Heartland Institute Reacts to Retirement of Rep. Barney Frank

Published November 28, 2011

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) announced Monday he would not run for reelection in 2012. Frank is the powerful ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee and co-author of a controversial 2010 law regulating the financial services industry, colloquially referred to as “Dodd-Frank.”

The following statements from finance experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at [email protected] and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/731-9364.

“Barney Frank spent much of his career expanding the powers of and defending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which have been involved in multi-billion-dollar scandals that helped enrich their corporate leaders, inflate a housing bubble until it burst, and spark the financial crisis. Even after watching Fannie and Freddie pay hundreds of millions of dollars in fines because of their corrupt practices, Frank left them untouched in the ‘Dodd-Frank’ financial regulatory bill that was supposed to address the causes of the financial crisis.

“Frank has been shameless in using Fannie and Freddie as social engineering and income redistribution tools. Unfortunately, Maxine Waters, who apparently will fill his slot as ranking member, has shown herself to be every bit as shameless.”

Steve Stanek
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor
Budget & Tax News
[email protected]

“While I didn’t agree with many of Rep. Frank’s ideas, he was always smart, thoughtful, and very funny. As a former state legislator, furthermore, he was one of the few members of Congress who really understood insurance. He will be missed.”

Eli Lehrer
Director, Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate
Vice President, DC Operations
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“We can expect to see more longtime Washington insiders retiring before next year’s elections. Although he may well have personal reasons for leaving, Frank is smart enough to see that the public is disgusted with Congress and its inability to rein in spending. His high-spending voting record would have been an intolerable millstone in any forthcoming challenge for his seat.”

S.T. Karnick
Director of Research
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.