Does Barney Frank’s Retirement Put Bill at Risk for Repeal?

November 29, 2011

• Rep. Frank Talks Bill’s Impact on Decision to Retire [VIDEO]


Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) has been one of the biggest proponents of the sweeping financial reform bill he co-authored since the legislation was signed in the summer of 2010. But with Frank set to retire after 30 years in office, Washington Post blogger Suzy Khimm wonders if support for the bill will remain as strong in Congress.

“You lose a great, strong voice … the best advocate for meaningful financial reform,” one Democratic Hill staffer told Khimm. “We are going to be nervous to the extent that there are going to be efforts to repeal or peel back little layers of bills. We’re going to be looking for someone to be that voice. I don’t think we have it in the House.”

The staffer also noted that Washington lawmakers can be quick to forget and that others lack Frank’s institutional knowledge that ended up being crucial to the bill’s defense.

“The memory here is 30 seconds long, staffers go all the time,” said the Hill staffer. “You lose Dodd, and you lose Frank — there go two people who can say, ‘the reason we did this was because … we’ve heard this argument before and our response is. … You lose some of that historical perspective.”

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is viewed as the likely successor to replace Frank as the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. Yet Khimm notes Waters is currently being investigated by the House Ethics Committee for supporting a bank that sought bailout money in 2008.

Other notable Dodd-Frank supporters in Congress include Senate Democrats Dick Durbin, Jeff Merkley and Jack Reed – all of whom contributed to areas of the legislation. Click here to read the full Washington Post blog entry.


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