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Rep. Barney Frank

Former Representative for Massachusetts’s 4th District

Frank was the representative for Massachusetts’s 4th congressional district and was a Democrat. He served from 1981 to 2012.

Misconduct

Frank faced an allegation of 1) use of personal residence for prostitution by third parties, 2) improper contacts with probation office on behalf of personal assistant, 3) improper dismissal of assistant’s parking tickets, and 4) sexual activity in the House gymnasium. Frank admitted preparing a memo containing misleading statements that could be perceived as an attempt to use political influence in a judicial matter and arranging improper dismissal of parking tickets for personal assistant. The committee recommended reprimand and restitution of parking tickets, 12-0 on July 20, 1990. On Jul. 26, 1990, he was reprimanded, 408-18.

Jul. 20, 1990 Preliminary inquiry voted (Sept. 12, 1989); Frank admitted preparing memo containing misleading statements that could be perceived as an attempt to use political influence in a judicial matter and arranged improper dismissal of parking tickets for personal assistant, both in violation of R. 43 (1); committee recommended reprimand and restitution of parking tickets, 12-0 (July 20, 1990).
Jul. 26, 1990 Reprimanded, 408-18.
Photo of Rep. Barney Frank [D-MA4, 1981-2012]

Analysis

Ideology–Leadership Chart

Frank is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the House of Representatives in 2013 positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Frank sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 4, 2007 to Jan 1, 2013. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Frank was the primary sponsor of 28 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 28 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Frank sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Finance and Financial Sector (25%) Foreign Trade and International Finance (21%) Government Operations and Politics (13%) Law (10%) Economics and Public Finance (9%) Housing and Community Development (8%) Commerce (8%) Crime and Law Enforcement (7%)

Recent Bills

Some of Frank’s most recently sponsored bills include...

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Voting Record

Key Votes

Frank voted No

Frank voted No

Frank voted Aye

Passed 304/117 on Jun 23, 2011.

The Leahy–Smith America Invents Act (AIA) is a United States federal statute that was passed by Congress and was signed into law by President Barack ...

Frank voted Nay

Frank voted Nay

Passed 370/2 on Mar 31, 2008.

Missed Votes

From Jan 1981 to Jan 2013, Frank missed 883 of 18,814 roll call votes, which is 4.7%. This is worse than the median of 2.6% among the lifetime records of representatives serving in Jan 2013. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses and major life events.

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Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: