Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) spoke about issues ranging from President Clinton’s impeachment hearings to the global economy before a gathering of the College Democrats in the University Club Monday.
The second-ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Frank has appeared on television shows as a defender of Clinton. Besides his criticism of the impeachment proceedings, Frank also has frequented television shows as a critic of Republican social and economic policies.
Frank outlined the Democratic Party’s goal of regaining control of Congress.
“What the Democrats wish to establish is a new deal for the global economy to govern unfair competition between nations,” Frank said. “Only the Democrats are ready to do it, and the American public is on our side.”
Frank outlined the difference between Democratic and Republican economic philosophy by describing GOP support for “trickle down” economics. He contrasted this with the democratic idea of employing the government to promote economic growth on a global scale.
“Clinton once said that the era of big government was over,” Frank said. “I believe he was wrong and though he won’t say it in words, his actions show that government still is playing a good role.”
“We’ve been working on bringing speakers, particularly during the past month,” CD Vice President Anjan Choudhary said. “We’ve had a little bit of difficulty because people have been a little reluctant to speak this year.”
CD Events Chair Andrew Agetstein planned Monday’s event.
“I sent letters to every Democrat of the Judiciary Committee and the response was overwhelming,” Agetstein said. “It happened that Frank was available. Since so much has been focused on the Clinton administration, we tried to bring somebody to address the issue.”
After speaking for 35 minutes, Frank accepted questions for close to an hour from CD members and other students – even engaging in debates over his opposition to presidential impeachment.
“He’s an interesting speaker for the CDs,” Agetstein said. “He’s pretty well liked on Capitol Hill . also a very strong voice.”
Frank, who arrived at the University Club without an entourage, described the Democrat’s long-term mission “of saving capitalism from its own excesses.”
“We are the Democratic Party’s voice here and on campuses across the nation,” Choudhury said.
“I think the CDs are very important to our party because college students take such an intellectual approach on these issues,” Frank said.