|U.S. House, Massachusetts, District 7|
|January 3, 1999-Present|
|January 3, 2015|
|Years in position||16|
|Predecessor||Ed Markey (D)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|First elected||November 1998|
|Next primary||September 9, 2014|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|Mayor, Somerville, MA|
|Somerville Board of Aldermen|
|High school||Somerville High School (1969)|
|Bachelor's||Dartmouth College (1973)|
|J.D.||Boston College (1977)|
|Date of birth||January 9, 1952|
|Place of birth||Somerville, MA|
|Profession||Attorney, union leader|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Committee assignments
- 4 Issues
- 4.1 Legislative actions
- 4.2 American response in Syria
- 4.2.1 NDAA
- 4.2.2 DHS Appropriations
- 4.2.3 Keystone Pipeline Amendment
- 4.2.4 CISPA (2013)
- 4.2.5 Economy
- 4.2.6 Immigration
- 4.2.7 Healthcare
- 4.2.8 Social issues
- 4.2.9 Previous congressional sessions
- 4.3 Campaign themes
- 5 Elections
- 6 Campaign donors
- 7 Analysis
- 8 Personal
- 9 Recent news
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 References
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.
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.
The following is a bulleted list of Capuano's career:
- 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 on Financial Services
- Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit
- Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance - Ranking Minority Member
- Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- Subcommittee on Aviation
- Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
- Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials
- Committee on Ethics
Capuano served on the following committees and subcommittees:
- U.S. House Committee on Financial Services
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Ranking member
- Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity
- U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- Subcommittee on Aviation
- Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
- Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment
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. For more information pertaining to Capuano's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
American response in Syria
- See also: United States involvement in Syria
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.”
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?”
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."
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.
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.
Keystone Pipeline Amendment
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.
Capuano did not vote on HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). 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. The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.
On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, known as the Farm Bill. The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill provides for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop. However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states. Capuano voted with 102 other Democratic representatives against the bill.
On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014. The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill. The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations. It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, and the protection of the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Capuano joined with the majority of the Democratic party and voted in favor of the bill.
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. The "Protect Interstate Commerce Act" amendment prevents states from applying their own laws on agricultural products to agricultural products from another state.. 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.
- See also: United States budget debate, 2013
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. 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. Capuano voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.
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. 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.
Morton Memos Prohibition
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. The vote largely followed party lines.
Capuano has voted against all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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.
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.
Capuano voted against the PATRIOT Act as well as against the extension of the law.
Some of the bills Capuano introduced in the 112th Congress include:
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.
On his campaign website, Capuano listed twelve issues. They are:
- 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."
Excerpt: "Mike has been deeply involved in efforts to stabilize our nation's economy as a member of the House Committee on Financial Services."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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. He sought the Democratic nomination in the primary election. The general election took place November 4, 2014.
|U.S. House, Massachusetts District 7 General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Michael Capuano Incumbent||73.9%||210,794|
|Source: Massachusetts Secretary of State "Return of Votes"|
Capuano was endorsed by the organizations below for the 2012 election.
- 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
To view the full congressional electoral history for Michael Capuano, click [show] to expand the section.
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.
|Michael Capuano's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 7)||$909,487|
|2010||U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8)||$3,699,635|
|2008||U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8)||$1,087,336|
|2006||U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8)||$836,728|
|2004||U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8)||$839,302|
|2002||U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8)||$753,404|
|2000||U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8)||$648,196|
|Grand Total Raised||$8,774,088|
Below are Capuano’s FEC reports.
|Michael Capuano (2014) Campaign Finance Reports|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions|
for Reporting Period
|Expenditures||Cash on Hand|
|April Quarterly||April 11, 2013||$482,483.02||$42,825.00||$(34,163.63)||$491,144.39|
|July Quarterly||July 15, 2013||$491,144.39||$53,696.54||$(66,265.78)||$478,575.15|
|October Quarterly||October 14, 2013||$478,575.15||$84,105.00||$(32,902.04)||$529,778.11|
|Year-end||January 31, 2014||$529,778||$89,852||$(88,073)||$531,556|
|April Quarterly||April 15, 2014||$531,556||$61,096||$(47,497)||$545,156|
Cost per vote
Capuano spent $2.82 per vote received in 2012.
|U.S. House, Massachusetts District 7, 2012 - Michael Capuano Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by Election Runner-up||No records available|
|Total Spent by Election Runner-up||No records available|
|Top contributors to Michael Capuano's campaign committee|
|Thornton & Naumes||$21,000|
|Global Partners LP||$18,000|
|American Crystal Sugar||$10,000|
|Carpenters & Joiners Union||$10,000|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Securities & Investment||$47,800|
Ideology and leadership
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.
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.
Capuano was 1 of 19 members of congress who ranked 1st in the liberal rankings in 2011.
Voting with party
Capuano voted with the Democratic Party 91.9% of the time, which ranked 132nd among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.
Lifetime missed votes
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.
Congressional staff salaries
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.
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.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Capuano's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $507,039 and $2,716,997. That averages to $1,612,018, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Capuano ranked as the 169th most wealthy representative in 2012.
|Michael Capuano Yearly Net Worth|
|Year||Avg. Net Worth||% Difference from previous year|
Capuano and his wife, Barbara, have two children.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Michael + Capuano + Massachusetts + House
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- United States House of Representatives elections in Massachusetts, 2014
- United States congressional delegations from Massachusetts
- Social media:
- Political profiles:
- Financial (federal level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Voting record:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- Politico, "2012 Election Map, Massachusetts"
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- Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, "Mike Capuano," accessed September 25, 2013
- CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
- U.S. House of Representatives, "Committee assignments," accessed March 31, 2014
- Official House Website, "Committees and Caucuses," accessed on August 31, 2011
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
- Yahoo, "65 Lawmakers Ask Obama to Consult on Syria," accessed August 28, 2013
- Politico, "33 lawmakers: Congress must approve Syria action," accessed August 28, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "Representative Mike Capuano's Voting Records on National Security," accessed September 25, 2013
- The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
- Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
- Politico, "House clears Farm Bill," accessed February 12, 2014
- New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled Farm Bill, with clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
- CNN.com, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
- U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
- Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
- Vote Smart, "Letter to Ranking Member Collin Peterson, House Committee on Agriculture - Reject Rep. King's Provision on Farm Bill," accessed September 25, 2013
- Time.com, "King Farm Bill Amendment Angers Animal Advocates," accessed September 18, 2013
- Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
- Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
- Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
- The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
- U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
- The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "Representative Mike Capuano's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed September 25, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "Representative Mike Capuano's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Healthcare," accessed September 25, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "Capuano's votes on abortion," accessed September 25, 2013
- Mike Capuano Campaign site, "Bio," accessed September 1, 2011
- U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
- Mike Capuano for Congress, "Issues," August 14, 2012
- The Boston Globe, "US Rep. Capuano to run for re-election, not governor," September 26, 2013
- Boston Globe, "Murray adds to the buzz over 2014 governor’s race," November 15, 2012
- The Phoenix, "The Gathering Storm," November 7, 2012
- Boston Herald, "Redistricting throws U.S. Reps. Keating, Lynch into likely faceoff," accessed January 22, 2012
- Mike Capuano's Campaign Website, "Endorsements," accessed October 4, 2012)
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
- Open Secrets, "Michael Capuano," accessed May 16, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Michael Capuano Summary Report," accessed July 25, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Michael Capuano April Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Michael Capuano July Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Michael Capuano October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
- Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 17, 2014
- Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
- Open Secrets, " 2012 Re-Election Cycle," accessed February 15, 2013
- GovTrack, "Michael Capuano," accessed June 25, 2013
- OpenCongress, "Michael Capuano," accessed August 5, 2013
- National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
- National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
- GovTrack, "Michael Capuano" accessed April 2013
- LegiStorm, "Mike Capuano"
- CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
- OpenSecrets.org, "Capuano (D-MA), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
|U.S. House of Representatives - Massachusetts District 7
| Succeeded by|
Joseph Kennedy II
|U.S. House of Representatives - Massachusetts District 8
| Succeeded by|