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Mike Capuano

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 8th district
Assumed office 
January 3, 1999
Preceded by Joseph Kennedy II

Born January 9, 1952 (1952-01-09) (age 58)
Somerville, Massachusetts, United States
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Barbara Capuano
Children Joseph Capuano
Michael Capuano
Residence Somerville, Massachusetts
Alma mater Dartmouth College, Boston College
Occupation attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Michael Everett "Mike" Capuano (born January 9, 1952, Somerville, Massachusetts) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 8th District of Massachusetts (map). The district, which was once represented by John F. Kennedy and Tip O'Neill, includes the northern three-fourths of Boston, as well as Cambridge and Somerville. Prior to joining Congress Capuano served as Mayor and Alderman of Somerville.

Capuano ran in the Democratic primary special election‎ to fill the seat in the United States Senate made vacant by the death of Senator Ted Kennedy.[1], but lost to Martha Coakley, who in turn lost the general election to Republican Scott Brown.


Early life

Capuano is a lifelong resident of Somerville. He was born to Rita Garvey Capuano and Andrew Capuano, Michael attended Somerville High School, and graduated in 1969. In 1973, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College, and in 1977, a law degree from Boston College Law School. He specialized in tax law.

Political career

In 1977, Capuano was elected to the Somerville Board of Aldermen, representing Ward Five, the seat once held by his father. After only one term, he left the board to serve as legal counsel for the Massachusetts General Court's joint taxation committee.

In 1984, he returned to the Somerville Board of Aldermen as an at-large member. He was elected mayor of Somerville in 1990.

Capuano was elected to Congress in 1998, succeeding fellow Democrat Joseph Kennedy II. In his initial primary, he defeated former Boston mayor and U.S. Ambassador Raymond Flynn. He has been reelected five times, all unopposed in what has long been considered one of the safest Democratic districts in the nation, as well as the most Democratic district in New England. He was most recently reelected in 2008.[2]. Along with being a member of the House Committee of Transportation and Infrastructure and the House Committee of Financial Services, Capuano also serves on the House Democratic Leadership team as a member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

Capuano is considered to be one of the biggest supporters in Congress for increasing international aid funding. He has become a voice for victims of the crisis in the Sudan and has secured new funding bills aimed at assisting poor African nations.

Committee leadership

Congressman Capuano is a member of three congressional committees, three party committees and co-founded five congressional caucuses while serving in the House. After the United States general elections, 2006 that created a Democratic majority in the House, Congressman Capuano was appointed Chairman of the Speaker's Task Force on Ethics Enforcement by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with whom he has a close relationship.


Party leadership and Caucus membership

  • Chair, Speaker's Task Force on Ethics Enforcement
  • Democratic Caucus: Chair, Committee on Organization, Study & Review
  • Democratic Steering & Policy Committee
  • Congressional Caucus on Community Health Centers (co-founder and co-chair)
  • Congressional Caucus on Empowerment Zones and Empowered Communities (co-chair)
  • Congressional Caucus on Korea (co-founder and co-chair)
  • Congressional Caucus on Sudan (co founder and co-chair)
  • Congressional Former Mayor's Caucus (co-founder and co-chair)
  • Congressional Progressive Caucus

Congressional record

Domestic policy

Mike Capuano has supported most major and minor pro-choice bills and opposed bills limiting a woman's right to abortion.[3]. He has voted for the Prison Abortion Funding Amendment and the Abortion Funding Amendment, while voting against the Abortion Pain Bill and the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act.[4]

Mike Capuano has also supported animal rights and wildlife management bills. Recent bills he has supported include the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, and the Horse Slaughter Prohibition Bill.[5] He has not supported the Endangered Species Reauthorization Bill, which decreased the power of the Secretary of the Interior in wildlife management decisions.[6]

Mike Capuano also supports the current economic policies, such as the Trade-in Vouchers for Fuel Efficient Cars, Student Aid Program, and the Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and Related Appropriations Fiscal Year 2009-2010 Modifications, a large segment of the yearly budget. Related recent economic bills he supported include the 2009-2010 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Authorizations and the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agency Appropriations Fiscal Year 2009-2010.[7]

Finally, Mike Capuano strongly supports labor rights. On labor health issues he has supported the Requiring OSHA to Establish Combustible Dust Safety Standards bill. On labor pay issues he has supported the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation bill, and the Unequal Pay Bill.[8]

Foreign policy

Mike Capuano supports leaving the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through opposing the Funding for Military Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan bill, the Defense Authorizations Bill, and 2008-2009 Supplemental Appropriations.[9] He does however support foreign aid through the Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis bill, the United States - India Nuclear Agreement, and the China Trade Relations bill.[10]

Issues and interest groups

Mike Capuano has taken the Massachusetts Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test, which broadly surveys a wide range of positions on common issues.[11] He has also been given high ratings by a variety of interest groups, such as Planned Parenthood, the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, and Environment America. However, he has been rated poorly from the National Taxpayers Union and the Sportsmen and Animal Owner's Voting Alliance.[12]

Mike Capuano's top contributors are the PMA Group, Forest City Enterprises, Telcomm Insight Group, Citigroup Inc, Feeley and Driscoll, and the Federal Realty Investment Trust.[13] The top sectors which contribute to him include the financial market, lawyers and lobbyists, labor groups, and health groups.[14] The top contributing industries to Mike Capuano include Law Firms, Real Estate, Insurance, and Air Transport.[15]

2010 Senate campaign

On September 8, 2009 Capuano collected nomination papers for a run for the seat formerly held by Senator Edward Kennedy[16] and on September 18, he announced his candidacy. On December 8, 2009, he lost the Democratic primary to Martha Coakley, the Attorney General of Massachusetts. Capuano secured 28% of the vote to Coakley's 47% amongst a field of four candidates.[17]

Personal life

Capuano is married to Barbara Capuano. Barbara, also a Somerville High School graduate, received her B.S. from Boston State College in 1974, later earned her MBA from Babson College in 1976, and eventually became a certified public accountant. Mr. and Mrs. Capuano have two children, Joseph and Michael.

He is also the uncle of actors Chris Evans of Fantastic Four and Scott Evans of One Life to Live.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Capuano in race for Kennedy's Senate seat,
  2. ^ 2008 Election Results for MA, November 5, 2008.
  3. ^ Wedge, Dave "Pols and politics: Mike Capuano's media 'toon-up'" Boston Herald (MA); 11/15/2009
  4. ^ Abortion issues, Project Vote Smart.
  5. ^ Animal Rights and Wildlife Management, Project Vote Smart.
  6. ^ Endangered Species Reauthorization Bill with Mike Capuano's vote, Project Vote Smart.
  7. ^ Economic Policies, Project Vote Smart.
  8. ^ Labor Issues, Project Vote Smart.
  9. ^ Defense, Project Vote Smart.
  10. ^ Foreign Issues, Project Vote Smart.
  11. ^ Issue Positions, Project Vote Smart.
  12. ^ Issue Group Ratings, Project Vote Smart.
  13. ^ Top Contributors, Center for Responsive Politics.
  14. ^ Top Sectors, Project Vote Smart.
  15. ^ Top Industries, Project Vote Smart.
  16. ^ Mason, Edward; Dwinell, Joe (September 8, 2009). "Capuano takes out papers for Ted K’s Senate seat". Boston Herald. Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  17. ^

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Joseph Patrick Kennedy II
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 8th congressional district

1999-01-03 – present


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