I am a new citizen journalist with the Oakland Press. This piece ran with a link to the video in the Sunday edition on line.
GUEST: A few words with Congressman Peters
Sunday, January 18, 2009 12:22 AM EST
By BRUCE FEALK
Special To The Oakland Press
After Friday's meeting with local mayors, I got to spend just a few minutes with Congressman Gary Peters and ask some questions that came to mind from the meeting.
One question I had for the Congressman was the fact that some women’s groups have expressed concern that so much of the focus is on infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, which while there are some women employed in the constructions field, it is still a male dominated field. Peters answered by pointing out that there is also a substantial amount of money targeted at fields that employ many more women, such as teaching and health care.
I also wondered, with all the money being poured into construction, whether there would be a requirement that when construction equipment has to be purchased and new vehicles, such as trucks are purchased, whether they would have to be American made. Peters answered that that provision is not currently in the bill, but his take is that anyone that receives help should commit to buy American.
On the issue of another round of loan defaults in the areas of car loans and commercial real estate, Peters replied that he thought the main focus needs to be the residential real estate market for now.
During the campaign before Nancy Skinner dropped out of the race, Peters and Skinner participated in a forum. One of the questions that came up was health care. At the time, Peters stated that he supported a Medicare for all solution.
When I asked the Congressman about his position on Congressman Conyers’ H.R. 676, single-payer plan and whether he would sign on to co-sponsor the Conyers bill, Peters seemed to back off his former support for Medicare for all and instead now supports the Obama health care plan which envisions offering the same health care plan that Congress gets being offered to all citizens, and also allows people to purchase higher levels of coverage.