Frank is Dems' Unlikely Lead Economy Dog

Mass. rep huddles with Paulson, Bernanke on housing measure
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 10, 2008 11:37 AM CDT
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, right, talks with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 18, 2007.    (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – Democratic Rep. Barney Frank has become an unlikely power player in Washington’s “new economic trio” with Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson, writes David Rogers in Politico. His pet plan—a “humongous housing deal” to steady an ailing market—might be a tough sell to the White House, but it’s “moving in our direction,” says the head of the House Financial Services Committee.

Frank, the son of a truck-stop owner, was elected to Congress from Massachusetts in 1980 and is known for his brains—and temper. A prostitution scandal and the subsequent GOP domination of Congress held Frank back, but when Democrats took over, “he was fully ready,” says a California rep. Now, Rogers writes, Frank is Congress’ “preeminent Democrat” facing the economic crisis.