487 and spent $595,432.[47]

Cost per vote

Capuano spent $2.82 per vote received in 2012.


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Capuano is a "rank-and-file Democrat," as of June 25, 2013.[48]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[49]

Capuano most often votes with:

Capuano least often votes with:

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Capuano was ranked the 22nd most liberal representative during 2012.[50]


Capuano was 1 of 19 members of congress who ranked 1st in the liberal rankings in 2011.[51]

Voting with party

June 2013

Capuano voted with the Democratic Party 91.9% of the time, which ranked 132nd among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[52]

Lifetime missed votes

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Capuano missed 431 of 9,871 roll call votes from Jan 1999 to Mar 2013, which is 4.4% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[53]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives


The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Capuano paid his congressional staff a total of $1,182,086 in 2011. He ranked 14th on the list of the highest paid Democratic representative staff salaries and ranked 17th overall of the highest paid representative staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Massachusetts ranked 2nd in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[54]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, Capuano was one of nearly 25 percent of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Capuano's staff was given an apparent $69,100.00 in bonus money.[55]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Capuano's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $396,028 and $2,432,997. This averages to $1,414,512, which is a 12.08% increase since 2010. This is lower than the $5,107,874 average net worth for Democratic representatives in 2011.[56]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Capuano's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $261,028 and $2,262,995. That averages to $1,262,011.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2010 of $4,465,875.[57]


Capuano and his wife, Barbara, have two children.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Michael + Capuano + Massachusetts + House

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External links

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  1. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Massachusetts"
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named cap1cong
  3. 3.0 3.1 Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, "Mike Capuano", accessed September 25, 2013
  4. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  5. Official House Website, "Committees and Caucuses," Accessed on August 31, 2011
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 Yahoo, "65 Lawmakers Ask Obama to Consult on Syria," accessed August 28, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Politico, "33 lawmakers: Congress must approve Syria action," accessed August 28, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Mike Capuano's Voting Records on National Security," accessed September 25, 2013
  11. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  12. Vote Smart, "Capuano on Farm Bill 2013", accessed September 25, 2013
  13. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps", accessed September 25, 2013
  14. Vote Smart, "Letter to Ranking Member Collin Peterson, House Committee on Agriculture - Reject Rep. King's Provision on Farm Bill", accessed September 25, 2013
  15. Time.com, "King Farm Bill Amendment Angers Animal Advocates", accessed September 18, 2013
  16. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  18. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  19. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  20. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  21. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  22. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Mike Capuano's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed September 25, 2013
  23. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Mike Capuano's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Health Care," accessed September 25, 2013
  24. Project Vote Smart, "Capuano's votes on abortion," accessed September 25, 2013
  25. 25.0 25.1 Mike Capuano Campaign site, "Bio," Accessed September 1, 2011
  26. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," Accessed January 4, 2013.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Mike Capuano for Congress, "Issues," August 14, 2012
  28. The Boston Globe, "US Rep. Capuano to run for re-election, not governor," September 26, 2013
  29. Boston Globe, "Murray adds to the buzz over 2014 governor’s race," November 15, 2012
  30. The Phoenix, "The Gathering Storm," November 7, 2012
  31. Boston Herald, "Redistricting throws U.S. Reps. Keating, Lynch into likely faceoff," Accessed January 22, 2012
  32. Mike Capuano's Campaign Website, "Endorsements," Accessed October 4, 2012)
  33. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  37. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  38. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  39. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  40. Open Secrets, "Michael Capuano," Accessed May 16, 2013
  41. Federal Election Commission, "Michael Capuano Summary Report," accessed July 25, 2013
  42. Federal Election Commission, "Michael Capuano April Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  43. Federal Election Commission, "Michael Capuano July Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  44. Federal Election Commission, "Michael Capuano October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
  45. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 17, 2014
  46. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  47. Open Secrets, " 2012 Re-Election Cycle," Accessed February 15, 2013
  48. GovTrack, "Michael Capuano," Accessed June 25, 2013
  49. OpenCongress, "Michael Capuano," Accessed August 5, 2013
  50. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  51. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  52. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  53. GovTrack, "Michael Capuano" Accessed April 2013
  54. LegiStorm, "Mike Capuano"
  55. CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
  56. OpenSecrets.org, "Capuano, (D-Mass), 2011"
  57. OpenSecrets.org, "Capuano, (D-Mass), 2010"
Political offices
Preceded by
Ed Markey
U.S. House of Representatives - Massachusetts District 7
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Joseph Kennedy II
U.S. House of Representatives - Massachusetts District 8
Succeeded by
Stephen Lynch