Barney Frank convinces GM CEO to keep his district's plant open

Rep Barney Frank (D-Mass.) won a stay of execution on Thursday for a General Motors plant in his district that the automaker had announced it would close.

No other lawmaker has managed to halt the GM ax. As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Frank oversees the government's bailout program, known as TARP. Frank's staff said the lawmaker spokes with GM CEO Fritz Henderson on Wednesday and convinced him to keep the Norton, Mass. plant open for at least 14 months.

GM announced Monday in its bankruptcy and restructuring plans it would close of nine of its plants and idle three others. The automaker said it would also shutter three service and parts operations by the end of the year -- one of which is in Frank's district.

"I greatly appreciate General Motors' willingness to take into consideration the wider needs of the company and especially the community," Frank said in a statement. "Keeping the facility open for this extra time gives workers a chance to look at other opportunities, while at the same time continuing to provide for their families."

Frank said that an improving economy could improve the prospects for GM and its employees, hinting that an uptick in auto sales could keep the Norton plant open longer.

12 lawmakers' districts were hit by the round of plant closures announced Monday -- six Democrats and six Republicans.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) had demanded President Obama personally intervene and order the Mansfield, Ohio plant in his district be kept open.