No Lobbying, But Plenty of Politics and Policy Ahead for Retiring Rep. Barney Frank

Stacy Kaper

Retiring Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., announced on Wednesday he plans to remain involved in public policy and politics through lectures, teaching, and commentary after his term expires in January. Frank, 72, also made it clear he would not accept a lobbying job.

The top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, and the lead author of the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law, announced his retirement plans last year, citing a redrawn district that would have made it challenging for him to retain the seat he has held since 1981.

“After leaving Congress, I will seek to remain active as a participant in the national conversation about public policy and politics,” he said in a press release on Wednesday. “I plan to write at least one book, write articles, both online and offline, give speeches and lectures, and appear as a commentator on various media outlets—subject, of course, to anybody inviting me. In addition, I hope to do some college and graduate-school teaching about politics.”

Frank sought to dismiss any speculation that he would consider cashing in on his political experience for a lobbying position.

“I will not be practicing law or engaging in any legislative representation for compensation,” he said.

Frank added that he was making his plans known to remove any appearance of potential conflicts so that he can fully engage in legislative debates during the lame-duck session after the elections.

“I believe that there is now little likelihood that I will be confronted with any potential conflict of interest between matters in which I may be voting and my proposed career,” he said. “Should such a situation present itself, I will of course abstain from participating in that public-policy debate.”