|Representative from Massachusetts
|House of Representatives
Rep. Barney Frank is a Democrat who represents Massachusetts's 4th Congressional district in the House of Representatives. He serves as the top-ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, having stepped down as chairman after the Republican Party took majority control of the House after the 2010 election. Frank has been in Congress since 1980.
As chairman, Frank was the House's chief architect of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), which was signed into law in July 2010. In November 2011, Frank announced that he would not be seeking reelection in 2012.
Prior to his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1981, Frank was a Massachusetts State Representative and an assistant to the Mayor of Boston. He has also taught at several Boston area universities.
As Congressman, Frank played a major role in the government's efforts to rescue the housing and financial markets in the global economic crisis of 2008. He took over the committee chairmanship after the midterm elections of 2006, when millions of Americans were buying homes with little money down and using subprime mortgages. As foreclosures soared in 2007, he drafted legislation to stop predatory lending practices and to help distressed homeowners.
In 2008, Frank called for tougher regulation of the financial system, and worked with the Bush administration to provide aid to homeowners at risk of foreclosure. He helped draft the legislation for the Troubled Asset Relief Program to buy up mortgage-backed securities whose value had dropped, adding limits on executive pay and other changes.
The Act, which was signed into law on July 16, 2011, consists of 16 "Titles" covering various areas of consumer protection and financial stability, including:
- the creation of new oversight entities including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), and Orderly Liquidation Authority;
- the establishment of oversight responsibilities for swaps and OTC derivatives to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission;
- reform of mortgage and predatory lending practices; and
- the addition of layers of investor protection.
Frank has degrees from Harvard and Harvard Law School.
- About Barney. Congressman Barney Frank.
- Barney Frank will not seek reelection in 2012. The Boston Globe.
- Congressman Barney Frank. U.S. House of Representatives.
- Barney Frank News. The New York Times.
- Summary of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLC.