Saturday, December 3, 2011
It makes me very sad that Congressman Barney Frank is retiring after 31 years of service in Congress.
Frank is an inspiration. He was the Chairman of the Committee on Financial Services, where he pushed harder than anyone to change the way Wall Street handles money. He was the first member of Congress in history to come out as openly gay. He maintained a reputation for being one of the smartest members of Congress, and despite his mumbles and occasionally looking disheveled, he was one of the most powerful and respected Democrats in the House .
In recent years, he has been the leading advocate for Cannabis reform in Congress. In 2005 he partnered with Representative Ron Paul and introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. This partnership is ironic because Ron Paul and Barney Frank are polar opposites, and come from opposite sides, from the far left and the far right. This bill now has 30 bipartisan cosponsors, and
Last year, Frank sponsored the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011, which set new precedents for drug reform.
While Frank sponsored these bipartisan pieces of legislation, he is usually known for his strong liberal agenda. As Congress became more and more polarized, Frank stuck to his beliefs and continued to push harder to the left. His reforms in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act were so controversial that GOP Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said that Barney Frank should be thrown in Jail.
Many People are very happy to see Frank leave. I myself am very sad, primarily because of his work on the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. In either case, Frank's retirement is a sends a strong message. One, that Congress is continuing to tumble and deteriorate, unable to do anything useful. The partisanship that divides Congress and our voters has gotten in the way of the serious changes that America must face. Frank leaving is a step towards bipartisanship, and hopefully, Congress will become a better governing body in the 113th Congress.