Barney Frank Wants To Be Placeholder For Sen. Kerry

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 4 2013 11:25 AM

Barney Frank Wants a Few More Months in Congress

Barney Frank holds the gavel as he speaks on stage during the final day of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 6, 2012 in Charlotte

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Now-retired Rep. Barney Frank wants to extend his congressional career by a few more months with a new gig as Senator. The Boston Globe reports:

Former Representative Barney Frank said today he has asked Governor Deval Patrick to appoint him to the interim Senate seat that would need to be filled if Senator John F. Kerry resigns to serve as secretary of state. He said the governor was “noncommittal” in reply.
The Newton Democrat told the Globe that he changed his mind about continuing in public life after President Obama and congressional leaders announced their fiscal cliff compromise over the New Year’s holiday. While that deal raised tax rates on individuals earning more than $400,000 per year, it delayed for two months any resolution to government program cuts or changes in entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

Frank says he has no desire to be anything more than a placeholder for the seat. The special election to fill Kerry's spot would be held 145 days to 160 days after the senator formally steps down, meaning whoever is tapped for the interim job will likely serve until late June.

Political observers in the Beltway and the Bay State are expecting a high-profile showdown for the full-time replacement gig, with most speculation currently focused on a match-up that pits the GOP's Scott Brown against current Democratic Rep. Ed Markey.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 


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