Frank’s Frank Hensarling Talk: `Complete and Total Irrelevance’

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Representative Jeb Hensarling, a Republican from Texas, right, and Representative Eric Cantor, a Republican from Virginia, during a news conference following a Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol.

Rep. Barney Frank, who spent two years leading the House Financial Services Committee, says incoming chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas will bring “complete and total irrelevance” to the committee.

“Legislatively, he’s so far out of the mainstream,” Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, told reporters today.

Republican Hensarling is a sharp critic of the financial regulation law enacted in response to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The law is named, in part, after Frank, in part after former Sen. Chris Dodd.

The incoming chairman voted against the $700 billion bank bailout and supported an audit of the Federal Reserve, and told the Dallas Morning News after he was named as committee chairman that he wanted to phase out the government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“As a retiring member of the minority party, Congressman Hensarling considers Mr. Frank’s views far less relevant than he once did and wishes him well in his future endeavors,” said Sarah Rozier, a spokeswoman for the incoming chairman.

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