November 15, 2012 at 10:57 am
U.S. Rep-elect Lois Frankel traveled to DC this week for new member orientation, a crash course on House rules and procedures for incoming freshman.
Frankel, one of about 80 new members joining the 113th Congress, told the Palm Beach Post she plans to focus on issues such as Medicare, veterans and protecting “choice” for women.
The former West Palm Beach mayor, who will be sworn in January 2013, said she will be looking to find “common ground” in Washington.
From the Palm Beach Post:
Lois Frankel may be a freshman-elect in Congress, representing the minority party, but that hasn’t changed the confident and sometimes brash former mayor. She has come to town, she said, at a moment when the American people expect action from their leaders and she doesn’t intend to disappoint them.
“I feel like I have this lifetime of service that has prepared for me to be part of figuring out how to break this gridlock,” she said.
Frankel hopes to be part of a Congress that can compromise, she said. Democrats in the Republican-controlled House are not going to lie down, she added.
“We’ve really come in with a very open-arms attitude of wanting to find common ground,” she said. “But people have to understand we’re not coming in to cave; we’re coming in to find consensus.”
Frankel has a simple first-term agenda. She said she plans to be a local representative.
“That’s really (it). I didn’t go to be on the talk shows,” she said.
Frankel is in town for new member orientation, which is a mix of the practical, such as ethics training, and the awe-inspiring.
Her trip began Tuesday with a dinner at the Library of Congress, a Beaux Arts beauty considered among the most significant architecture in the country. The evening was capped off with a night-time tour of the U.S. Capitol. Frankel saw, for the first time, the chamber where she will vote.
Today, she attended the press conference where Nancy Pelosi announced her intentions to continue leading House Democrats. Pelosi spoke about the power of women in the most recent election. The Senate now counts 20 women among its members, a new record.
Frankel is proud to be among the women swept into office in this election.
“Women are changing the dynamics of politics,” said Frankel. She noted research that found institutions became more productive when women are brought on board.
“It’s very exciting,” she said.
Eight years as West Palm Beach mayor and 14 in the Florida Legislature prepared Frankel for this job, she believes.
She hopes to concentrate on issues such as Medicare, veterans and protecting “choice” for women. Her son served as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Frankel said she’s looking forward to a life very different from her tenure as West Palm Beach mayor.
“It was like getting run over by a truck every day. You have 24-hour stress, having to be responsible for a city,” she said. “Now I’ve got the country, but I don’t feel like I’m the point person.”
If there was one thing Frankel was unprepared for, it was getting around from place-to-place in Washington’s chilly temperatures. During a break today, she went shopping for a coat.
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