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Congressmen talk about Boston tragedy, role of government during crisis

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Former congressman Barney Frank said Tuesday the horrific events at the Boston Marathon demonstrate the need for a well-prepared government to respond in times of crisis.

Mr. Frank, Massachusetts Democrat who retired from Congress at the start of the year, said there has been "seamless" coordination among federal, state and local officials. He told CNN it has been "fashionable," recently, to attack those who work for government, yet they performed well after the twin explosions on Monday.

"At a time like this, no one thinks of saving pennies ... this is an example of why we need to provide the resources for our common good," Mr. Frank told the station.

Mr. Frank served a congressional district near Boston for more than 30 years and reflected on Monday's horrific blasts, which turned a joyous occasion into a horrific scene that killed three and injured about 150 people, according to recent estimates.

"It's just the worst possible thing that human beings can confront," Mr. Frank said.

Rep. Peter King, former chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said investigators are examining the explosives and gathering tips. He said there were no specific threats ahead of the marathon.

The New York Republican encouraged people to report whatever they know about events in Boston on Tuesday. Although it might not mean much to them, their information "fits into the larger picture" and could help authorities.

"I think this is the type of investigation that can move very quickly," Mr. King told CNN.

Conservative Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican, told a Houston radio show he would have come down on the side of civil liberties instead of searching people's backpacks on public transportation in Boston.

However, he said those decisions were up to Boston officials and reflected an unfortunate byproduct of terrorists' actions.

"They make us change our routine because of an act, yesterday it was the two bombings ... and it works," Mr. Poe told the "Sam Malone Show" on 1070 AM KNTH radio.

He said the mood in Washington is "somber, and it's also one of anger and resolve to go after those that committed these crimes yesterday in Boston."

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