Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), former chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, announced Monday that he will not seek reelection in 2012 after serving 32 years in Congress.
Frank, 71, and former Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) co-wrote and shepherded the sweeping Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act through Congress last year. President Obama signed the legislation into law in July 2010 (see Daily GPI, July 22, 2010).
Frank made the announcement in Newton, MA, which he served for 16 terms in Congress. He indicated that redistricting was a factor in his decision to leave Congress at the end of his term in 2013.
Frank opposed Republicans’ efforts to water down the financial reform law by cutting the budgets of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the two agencies tasked with enforcing the stricter law.
“We are about to debate a budget from my Republican colleagues that will provide such inadequate funding for the SEC and CFTC as to make all this [regulatory reform under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act] academic,” said Frank at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee in February (see Daily GPI, Feb.16).
He also was instrumental in getting Hess LNG to withdraw its proposal to build the controversial Weaver’s Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Fall River, MA. The company withdrew its application in June in response to the opposition from a number of congressional, state and local officials (see Daily GPI, June 15).
Frank said the concerted effort to stop the LNG project had made the difference. “It’s really been a great example of cooperation, and we knew they would never win. It’s not true that big corporations always get their way.”
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