By James O’Leary — 1/21/09
Today I had the
opportunity to sit down and interview Congressman
Barney Frank at his Washington office. The Democrat represents the 4th
district in Massachusetts, which includes my hometown of Assonet.
Frank was busy when I came into his office with my producer and
photographer. He was preparing to head to the floor of the House of
Representatives to discuss the allocation of the remaining half of the
700 billion dollar bailout.
So, of course I asked him about
oversight for the next 350 billion dollars and whether or not it would
be improved over the first half’s oversight, or lack thereof.
told me there are some differences between Republicans and Democrats on
this issue. The politicians on the right believe in a free market with
little or no government intervention, while the left believes in the
concept of a free market and its success within certain rules and
regulations. Mr. Frank also made an interesting observation about a
unique experiment in government unfolding before us. He pointed out we
will be able to see how former president Bush used his half of the
bailout money versus how the newly inaugurated president Obama handles
the same sum. The Congressman says the American people will see the
difference with Obama in the White House.
Frank said there are several projects in Massachusetts that he’d like
to see funded through Barack Obama’s proposed economic stimulus. These
include some down in my neck of the woods, like a clean-up effort in
New Bedford harbor and an extension of the MBTA Commuter Rail to Fall
River and New Bedford (which would include a new stop in Assonet).
These projects would create instant jobs to help our struggling
Overall I feel confident in the new direction our
country appears to be headed. After my conversation with Barney Frank
I’m also pleased to know I’m being represented in Congress by such a
confident and intelligent man. I’m hopeful the state of our economy
will begin to turn around soon.