Bright looks back on first 8 months in Congress

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email


"It's very different."

Far more than Congressman Bobby Bright could ever imagine. The polarizing views in Congress is something the freshman lawmaker underestimated when he was sworn in in January, a far cry from his 3 and a half terms as Montgomery's mayor.

"We have to deal with extremists on both sides, and we have to deal with political gossip," said Congressman Bright.

Now 8 months later, Bright is still feels like the proverbial newcomer but is beginning to see his new job is bigger than anything he's done before. The issues are global and not always local and he says he sometimes feels like he's a D.C. mayor.

"I've got 92 cities in my district and I know about the issues those districts are facing," said Bright.

Perhaps none bigger than the move to overhaul the nation's healthcare. Congressman Bright is on the record as saying 'no' to the current proposals; 3 in the House and 2 in the Senate.

"I will be fighting for a free-market plan. One that everybody can afford. I don't know what the final version will look like," he said.

Congressman Bright has met President Barack Obama twice although no one-on-one meetings yet. He disagrees with critics who say Mr. Obama is doing too much, too soon on issues ranging from the economy to health care.

"He inherited a tremendous situation when he took office. He had to act. If he had not acted, we would be in chaos," said Bright.

Meantime, Bright says he's proud of what he's been able to accomplish so far.

"I've brought in experts to talk to small businesses," Bright said.

Congressman Bright insists he's not even thinking about re-election and when we asked whether he has any interest in running for Governor? A freshman congressman sounding like a political veteran.

"I never say never. I learned to never say never in life," Congressman Bright said with a chuckle.

Now Congressman Bright is not saying never to health care reform. He feels a new version of health care will pass, but not sure if it will be this year.

Congressman Bright is up for re-election in November 2010. So far only one other candidate is in the running; Montgomery City Councilwoman Martha Roby.

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