Representative Barry Frank (D-MA), ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee has announced his retirement.
Speaking on the House floor Frank said, "I do not chose to run for Congress in 2012." Citing "I've gone through some changes here."
Frank's work has included issues from agriculture to veterans affairs. An openly gay Congressman, Frank has supported the rights of the LGBT community. In 2010 Frank helped pass the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Frank states he will still function in some sort of "legislative capacity", and admitted he does not like fund raising, which he is required to do. (Full press conference here).
He has been outspoken on the deficit reduction talks, going against cuts in social benefits. Stating just last week Barney said,"We should not be told that we have to reduce two of the great achievements of the United States in the 20th century, Medicare and Social Security."
Slated to replace Frank, 71, is Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), another passionate Congressional members on the people's issues.
On the news of his retirement President Obama remarked, "This country has never had a Congressman like Barney Frank, and the House of Representatives will not be the same without him. For over 30 years, Barney has been a fierce advocate for the people of Massachusetts and Americans everywhere who needed a voice. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of families and businesses and helped make housing more affordable. He has stood up for the rights of LGBT Americans and fought to end discrimination against them. And it is only thanks to his leadership that we were able to pass the most sweeping financial reform in history designed to protect consumers and prevent the kind of excessive risk-taking that led to the financial crisis from ever happening again. Barney’s passion and his quick wit will be missed in the halls of Congress, and Michelle and I join the people of the Bay State in thanking him for his years of service."
Frank will retire at the end of this year.
Obama signs Dodd-Frank. Our coverage here.