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Public Citizen salutes Barney Frank

With Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-Mass.) announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2012, America will lose one of Congress’ sharpest minds on financial policy.

The former chairman of the House financial services committee proved it is possible to pierce the armor plating of the Wall Street lobby with intelligence, committed effort and an understanding of the banking industry.

History will remember Frank as the co-author and prime champion of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The shortened name of the bill disguises the countless contests with deep-pocketed industry agents in which Frank’s rapier wit and agile tactics proved pivotal.

As the financial industry and its congressional allies continue to attack the 2010 law and weaken its implementation, the Massachusetts lawmaker will be sorely missed.

Bartlett Naylor is Public Citizen’s financial policy advocate.